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What is computer coding and how do you learn to code?

Computer coding is the process of writing a set of instructions that are executed by a computer. Coders use coding languages to write code.

Coding languages are basically various ways of laying down the set of instructions while coding. It is coding that creates the infrastructure of software, applications and websites.

Computer coding is a valuable skill, especially in the current world. Coding is the foundation of the entire Information Technology industry.

 Most people learn how to code to create a career out of it. Others just do it for the fun of it. Learning to code gives you a competitive advantage in the job market.

You also get to understand, in a profound way, how computers work. Coding can also improve your creativity and problem-solving skills. It also makes you more persistent, improves collaboration and communication skills.

Computer coding enables you to create useful programs, software and applications, and can also provide a variety of career opportunities for you. If you are interested in learning how to code, then you are on the right page.

Here, we will provide you with information on how you can learn to code. We will give a detailed step-by-step procedure for effective learning.

But before that, we should mention that it is crucial for you to figure out why you want to learn to code. This is important because it will determine which direction you should take, and also how much time you should dedicate to studying.

For example, if you aim to become a fully-fledged professional programmer eventually, you might want to consider signing up for a college course. If you intend to create basic codes as a hobby, online tutorials might be perfect for you.

Coding Languages

We will give brief descriptions of the main coding languages

Java – It is mostly utilized for creating apps, such as Android Apps. It is a very popular coding language

Python –it is ideal for projects with huge sets of data. It is also highly versatile and can be applied for a wide range of tasks.

Swift – this is the language used to develop iOS applications.

HTML – It is mostly used in web creation, it is also the base language for all coding.

Ruby – this language is used in all kinds of coding. It is a very adaptable language, commonly used on desktops and mobile phones.

Let us look into ways you can learn to code.

The first step in learning to code is choosing a coding language

Choosing a Language

For you to learn how to code, you have to choose a programming language that you can start with.

The set of instructions that are executed by a computer can be written in a few different programming languages. Programming languages are basically different ways of laying down instructions.

Specific programming languages are used in developing particular types of computer programs.

It is therefore crucial that you choose a language that will help you in creating what you want. As a starter, you might have to switch between languages until you can get a good match. Let us look at some of the languages that you can start with

C, C++, C#, and related languages

These languages are mostly used in developing standalone apps such as computer games. C and C++ have been some of the most popular languages for long, while C# is emerging to be a new favorite.

Learning these languages will help you understand how programming works since most of the other languages have common concepts with these.

You will also acquire an in-depth understanding of how computers work. Even though C and C++ might prove to be a little difficult for a beginner, many beginners have successfully learned the languages, so it is not impossible.

Java or JavaScript

Java is mainly used in developing Mobile Apps while JavaScript is used in making web plugins. The demand for these two languages has skyrocketed in the recent past – learning them would profit you a lot.

 The two languages might have almost similar names, but they are entirely different languages.

Python

This is one of the most adaptable languages, and it is used in creating a wide range of programs. It is also easy to learn. If you are a beginner, we recommend that you give python a try.

Consider PHP

PHP is widely utilized in web programming. If you plan on going into server-side programming, then PHP should be your language of choice.

 It is a fairly straightforward language which makes it quite easy to learn. It is also popular which means that online tutorials on it might be readily available.

You can start with any of the languages mentioned above, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to these only, as there are many other programming languages, all utilized to different ends.

If you want to go into professional programming, you might want to learn a few of these languages.

Once you have singled out a language to start with, how then do you learn it?

Learning the Language

 Consider going to school-If you plan on doing coding and programming as a career, then we suggest that you think about enrolling for a college degree.

Well, most employers are particularly interested in your coding skills, but having a college degree to point to can be an added advantage.

 Also, you might be able to learn much faster compared to teaching yourself. Such a decision will also require you to make some financial considerations.

Learn from online universities-Some online universities do offer structured courses on coding and programming. Enrolling with one can be of much benefit to you.

Online courses tend to be less expensive in comparison attending college offline.

Also, these online universities do provide certificates once you pass the course. Studying from home can be very convenient for many people.

Use online tools-You can access some incredible, free online programs where you can learn coding. Such free programs include Google’s University Consortium and Mozilla’s Developer Network. These services provide incredible learning resources

Online tutorials-There are many online tutorials where you can learn how to code. Many programming experts have websites where they guide beginners on the basics of programming.

Once you have decided which programming language you want to learn, search online for tutorials that focus on that particular language.

Start with Books meant for kids-Some programs out there are designed to impart programming skills in kids. But that doesn’t mean you cannot benefit from such programs.

