How to Learn to Code – 5 step guide. Best Resources, Project choosing and More

If you are a programmer or you are familiar with programming “How to learn to code” may seems very lazy and outdated question to you. But trust me, still there are a lot of people searching by this line. Because of the lacking of mentors. Although my article is not only for those. This article will help good programmer also to get themselves out if they are in stuck condition with their career or learning. So lets start…

Why I should learn to code or program?

Of course this is the first question. Before you start learning code you must take a deep breath and ask yourself what is the solid reason. If you really find a answer programming is not for you.

Yes, you read it right. Programming is not actually just a career for great programmer. They could choose a easier job for them. They are doing programming because they find “Programming is fun” or “Being a programmer is fun”. Both are not the same reason but effective same way.

So, first you decide if you have the patient and time to not leave it on middle.

How to learn to code – Learn the fundamentals

The first step for learning to code is to learn some programming fundamentals. For this step, I would recommend some of these interactive websites like

The way these websites work is actually really cool. You just need to go to one of these websites and start writing your codes right-way and check if your codes are correct.

This technique is pretty essential as the first step because if you want to start learning coding you need to setup some kind of special environment on your computer. And if you are a beginner, it’s actually really easy to get stuck just trying to setup the right environment. So I would say these websites are super helpful for getting started with coding right-way. 

But if you prepare learning from videos instead of reading too much I would recommend website like

Both of these have good video courses. You just have to pick one of websites and on that, search what you want to learn like “programming fundamentals” or “python for beginners”. Whatever you choose, try to use their free resources and free trials as much as possible. And that way you can learn most of the programming fundamentals for free and you have the opportunity to choose which websites you like the most. 

On this stage really focus on learning common programming basics. These are things like –

  • Variables
  • Functions
  • Arrays or lists
  • For loop
  • While loop
  • If statement
  • Classes and objects

Building your very first programming project

Once you know this basic, second step is to start building your very first personal project. When it comes to build a personal project, the most common question is

How should I choose which personal project to work on?

There are basically 3 criteria I would personally use for choosing which project to work on.

1. Choose something you are interested in

Whatever and how old or backdated the idea is, choose something you are interested in building or you are doing something on this area in some other ways already.

For example, if you like playing video games, you might want to create a simple video game. Or, if you like photography you can build a portfolio website where you can show your most recent best photos. If you like trading stocks, maybe you can build a systems that analyse stock charts for you.

Whatever you choose, it’s really important to choose something that you can keep motivated about. 

2. Start with something really simple

The second point to consider is you should start with something that’s really simple. Say, If you want to build a video game, don’t start with something really complex like league of legends, rather start with something simpler like flappy bird or event tic-tac-toe. And if you want to build a website, than just start with some to-do-list website and then go from there. 

3. Useful for yourself or others

Third point to consider that ideally you should build something that is useful for yourself or for someone else. That will give you some extra motivation. Think that if you build something that is using by 10K users, it’s going to look really good on your resume. But that is hard for first stepper.

So I would say for very first programming project of you, focus only on the first 2 criteria. 

Just in case you don’t have any idea here are some pretty simple ideas for you:

  • To-do list app/website
  • Twitter clone / Can be much simpler that twitter
  • Games – Tetris, Sudoku etc

Get help from expert

On the stage of building your first programming project, it’s actually very likely that you’ll get stuck at some point. It’s very natural because you are a beginner and programming is actually really hard.

When you stuck it’s actually really important to know how you’ll get help from other people. And the first thing you should try is actually you should use google. You will find most of error’s solution by just copying and searching by the error message or error code. Error message and/or code will be found on your compiler console (Or in inspect console of your browser if you are working with some website). 

Besides google, you can go directly to most resourceful and most user friendly coding problem related site stackoverflow. It’s actually the site what will come up over and over again in your google results while you are searching on a programming or coding related problem.

It’s like a question and answer website for web developer and software developer. It’s one of the most powerful resources for any programming related question. So when you have any programming related question, you should first try using stackoverflow and then google.

Then, if you can’t find anything that’s relevant on there, you can also ask something yourself on stackoverflow. Just keep in mind that it will take a while to get an answer on stack overflow. 

Rather than that, I would recommend searching on websites like reddit (for the learn programming subreddit or language specific one). Facebook groups can also be recommended. Here you can find your local programming related group also. 

And in addition to all of these, getting involved with offline communities also a great idea to get help and advice in person. To get in person help and advice you can start joining some local meetup. There is a site meetup.com by which you can inform about local meetup to join. From meetup.com you can also know about the local group according to your criteria. 

You can also search and find upcoming event on facebook also. 

Getting a job or internship – Easiest way

So you have learned some programming fundamentals, work on some personal projects, have involved local programming group. What you should do after that? You should try to get a job or internship as soon as possible. 

So, when you are learning everything on your own, you might make a lot of mistakes, but you might not even realize that. If you get a job and you start working with other software engineers, they will be able to give you some feedback on your code. That’s how you will be able to learn to code much faster and hopefully you will be able to get paid at the same time. And obviously there are different ways of applying for a job.

  • Through LinkedIn
  • Going to career fair

But the most effective way I would recommend for newbie is networking. Like making career related connections or friends. Why am I recommending networking for beginners? Reason is very state forward. You are very fresh and you don’t know how to actually work on a team. You will find people mostly helpful on a job that you get by networking. But when you get a job in other ways, teams might not be comfortable for the person who never had a job before. Another reason to choose networking as a first step for your first job is that your resume is not currently so attractive to be stand out from all the other candidates on other ways. 

And trust me, its’s actually lot more easy to make network to get your first job than it seems. Earlier on this post I tell you about meetup and local group. If you start going to those meetup, join various group campaign and start volunteering on programming event you will definitely get notice before asking for help. Keep in mind, try to be more helpful than help seeker.

So when you get experience from your first job it will be easy for you to get your second job, third job and so on.

Taking a degree or join boot-camp

So far I have talked about how to learn to code on your own, but you might say what about going to a university or going to a coding boot-camp. 

If you don’t have a degree yet and are planning to get one soon, I definitely recommend computer science (CS). Because, besides coding fundamental, you will also learn about some other related things like software architecture and model, networking and so on. 

And what about programming boot-camp? 

For those who don’t know about programming or coding boot-camp, it’s like a private school where you can go for 2-4 months to learn to code. These boot-camp are always having great support systems, if you are stuck you can get on person help. And they also might have great schedule to learn on best effective way. 

The downside of a coding bootcamp is it’s cost. They are mostly expensive. 

But still if you are willing to join a programming boot-camp you must choose the right one which will offer you job or great connection after the completion of the course. 

Which programming language to learn

This is the end of this post and a question arise that what programming language should you learn. I will come up with another post on this topic deeply but for now I can suggest you 3 best programming language for career on now or in the near future in my opinion. And they are:

  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • Python

Good luck and happy programming. 

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