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Are you trying to begin your programming journey; but it’s just not getting anywhere? Well, this guide is for you.

As we all know, programming is one of the most important skills in this tech-driven world. However, the process of learning programming tends to be overwhelming.

During the period when I was learning, I began by enrolling on courses on Coursera, Udemy, EDX, and even YouTube, I just didn’t get to finish them. Well, now I am a programmer and have the students that I teach.

If you find yourself at the beginning of your programming adventure and feeling a bit uncertain about where to begin, which programming languages to prioritize, or how to embark on this coding journey, worry not! We’re here to provide guidance and support with every step of the way

So if you’d like to successfully learn programming without being overwhelmed, go ahead and follow through with the step-by-step guide that helped me learn programming without being overwhelmed.

What is Programming

Programming is simply defined as the processing of creating a set of commands that instruct the computer on how to perform a task. These commands can be written using a variety of computer programming languages, such as JavaScript, Python, C++, and Pandas.

Similarities Between Programming and Coding

Coding and programming may seem like two peas in a pod, but they have their distinct flavours in the world of tech. Think of coding as the artist’s brush strokes on a canvas, where you’re crafting specific lines and shapes in a programming language. It’s all about making the computer understand and follow your instructions.

Programming, on the other hand, is like being the architect, engineer, and builder of a whole skyscraper. It’s not just about painting pretty pictures; it’s about designing the blueprint, constructing the entire structure, and ensuring it functions flawlessly. This includes solving complex problems, sketching algorithms, and collaborating with others to bring big software projects to life.

So, while they’re like siblings in the same tech family, coding is like the painter’s brush, and programming is the whole construction project, from concept to completion. They may get mixed up in everyday chatter, but each has its special role in the grand scheme of software development.

How To Learn Programing In 2023: Beginner To Pro In 6 Months

Why Learn Coding?

When the purpose of a thing is not known abuse is inevitable. Before beginning the journey of learning coding, you should identify your goals; for this is the fuel that will take you through the whole learning process.

The world today is very tech-driven, with every industry in the world utilising tech for almost everything and also the opportunities that it presents to those with the right knowledge and sets of skills.

According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the estimated job growth of web developers is said to be approximately 23% between 2021 to 2031; which is faster than the average job growth. For instance, there are about 170,000 job vacancies for web developers in the United States on Indeed. And this is just the US, there are more than a hundred more countries with high demand for such professions.

One other benefit of learning programming is that it helps in improving communication and collaboration skills. In the quest of learning how to code, we will now dive into the next segment where we will go through the step-by-step guide on how to start coding.

8 Important Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Start Learning Programming

Why Do You  Want To Learn Programming

When the purpose of a thing is not known abuse is inevitable. Before beginning the journey of learning coding, you should identify your goals; for this is the fuel that will take you through the whole learning process.

Understanding your motivation for learning programming is the first step in your journey. Are you passionate about creating software, solving problems, or building a career in technology? Clarifying your reasons will help you set realistic goals and stay focused on your path.

What are my long-term career or project goals?

Long-term goals give your learning direction. Do you aspire to become a web developer, data scientist, or mobile app developer? Having clear objectives will help you choose the right programming languages and skill sets to acquire.

What programming languages or technologies interest me the most?

Different programming languages and technologies serve various purposes. Are you drawn to web development, machine learning, game development, or mobile apps? Identifying your interests will make it easier to select the languages and tools to start with.

Am I prepared to invest time and effort consistently?

Learning programming demands dedication and regular practice. Can you commit the necessary time to study, practice, and work on projects? Consistency is key to mastering programming.

Am I more comfortable with online tutorials, books, or classroom-style learning?

This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself; as I said earlier, I took courses on Coursera, EDx, Udemy, etc., but didn’t finish it. And I found out the reason for that is that I was not comfortable with learning online.

Your preferred learning style matters. Do you learn best through online tutorials, textbooks, or in a structured classroom environment? Choosing the right learning resources aligned with your preferences can make the learning process more effective.

Do I have access to the necessary hardware and software?

Ensure you have access to a computer with the required specifications and software tools needed for your chosen programming language or field. Adequate hardware and software are essential for effective learning and project development.

Have I researched job market demands in my area or field of interest?

Understanding the demand for specific programming skills in your local job market or field of interest can guide your learning choices. It’s essential to align your skills with market needs for career success.

Am I ready to start with the fundamentals and build a solid foundation?

Programming is akin to building a house; a strong foundation is essential. Are you willing to start with the basics, understand core concepts, and gradually build your skills and knowledge? A solid foundation will make advanced learning smoother.

