What steps should you follow to start coding?
The decision to learn to code is the very first step, but how exactly should you approach the whole process? And what exactly should you learn?
Let’s start with the basics and let’s go step by step. Understanding the terms is critical to defining your path and course of action.
What is coding about?
Coding, or computer programming, is a method of interacting with computer systems. Code tells a machine what to do; Therefore, writing the code is similar to writing a command sequence.
As you learn to read and write code, you can develop apps that do specific tasks or solve problems. You can then use that expertise to build websites, process data, and manage various other tasks.
Levels of programming languages
There are two levels of programming languages.
These languages are hardly separated from specific hardware and are used to interact with hardware and computer architecture.
Low-level programming languages have a limited range of programming structures, using “compare and branch” commands for selection and iteration. These languages are also more difficult to run, take more time to develop, and are more difficult to debug.
Examples of low-level languages
- Machine level language: This is the lowest level of the programming language. Machine language is incomprehensible to humans and can only be understood by computers.
In order for computers to understand the commands in high-level languages such as Java, C, C ++ and Python, the instructions must be transmitted in machine language, consisting of bits. An interpreter or compiler is used to convert a high-level language into a machine language.
- Assembly language: Some assembly language commands are human readable, such as: Mov, add, sub, etc. The difficulties encountered with machine level language are alleviated through the use of assembly language, an expanded version of machine level language.
A high level language is a language that enables a programmer to create applications that do not depend on the exact machine being used. High-level languages are so named because they are more similar to human languages than machine-level languages.
Python, Visual Basic, Java, SQL, and C ++ are examples of high-level languages because they are designed to make it easier for programmers to understand and create code. This is because high-level language code is similar to regular human languages.
Examples of high-level languages
- Java: It is one of the most widely used programming languages. Some other languages, such as Scala, Kotlin, and Groovy, build on the Java platform. Java can be used to build mobile and desktop apps, as well as in data science. Java is not the most extraordinary language in every situation, but it is the one that gives you, the developer, the most options.
- python: Python is another powerful programming language that went mainstream in the 2010s. Python is very popular in academic and data science circles. There is one drawback, however: mobile application development in Python is difficult.
- Visual Basic: Microsoft designed Visual Basic to simplify programming on the Windows operating system by providing a fully integrated development environment.
- C ++: It is a straightforward, powerful and timeless, functional programming language. C ++ has been a very helpful language over time, not just for programming, but also for training new programmers on how object-oriented programming works. Because of its great flexibility and scalability, C ++ can help a developer create a wide variety of applications, browsers, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), operating systems, and games.
Your step-by-step guide to programming
Hence, you will most likely start learning how to program in one of the higher level languages like Java or C ++. And here are the most important steps for you.
1. Set your goals
When it comes to creating career goals, the first requirement is that you want to become a software developer. Next, once you have made your decision, you need to define your specific goals or results. These goals can be:
- Start working in a large company
- Start your project in IT
- Implement any idea you might have, etc.
There are no “good” and “bad” goals, even a well-paying job in a large company should be considered, but you need to clearly understand what’s in it for you. This determines your further development as a programmer.
2. Determine the field for your development
Programming comes in different shapes and sizes. So when trying to learn to code, you need to think about what area you want to work in. Below are some of the most common categories that you can choose from.
- Server-side development of corporate applications. When we talk about server-side app development, we are referring to a website or application that runs on a server and uses a programming language. Web pages are generated (rendered) on this server and the output of this rendering (HTML) is transmitted to the browser, where it can be displayed immediately. Java is the best language for creating such programs. Check out Java Coding Practice on CodeGym if you’re considering learning Java.
- Backend web development. Back-end programmers write code for web applications or programs that provide the structure for a website or app to function. Python, PHP and Ruby are the preferred programming languages for creating such apps.
- Data science. Typically, data scientists work in research or science. These experts often use code to aid them in their work. The most popular programming languages used by data scientists are Java, Python, Scala and R.
- Mobile app development. Mobile app development is fast becoming one of the most rewarding areas of coding, especially for those who like to work independently. Kotlin is mainly used in Android app development while Swift is most popular for iOS apps.
- Game development. Gaming is a growing trend in today’s fast paced world where the demand for computer and mobile games is at an all-time high. If you’re into game development, you’ll need C ++ and engines like Unreal for big, fast projects, and C # and Unity for indie games and smaller projects.
3. Get the right text editor
To start practicing, you’ll need a text editor as the place to write your code. And when it comes to text editors, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You should do your research to choose which one is ideal for you. However, to get you started there are a few options you should consider.
- Notepad ++: This is one of the fastest and easiest text editors available, with a reputation for being fairly simple and ideal for absolute beginners. It supports more than 7-0 programming languages and is one of the most popular text editors.
- Raised text: This editor has been shortened to make learning as easy as possible. There are fewer gimmicks to shorten the learning curve. Most programming languages also contain extensions.
- IntelliJ IDEA: IntelliJ IDEA is designed to increase developer productivity in every way. Sophisticated programming aid and ergonomic design combine to make development not only efficient, but also pleasant. In addition, IntelliJ has IDEA versions for each programming language. Hence, it is an excellent choice for developers.
- NetBeans IDE: Apache NetBeans syntactically and semantically highlights source code with various valuable and practical features so that you can change code quickly. It also includes templates for building apps in Java, PHP, and a variety of other languages.
Get support and learn from communities
For beginners, the complexities of learning to program independently can be incredibly difficult. And regardless of the programming language and training course you choose, there will be moments when you need help.
Joining an online support board or programming forum can give you networking and sharing that can answer your questions and help you overcome obstacles. In situations like this, these two platforms can be incredibly useful.
- Abundance of packets: Stack Overflow is a programming question and answer platform for beginners and professionals. It contains answers to questions on a wide variety of computer programming topics.
- Github: GitHub is a web-based platform that makes use of Git, an open source system that allows many users to make adjustments to websites at the same time. It enables real-time interaction and motivates teams to work together when creating and editing websites.
For beginners, learning to code can be fun, stimulating, rewarding, and challenging at the same time. Additionally, it can provide you with valuable skills that, if used correctly, can be used for the rest of your life.
To become a proficient programmer, all you need to do is define clear goals and choose a programming language. After that, you need to learn and practice a lot. It all boils down to having the right attitude towards learning. And we discovered it. Programmers are not born.