Coding is a modern skill that is highly valued in the workplace. It can provide good career opportunities while also allowing coders to have fun with it. Nowadays, coding is not limited to tech professionals. People of all ages can learn how to code. If you don’t have any experience with coding, you have come to the right place.
What is Coding?
Coding or programming is the method by which humans can communicate with a computer. Through coding, people can input and execute commands on a computer. These commands are inputted in a way that the computer will understand. Once a code is successfully inputted, the computer translates it and executes it on the device.
Codes can range from simple commands such as opening an image to more complex commands such as building a computer software or designing a website. Without coding, all the things that people enjoy in the digital world will not function as intended.
Codes are responsible for creating websites, mobile apps, video games, office software, and more. Codes are used to build internal network systems, run online financial services, and automate operational processes in the business world.
Nowadays, some developers prefer to learn more than one programming language to add to their arsenal. The versatility that these developers can offer will also open more doors to better career opportunities.
How to Start Coding?
Here is a beginner’s guide to coding that can help you get started with the basics.
1) Define your objective.
When beginning to code, it is important to know your objective. What made you decide to take up coding? Some people start coding as a stepping stone to getting their dream job. For others, coding is a fun hobby that they can do in their spare time.
Whatever your reason for learning the code, it helps to define it. Defining your objective will help you choose which programming language to learn and what projects to start with. It will also provide a direction to your learning process.
2) Learn the basics.
Learning the basics of coding is now made easier for beginners. Beginners no longer have to enroll in formal classes at school or university. There are now several alternative learning options for those who want to learn how to code.
You can learn to code in online courses and boot camps, e-books, YouTube tutorials, and traditional classroom settings. Another good way to learn is to join several programming communities on platforms such as Discord or Reddit. On these platforms, you will be able to ask questions from professionals as well as exchange ideas with fellow beginners.
The basics of coding include the different programming languages and how to write, debug, and execute codes to create a software, application, or website. Online video tutorials are an excellent way to see the coding process from start to finish.
Once you have a good grasp of the basics, you can make an informed decision on your path as a programmer. Some beginners choose to code to focus on web development, while some prefer to build mobile applications. Your choice will depend on your aim as well as which aspect of coding piqued your interest the most.
3) Choose a programming language.
When you understand the basics of how coding works, you can choose a programming language to specialize in. Your choice will depend on why you want to begin coding. Different languages can perform different operations, so you should decide on the programming language that will best suit your objective.
Most beginners start with HTML/CSS to develop the front-end of a website. These two languages are capable of developing the user interface of a website or what the user sees when visiting the page. HTML deals with the data structure or arrangement of the data that the user will see.
On the other hand, CSS is responsible for the layout and style of the website, including fonts and colors. HTML and CSS are commonly used together to create a visually appealing user interface.
It can also create animations that the user can interact with. Without using a functional programming language, your website will remain static.
Other functional programming languages that are widely used include the following:
- Python for data scientists and machine learning
- Erlang for chat-based applications
- Java and Kotlin for mobile app development on the Android OS
- Ruby for web applications and data processing
Many other programming languages can be used aside from those listed here. Keep in mind that you want to work with a programming language that will help you achieve your goal of why you started coding in the first place.
After learning the basics of one programming language, it will be easier to learn other languages. Syntax usually differs per language, but as long as you understand the overall coding process, you should be able to learn each language at your own pace.
4) Begin with simple projects.
Coding skills get better with time, just like any other skill. The key is to practice coding a lot to help you understand the ins and outs of the skill. You can begin with simple projects such as:
- Simple games: Chess, Tic-Tac-Toe, Hangman, Sudoku
- Time-based applications: Countdown timers, Time-tracking tools
Aside from these simple projects, you can also try your hand at creating a web design using generic templates. This activity will help you understand how codes work to generate the visuals that the user experiences.
Among the best things about learning how to code is that it is for everyone. People of all ages can start coding with just a few basic tools. Even kids can learn how to code through different coding projects!
All you need to begin coding is a computer, an internet connection, and the correct software that can write, edit, and execute codes. The built-in Notepad in most computers is also capable of writing and saving the codes in the correct file type.
Even without a computer science or software engineering background, you can easily learn how to start coding. Many professionals from different fields are also learning how to code even without experience. Some are even making a career shift, as coding is one of the most in-demand skills in the modern world.