Overview of The Learning Plan

Here is a brief overview of  the learning plan that helped me successfully learn Programming:

  • Laying the Foundation
  • Expanding Your Horizons
  • Building Real-World Projects
  • Going Pro

How To Learn Programming In 2023

Choosing the Right Programming Language(Your Niche)

This is very important because there are different programming languages with different functionality. So before choosing the right programming language; first know the career path you want; is it software developer, web developer, Data Analyst, Data Engineer, Web Designer, etc.? And once that is cleared, you can now go ahead to choose the right programming language that is in line with your desired career path.

According to the Online Historical Encyclopedia of Programming Languages, there are 8,945 programming languages, but other sources report anywhere from 250 to 2,5o0 programming languages. And some of the most common ones are Python, Java, C, C++, Jason, ETC.

As said earlier, there are lots of programming languages today, but here are some of the best and most common programming languages in 2023:

Programming Language

  • Javascript
  • Python
  • Go
  • Java
  • Kotlin
  • PHP
  • C#
  • Swift
  • R
  • C and C++
  • Matlab
  • TypeScript
  • SQL
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • NoSQL
  • Rust
  • Perl
  • Ruby
  • Scala

Factors To Consider Before Choosing The Programming Language

Availability:

For a programming language to be considered available, it should possess the necessary features and tools required for a specific spectrum of tasks. The features should fit the employer’s requirements mainly because not all languages are readily available. Also, one other important feature a good programmer should possess is a good IDE (integrated development environment); because this will ensure the growth in the production speed of interactive software and easier maintenance.

Career Path:

This is very important because there are different programming languages with different functionality. So before choosing the right programming language; first know the career path you want; is it software developer, web developer, Data Analyst, Data Engineer, Web Designer, etc.? And once that is cleared, you can now go ahead to choose the right programming language that is in line with your desired career path.

Reliability:

Before choosing a programming language, it is important to consider the reliability of the programming language; if it crashes, repairability i.e., how easy it is to be fixed.

Suitability:

To ensure a programming language is a good fit, it must meet two key criteria. First, it should be compatible with all the platforms you intend to use. Second, it should support concurrent multi-user functionality. Some programming languages are limited to particular software or hardware environments due to their reliance on specific tools and features within specific applications. Assessing the suitability of the chosen programming language before initiating a project is essential, as it can result in valuable time and cost savings.

Setting Up Your Development Environment

Installing an IDE:

IDE which stands for”Integrated Development Environment”; is a software application that provides a set of tools and features to help programmers and developers create, edit, edit, debug and manage software projects.

These software applications are designed to streamline the development process by providing a centralized environment where developers can write, test and manage their code efficiently. Built-in these software applications is the ability to write, test, and manage various programming languages and they are commonly used by software developers to ensure productivity and code quality.

Before we go ahead to install our IDE, let’s go ahead and mention some of the most common IDE software application there is today. Here are some of the common IDE software applications today:

  • Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is a popular code editor developed by Microsoft. It offers extensive customization through various extensions and supports many programming languages.
  • Visual Studio is another widely used code editor, also developed by Microsoft. It’s popular for Windows development and supports other languages through extensions, such as C#, .NET, and web development.
  • IntelliJ IDEA is a highly respected integrated development environment (IDE) specifically designed for Java development.
  • NetBeans is another open-source IDE that supports multiple programming languages, including Java, PHP, and C/C++. It’s known for its flexibility and user-friendliness.
  • Code::Blocks is an open-source IDE designed for C, C++, and Fortran development. It’s valued for its simplicity and cross-platform compatibility.
  • Sublime Text is a highly customizable code editor that supports various languages with extensions. It offers features like code highlighting and auto-completion.
  • Eclipse is another open-source IDE for Java development, but it can also be extended for other programming languages like Python, C/C++, and more.
  • Atom is a code editor known for its strong developer community and support for various programming languages. It offers customization and extensions.
  • PyCharm is an IDE specifically designed for Python development, including web development using Django and Flask frameworks.
  • Xcode is Apple’s IDE for macOS and iOS app development, primarily for Swift and Objective-C.
  • Android Studio is Google’s official IDE for Android app development, primarily using Java and Kotlin.

With all said, personally, the best IDE software application that is common, and easy to use is Visual Studio Code (VS Code).

You can then go ahead to get yourself familiar with the basic Synthax and Concepts, such as:

Variable and Data Types

Control Flow

Functions and Methods

Education

You can learn programming through different platforms; you can either learn from a person, pursue an undergraduate degree, enrol in a coding boot camp, or most commonly of all, you can take an online course to learn to code. You can choose according to your preference.

While all these platforms are available to learn to program; pursuing a degree being the most expensive at least $100,000, there are now loads of online resources you can leverage for a fraction of the 100,000 price tag.

Tech companies like IBM, and  Google often employ workers without a degree, so a formal education is not required anymore to be employed as a programmer.

