Congratulations! You have decide to learn to program. Maybe you have great ideas to develop new applications or you would like to create web pages as impressive as the ones you see while browsing the internet. But, where can you start? There are several programming languages, and new languages or forms of programming appear every day.
Suppose you have chosen a programming language and want to learn it, auqneu how do you do it? When searching the internet we could find countless books, courses, tutorials … It may seem like I need a lot of time, but with some tips and tricks, you can be programming sooner than you think.
Of course, the adventure of learning to program never ends, get ready for continuous learning!
1. Why do you want to learn to program?
First of all, answer this question: why do you want to learn to program?Depending on the answer you give, you should focus your strategy one way or another. It is not the same to want to develop a new ‘Candy Crush’ as a new ‘Twitter’, or to have enough knowledge to improve your work or start your own business.
This will allow you to recognize and choose, for example, what programming language you want to learn.
2. How do I start learning?
Very well, you already have your objective and what you want to learn. So you do an internet search and what do they find? Countless videos, tutorials, books, online courses … Then other questions arise, why should I start? Which is the best?
Don’t worry about it, you’re starting. Just choose one, and follow it from start to finish. With time you will learn to distinguish, more than if a course, tutorial … is good or bad, if it adapts to your needs or not.
3. Where to learn?
Along with numerous personal web pages, videos, etc. We can find some platforms where courses are given, both free and paid. Here I leave you links to some of the most popular platforms:
Online Courses - Learn Anything, On Your Schedule | Udemy freeCodeCamp. Learn to code at home. Build projects.
4. Learn by doing
To learn to program it is not enough just to read a book or watch a video. To learn to program you have to … program. Would you know how to fly an airplane if only the manual controlled you? Many hours of practice are required. Well, the same thing happens in programming.
A tip: think on your own project, something you want to develop and do it. Put into practice what you learn. If you learn how to make loops, then see if they can be applied in your project and do it; you learn how to pass parameters in the functions, so use it in your project.
Step by step you will learn new things and give shape to your project, which will be a double satisfaction. In addition, the more you advance the more you will want to learn and do, you will surgically ask new questions and have to solve them. All this will help you to advance quickly and improve your career.
5. Start at the beginning
It is very important to have a solid foundation to be able to advance as a programmer. Therefore, when learning to program, start with the basic concepts, which will be those that allow you to understand advanced concepts more easily. These concepts are usually:
- Programming tools
- Variables and Data types
- Logical and arithmetic operators
- Control structures
- Data structures
6. If you don’t know, ask (and answer)
All right, you’re moving forward on your path as a programmer, and suddenly the code you’re working on fails and stops working. And now that? Surely you can spend hours in front of the code without seeing what is happening.
In these cases it is best to ask. But, this is a tip, before asking try to solve the problem by yourself, maybe it is something you have not seen and solving it will help you improve as a programmer.
- Enter the error message that you think of in a search engine. Surely you will find that this error has already had many programmers previously. Read what it explains and see if any of the possible solutions works for you. But you don’t just apply the solution, try to understand why the error occurred and what the solution is based on. This will help you improve a lot.
- Look in the documentation of the programming tools you use, you may also find the solution or the source of the error.
Then, if you’re still blocked, then yes, ask.
At this point I recommend that, if you have not already done so, you create an account on Stackoverflow, but not only to ask, if I do not recommend that you also try to answer the doubts of other programmers.
7. Debug your code
We have just seen that many problems and errors arose when programming and that before asking how to solve these situations it is better to try to solve them yourself.
This does not mean that you should learn to debug your code. For this it would be very important that you learn to use the code debugging toolsthat the platform most likely offers on the programs. If you hang for a long time at this point, I advise you to put it aside for a while and rest. Surely it occurs to you to approach the problem from another point of view that allows you to solve it more easily.
8. Program every day
Yes, I know, it seems complicated. But it is important that you develop that habit. Like all habits, look for a time of day that relates to the fact of programming. At first it may seem, and be, difficult. But you will see that little by little, with perseverance, it becomes easier for you to start programming.
There are some initiatives, such as 100 days of code, in which it is proposed to learn some programming every day for 100 days and share it on social networks.
9. Build your own portfolio
Why not? As you learn to program and develop your own projects, you can build your own portfolio. In other words, a place where people can see what you have developed. It can be your own web page where you must show your work, platforms in which to publish information about said work or, as many people do, share the code of their developments through GitHub, so it would be very interesting if you created a Account on GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket or any other platform that allows you to have a repository of your code.
Some platforms that you can use to have your code are:
A good portfolio will not only allow you to make your projects known to the rest of the people, but it can also be a good cover letter in the search or improvement of your work.
10. Be curious and never stop learning
Technology is constantly evolving, a language that a few days ago was practically unknown can now be used and demanded by the industry. On the contrary, a technology that seems to be of indisputable use today, may be obsolete tomorrow.
You have to be curious and try to stay up to date with the most important changes taking place in the world of technology and programming. This does not mean that you should be jumping from one technology to another, but rather be able to see trends in this field and have the ability to learn to use them. This will be easier if, as we have seen at the beginning, you have a good basis for study.
At the end, if you have acquired a good base and a good study methodology, it will be much easier for you to adapt to any new technology or tool.
In short, if you want to learn how to program:
- Ask yourself what you want to do.
- Start from the beginning.
- Be consistent.
- Try to solve the problems (and if you can’t, ask).
- Never stop learning.
And, above all, code, code, code …