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Coding for Beginners: Best Ways to Learn How to Code in 2022
Table of Contents
- How Do I Start Learning to Code?
- What are the Basics of Coding for Beginners?
- Can I Learn Coding on My Own?
- How Do You Actually Learn Programming?
- What Tools Are Needed for Coding?
- How can I decide on my first programming language?
- Most popular programming languages
- Popular Markup Languages
- Popular Database Language
- The Best Time to Code is Now
Want to know how to code for beginners? You’re not alone. Post-pandemic, many people are turning to programming and software development, either as an effort to improve their skill set or switch careers.
There’s ample reason to consider programming as well - job opportunities continue to grow, and new and exciting applications appear regularly. Here, we’re going to brief you on how to code for beginners, offer some resources to learn coding online and also cover the basics of coding for beginners.
Coding for Beginners - Some Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Start Learning to Code?
If you’re interested enough to be reading this, then you have all the faculties needed to code. It may be a long and sometimes challenging process, but programming is an experience where knowledge builds upon itself. Your first program will almost certainly be the popular “Hello World!” program - where you learn to print a statement on the screen. But from there, you learn to do more complicated things.
To start learning how to program, you need to have an understanding of the basics and the types of programming languages and their purposes (we describe this shortly in the following section.) With this theory under your belt, you can move onto picking a language and using tutorials to help you build a project.
As far as resources and tutorials go, your options are virtually limitless. The beauty of learning to code is that you can do it entirely by yourself and use either videos or written material to get started. You could, for example, go through our tutorial on how to learn programming, on top of more specific topics, to gain an understanding of programming before building your own projects.
You should also remember that a large part of programming is independent learning. Google will be an excellent friend and everything you need to solve a problem should almost certainly be available online. At first, however, focus on getting the basics down.
What are the Basics of Coding for Beginners?
Programming languages help you communicate with a computer i.e. it is a specific language that gets a computer to do things. This language resembles English, but with specific words and grammar (in programming parlance, this is called “syntax “) that explicitly define a command to the computer.
There are different types of programming languages as well, which serve different purposes and are used in different applications. These are:
- Low-Level languages: They closely resemble binary code and are difficult to learn and write. For example, Assembly is a low-level language. C and C++ are middle-level languages. You can write operating systems, internet browsers, database systems, image/video/sound processing software in these languages.
- High-Level Languages: They are easy to code and learn. Most of the popular high-level languages used today are Java, PERL, and Python, etc. These languages have a variety of applications.
Can I Learn Coding on My Own?
The answer is, without a doubt, yes. The number of people that have learnt to code independently through just video tutorials and documentation is large, and many of them have done this well into their lives.
82 year-old Masako Wakamiya is proof of this. When she first began to write code, she used an abacus for math. Today she is one of the world's oldest iPhone app developers, a trailblazer in making smartphones accessible for the elderly.
What you will not be able to compromise on is perseverance and effort. You will have to make a concentrated effort to learn new ideas and apply them to a project. And when you do get stuck, which you will, ask programming communities or Google to figure out the problem.
How Do You Actually Learn Programming?
So, with all that pep talk out of the way, we need to focus on the specifics of how to learn programming. You need to start by covering the basics of coding for beginners - things such as variable types, functions, conditional statements and so on. Often, whatever course you take, whether that’s a video series or written material, should explain this with examples for you to carry out yourself. Programming is a skill that is best learnt with hands-on experience.
A little further down we explain how to pick a specific programming language. This should be one of your first steps. While languages are often used in multiple ways (web development, machine learning and data analysis, desktop application development etc.), you’ll want to have a general idea of what you want your career as a programmer to be.
Do you want to be a web developer? A machine learning engineer? A game developer? All of these will require you to focus on different languages. Once settled on a language, however, you can pick a specific course to learn the building blocks of programs.
And as you learn things such as conditional statements, loops, functions and objects, you’ll have to apply them in projects. Most courses will ask you to build something, and these projects increase in complexity as you master the ideas behind programming
To sum up, you learn programming by deciding a language based on what you want your career as a programmer to be like (this itself can take effort!), learn the language and build projects as you go along.
What Tools Are Needed for Coding?
At first, you may not need tools to start coding, as many courses offer browser-based environments to run your code. However, to prepare yourself for a career, it is sensible to download a code editor. Many free options exist, including Sublime Text, Atom and Vim. We recommend Sublime Text or Atom for beginners.
You can happily use a browser-based environment in your initial weeks, but you will eventually want to move onto a proper editor later.
How can I decide on my first programming language?
This is an important step. The language you decide to start with doesn’t need to be the only language you program in for the rest of your life. Programming languages have different rules or syntax however they share common concepts. But you must pick your first language based on what you want to specialize in.
There are several languages, each with their own particular capabilities and prominence in specific applications. The ten most popular programming languages, according to the TIOBE index, are:
- Visual Basic
- Assembly Language
Most popular programming languages
2. HyperText Preprocessor (PHP)
PHP is an open-source, server-side scripting language used for the development of web applications. It allows you to add dynamic information to websites. PHP is great for database access so you can access and store relevant information. If you learn PHP you can develop a complete e-commerce website.
Python is a general-purpose language that is an excellent entry point to the world of programming for beginners. It is easy to read and understand, and is generally more forgiving with its syntax. Python is used just about everywhere, including web applications, data analysis, AI, machine learning, and social media applications.
Ruby on Rails is a server-side web-application framework that includes everything needed to create database-backed web applications according to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. The framework provides default structures for a database, web services, and web pages. If you’re interested in developing web applications, the Ruby On Rails framework could be a good start.
Go is an open-source programming language that makes it easy to build reliable, simple, and efficient software with high performance. Go is syntactically similar to C, but with memory safety, garbage collection, structural typing, and simpler concurrency/multithreading. It is used in building cloud-based and server-side applications, among other things.
6. Objective-C and Swift
Both of these programming languages are mainly used for macOS and iOS i.e. making applications for Apple devices. If you are keen on developing mobile applications on iOS, then you should learn one of them.
Objective C is an old language and hence robust. It is derived from C and SmallTalk. However, Swift is a rapidly growing language and has good performance. It is also easy to read and maintain, which is why it is recommended for new iOS coders.
C-sharp is a general-purpose programming language used to develop a wide range of applications. You can develop video games, web applications and much more. The popular Unity game engine uses C#.
Java is a class-based Object-Oriented programming language. Kotlin is a newer language, with some advantages over Java. Kotlin is easier to learn but it doesn’t have as large a community as Java does. They are both used for Android app development, among other things.
Popular Markup Languages
Web pages use HTML/CSS. Learning these two is the first step in becoming a web developer.
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) structures text and content like images and videos that you see on websites. It is very simple and easy to learn. Cascading style sheets, or CSS, is used alongside HTML to style and format content on your webpages. You can change the color and size of elements, change the entire layout of a webpage and impart visual flair to a website.
Popular Database Language
SQL is a language that is used to manage data in a relational database management system. It is essentially used to communicate with a database. SQL is not difficult, and every programmer will benefit from learning it.
The Best Time to Code is Now
All you need is the passion and the time to learn programming. You’ll be surprised how good you become, even in a few weeks. No matter the language you choose, persevere through and focus on building projects. Anyone can become a programmer and there has never been a better time to be one.
Interested in coding? Here is an excellent place to start. Good luck and remember to keep at it!
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