So by enrolling in the program or your choice of any platform, you can learn the basis and fundamentals of programming, and also build up yourself in the process with the help of tests, projects, and collaboration.

Coding Challenges

After enrolling for an education, another way to grow faster in your programming knowledge is to take part in coding challenges. This is a way to test your proficiency, and how far you have learnt.

Programmers are known for solving problems by writing code. So it is suggested that you take on programming challenges on sites like HackerRank and Leetcode to put the concepts learned from online courses into practice.

Taking part in coding challenges will help you measure your capability against others, which will help you know how far you have to go.

Additionally, when it comes to job interviews in the field of programming, hiring managers frequently turn to HackerRank and LeetCode questions as a way to evaluate candidates. Therefore, tackling problems on these platforms can greatly improve your chances of excelling in programming interviews.

Taking On Projects

Once you’ve completed loads of challenges, at least 30 to 40 challenges on coding platforms. This is important to build your confidence in problem-solving before you go ahead to start doing projects.

Projects as in solving end-to-end problems with code. Now in this stage, you build a project according to your discretion, and is only limited by your creativity.

This helps you to demonstrate your programming skills and interests to employers.

Mr Ajayi Rapheal now the Founder of Codecubehq was once a beginner, and built his portfolio by working on personal projects and now has his own company and also works for other companies/businesses.

If you want to land a programming job, it’s essential to stand out by crafting a distinctive project from the ground up that showcases your creativity. Common projects like a number guessing game or a calculator app have been tackled by countless aspiring developers before, and they won’t help you distinguish yourself from other job applicants.

Apply For An Internship

After enrolling in education, taking on challenges, and building your projects; Now you can apply for internships.

Considering there is a high demand for such talents, landing a programming job isn’t cake, it’s relatively hard. So spending more time on Leetcode helps you get ready for a technical interview.

So to gain real-life experience with the job, you should start by applying for internships, and taking advantage is networking opportunities. Doing this will help you build your professional profile.

And if you are not sure where or how to apply for internships attending tech meetups and hackathons can help you discover internship opportunities. For more details on how to apply for an internship as a programming beginner click here. 

Get a Job

First start by building your portfolio, which showcases all your projects in one place. Include a short biography of yourself, online courses, education history, link to your GitHub, and other relevant information about yourself.

Start with your bio;

portfolio template

Then dedicate a page/section to all your projects including the source code and a description:

project section of your portfolio

And also nothing should stop you from utilizing your professional connections; let them know you are in search of a job.

And while you are in search of a job, keep up your projects, as this will serve as a spotlight for your full capabilities/range of skills.

Platforms To Learn Coding

Coursera

coursera

Coursera is a very popular open online course provider founded in 2012, with the aim of providing cheap and accessible education by collaborating with some of the best universities in the world; universities like Stanford University professors, Harvard and also legacy companies such as google, IBM, Facebook, etc.

They work with different universities to provide online courses, certifications, and degrees in a variety of subjects. As at this year, more than 257 universities and companies offer more than 4,000 courses through Coursera, of which some are paid and some are free.

Skill Up 

SkillUp is an online educational platform that offers free online courses for individuals who are looking for a better learning experience coupled with quality content and flexibility in terms of time and learning pace. They partner with experts and professionals to ensure the development of the technology.

How_to_start_coding_SkillUP

 

W3Schools

This is a free educational platform that is specially built to provide a platform for individuals to learn coding derived from the “World Wide Web” created in the year 1998. W3Schools is a well-known for having coding courses for both beginners and pros; with arrays of courses which involve beginner to advanced level courses.

How_to_start_coding_W3Schools

HackerRank

This is a technical whose main focus is competitive programming challenges for both consumers and businesses. This is a platform where you can upgrade your experience and skill set by taking part in challenges.

How_to_start_coding_HackerRank

Linkedin Learning

Linkedin Learning is a subsidiary of Linkedin, with the platform specially pivoted towards offering online courses with video courses by industry experts in creativity, business, tech skills. And the courses on Linkedin fall into 3 categories which is Business, Technology, and creativity. So LinkedIn Learning is a great platform to take tech courses seeing it has a section focused on tech.

How_to_start_coding_LinkedinLearning

Codecademy

Codecademy also provides an online educational platform and it offers free calls for coding in 12 different programming languages. They offer free courses on some top languages like Python, C, Swift, JavaScript and a few others.

Final Words

In this article, we’ve discussed extensively what programming language is, drafted out a 6-month plan to becoming a professional programmer from a beginner, and finally discussed the best online platforms to learn programming and also to improve your skills.

And suppose you have any questions or doubts relating to this topic on How to Start Coding, you can share it with us in the comment section.

Please Help share this post to friends and family.

By Larry

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