The Complete Beginner’s Guide To Programming
Author: Deon Cardoza
With every chore being digitized & becoming fashionable and automotive with AI technology, learning to code has become the need of the era.
Ordering a cab or food, or shopping online, watching movies, or even taking a course. 😍 With applications, being digitized the demand for developers and programmers also increases, and hence learning a programming language would be beneficial. 👨💻
How to Learn to Code ️🤷♂️
Before I tell you how to learn to code, let me remind you that you have chosen a path that demands patience and motivation to never give up despite the challenges on the way. 🥇
Learn Programming Fundamentals 🍕
Here are two ways to learn the language of your choice:
1. Through Video Tutorials 🎬
If you are like me and you like to watch detailed study with step-by-step guidance, I recommend you to enroll in or watch tutorials that teach from the very beginning, from installing an IDE to advanced concepts, including real-world projects.
2. Through Coding Websites 🔍
Several websites, like Codecademy and freeCodeCamp, help beginner programmers to learn through interactive coding sessions. These websites offer online text editors and compilers to begin coding instantly.
Focus on Learning Programming Basics 🏆
The most common mistake beginners make is not making the fundamentals clear. When you begin to learn to code, commonly, you skip learning the fundamentals and jump to the next chapter. To understand the advanced concepts of a programming language, you need to be very clear about the fundamentals. 🥵
If you are doing, the same mistake, at some point, you will end up with lots of confusion, and you will have to come back to the basics again. 😓
So when you start learning a programming language, make all the fundamentals clear and then move to the next chapter. It will save you a lot of time. ⏰
Focus on the following fundamental topics to begin to learn to program:
- Data types
- Arrays or lists
- If statements
- Conditional loops
- Classes and objects
- Exception handling
Build your First Project 🚀
Building your projects is the best way to understand, analyze and test how much you know about a programming language. Developing a project of your choice gives you practical experience about a programming language as you get to know how to implement the concepts you learned earlier. Moreover, these projects help you to land a job in the future. 💼
A common question that arises is:
How do I choose a project? 🤷♀️
Many people get stuck deciding what project to build. Here is how you can go about it:
1. Start with something simple 🏀
Let us take an example, say you want to build a game, do not straightaway jump into creating a complex game like PUBG Mobile, instead begin with something simple like tic-tac-toe or pong. Or, if you wish to develop a website, do not build something like Instagram or Amazon. 🙄
2. Choose what interests you 😍
Whether it is coding or anything else, work on projects that interest you. When you work on something you are passionate about, you keep yourself engaged until you build it. If you are not passionate about what you are doing, you will give up. 😢 So choose something that holds you upon itself. For example, if you like playing mobile games, then you might want to build a mobile game of your choice. 🍕
3. Build something useful 🏆
Being creative and innovative while building something will give you a clear edge over others. Creating something useful for viewers may bring several viewers and downloads to your project.
- Few ideas to get started:
- Create a To-Do List App
- Build Your Calculator
- Code a Rock, Paper, Scissors Game
- Build a Multi-Page Responsive Website
Are you stuck? 🤯
If yes, do not give up. Here are a few tips that will help you:
1. Learn to Google 🔍
It is impossible to remember everything about programming, so the internet is the help library. Being able to quickly and efficiently find what you are looking for is invaluable. It is a crucial step that you must master. 📕 Correctly surfing the error of your code would help you correct your code in a few minutes. A quick tip here is to put the error generated by your compiler in double-quotes before searching it on Google.
2. QnA Websites 🥤
Websites like StackOverflow and Reddit are question-and-answer sites for professional and beginner programmers. It might take a couple of weeks for you to receive a reply, although you may already end up finding the solution to your error as so many people might have come across the same error.
3. Ask for help 🤝
When you start to learn to program, do not hesitate to ask for help. Beginners make this mistake and feel shy when they need to ask for help. It doesn’t matter if your questions are silly or stupid. If you don’t ask for help, you will be struggling with it later. So it is always good to ask for help from other programmers. It can help you grow as a programmer.
Get a Job or an Internship 💼
When you are confident enough or believe that you know some basic programming, start applying for internships. Working as an intern allows you to learn and enhance your skills and sometimes even get paid. Even if you are not getting paid, you get an opportunity to make your network with people, which helps you for future references and placements. 🚀
Here are a few ways to begin your internship search:
1. Internship websites: Websites like LinkedIn can help you find internships of your interest as they reach a larger audience. 🔍
2. Job Expo: It is an event in which employers, recruiters, and schools give information to potential employees. These are pretty helpful as you get an opportunity to meet the employers in person. 👨💻
3. Networking: This is the most spoken about and recommended way to land a job or an internship. You can build your network by talking to fellow programmers in your community. 👨👨👦
College Degree or Bootcamp, which one shall I choose? 🤔
It is a common question that many programmers ask before they begin to learn to code. There is not an answer to this question as it entirely depends upon the person. Let me give you a quick overview. If you are a computer science student in your high school, you should enroll for a computer science degree. 🥇 What if you are not? Then Bootcamps might be an option. But it is recommended, whether or not you are a computer science student, to enroll in an online course or a Bootcamp free or paid (affordable) to get the flavor just before you begin to code. 😄
That brings us to the end of this guide. I hope you are now ready to learn to program and start coding your first project. If you have other tips that you would like to share, leave them in the comments. Happy Coding! 🏆
So that is it for this blog!
Thank you! I hope you learned a lot.
- Deon Cardoza