Where To Start With Learning To Code
“In a world overflowing with information, we are starved for knowledge.” I don’t know who said that but it’s definitely true. It’s easy to sit down and do a quick google search and instantly get hundreds of different options for programming courses and tutorials and programs. But how do you sort through all of that and make an informed decision about what the BEST place to start is for you?
The truth is, it’s difficult to give a definitive answer with a neat little twelve-step process on how to get from point A to point B. Software development is so broad as a field and there are countless different types of developers with different skillsets and areas of specialization. On top of that, every developer learns differently, so what worked for me to learn a particular skill might not work for you, and vice versa. So when people ask me about learning to code, I always answer their question with a question: why?
The only way you can figure out where to start is by knowing why you want to start. Do you want to build websites or mobile apps? Do you want to work with databases or do complex data analysis and calculations? How about design user interfaces and layouts or work with iOS? Maybe you want to start a company, or just get a job in tech. Some people don’t really care what they do, they just want to work remotely. All these different scenarios involve slightly different paths, but they’re all valid as developers.
Personally, I didn’t find it very helpful to read books to learn how to code initially, I liked to be more hands-on than anything, but I know some people really learn that way. There’s a book called EloquentJS that’s been recommended to me a bout a gazillion times that I know has been helpful for many people (it’s free online). There’s also a two-part course on Udemy that you can get for around $10 apiece, one called the Web Developer Bootcamp and one called the Advanced Web Developer Bootcamp; these are fantastic, I’ve done parts of both! There are honestly so many amazing courses on Udemy, I have tendency to buy lots of them and never finish :)
The key is to kind of fall in love with learning. To learn how to learn. With development you will always be learning, there will always be new challenges and new technologies. I think the main thing about learning to code is to just have fun with it. That’s the only way you’ll continue to be motivated. A lot of people have the idea that programming isn’t a creative field, but I disagree. There is so much room for self expression in what you build and how you build it. That’s what I like most about coding. Just build. Just have fun! The only real way to learn is just to do it. You don’t know what you know until you’ve stared at a blank editor and tried to create something. The way you’ll know what to learn and where to start is just by figuring out what you like, and what’s fun to you!