An example of such programs is MIT’s Scratch that has helped many beginners get a footing in the coding world. These programs use clear means of learning which will make it easier for you to learn.

Teach Yourself how to Code

Teaching yourself will require you first to get a book or tutorial that focuses on the programming language you want to learn. Online reviews will help you with identifying a great book on programming.

The next thing is to get an interpreter for the language you want to learn. An interpreter is a computer program that creates machine code from the ideas you have written in the programming language you’re learning.

This will help you see things as they unravel. There are many interpreters available, al you need to do is choose an appropriate one.

The next step would be to pick examples of the language you are studying from the book/tutorial and feed them to the interpreter program.

You can try modifying the examples provided in the book and watch the interpreter do different things.

Once you are successful with the previous step, you can then try to create your own ideas and put them in the interpreter to see whether you can form a functioning program.

You can start with simple codes such as a code to convert heights, and proceed to more complex codes as you learn more. Once you get going, we can promise it will be a lot of fun!

Once you have learned how to code using your first language, you can now delve into other programming languages.

To get the most from a second language, we recommend that you choose a completely different language from the first one. As an example, if Java was your first language, you could learn Python as your second.

For you to be great at coding, you need to write code and try new things consistently. This is a field where you are always learning new things. You also have to keep up with technological changes.

Skills Needed to be Successful at Coding

There are a few skills that can prove to be of tremendous help to your coding endeavors

Attention to detail – for you to be successful at this you need to be capable of paying attention to every keystroke you make. Coding needs to be done meticulously, as one mistake can ruin the entire project.

Imaginative – for one to be great at coding, they need to be able to visualize elaborate designs that they can then execute through code.

Logical thinking – coding is a logic-based skill, so your reasoning skills need to be good.

Problem-solving skills – these skills are important for correcting system bugs and figuring out software issues.

Efficiency- a great coder is efficient with his planning and execution

Patience – writing code and fixing bugs takes a lot of patience

Memory – code can be elaborate and extensive which would require a good memory to stay focused

Visualization – coding needs one to be good at visualizing all the steps of the code

Coding for Beginners

When starting in coding, here are some of the things that you will learn

An introduction to programming – the basics of what programming is

Variables – you will learn about coding variables

Clean code – how to use spaces, names, and comments to assist in keeping track of the coding process.

Drawing shapes – JavaScript courses will have lessons on drawing shapes

Web pages – website creation beginner courses will have an introduction to HTML and CSS

Coloring – you will learn the basics of manipulating color

Creating tables – drawing tables and inserting data will give you basic coding skills

Text and strings – displaying text on canvas is taught in JavaScript beginner courses

Font – an introduction to font manipulation

 Intermediate Coding

Coding courses at the intermediate level may cover the flowing aspects

The box model – this is where you learn padding, border, and margin in CSS.

Debugging – you get introduced to the art of code debugging

C++ – you get introduced to this language

Advanced Sequencing– coder’s sequencing skills are enhanced

Inheritance – learn about sub-classes inheriting from the super-classes in Java

Floating – you learn how to float text

Name-spacing-imparts skills on grouping identifiers

Object-oriented programming – coders learn how to identify data structures and function assignments to such data structures

Control flow – learn how the computer evaluates instructions

Advanced Coding

Coders in the advanced level study the following

  • Scene management
  • 3D Shapes
  • Transformation
  • Interactive web pages
  • Data modeling
  • Security from malware
  • Natural simulations
  • Language Fluency

Final Thoughts

Coding is the building block of computer programming. Learning how to code can lead to a successful career since coding is a skill that is in high demand. There are various ways that you can learn to code.

 Your choice on which way to study coding highly depends on what you wish to achieve. If you want to be a professional programmer in the future, we recommend that you enroll for a programming degree.

However, if you’re going to learn how to code just so you can make cool stuff, there are multiple inexpensive ways of achieving that. The internet provides incredible sources of information on coding.

Coding is a very demanding skill. Learning how to code builds character. Once your patience, persistence and problem-solving skills are put to task, you just might end up being a much better person.

We have provided a comprehensive guide on what coding is and how you can learn to code. We hope that you will use this information to your advantage.

About the author

Lamin

Lamin

Geek Life Activated is my little corner on the web. I'm very passionate about tech, and i aim to use this blog to express that. I currently work as a System Administrator, and i love every second of it. I'm still new at it, so i'm learning something new everyday. I'm pretty open to learning new things, so please feel free to correct me if i'm wrong about anything, and you can contact me anytime you want. I'm a very easy person to talk to. :)

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