If you’re reading this article then obviously you’re showing interest in learning more about programming. Perhaps, you’re still not sure where to start due to the enormous amount of information on the web. This week is dedicated to #HourOfCode so it’s an excellent opportunity to try yourself in programming. We’ve prepared this story to give you some necessary tools and cues on how to make your first steps in the computer programming.
Why Should You Learn Programming?
We live in the world where most of our communication is carried out through special software in the online space. In fact, any social media, mailing service, smartphone OS, or any other technological remedy function due to a written program.
Programming is the act of creating computer software. That is, using special “computer language.” There are about 500+ computer languages, whereas only 10 are mostly used.
Mitch Resnick in his TedTalk said:
…it (programming) allows you to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively. And these skills are applicable to any profession — as well as to expressing yourself in your personal life, too.
What Are The First Steps?
The most common question that people usually ask, How should they start learning programming? Should they be enrolled into computer science major? Should they have any understanding of the math logarithms? Is there any fast way to learn the programming language?
Well, everyone who’s asking such questions should be aware of their goals. It could be anything from creating games, solving daily problems by automating routine processes, writing the mobile apps for own purposes, or find a job in this field. For instance, you can code a timesheet software to automate your work logs into the system, so you don’t need to enter all data manually. Instead, your program will fill up your timesheet automatically for you. Imagine how many hours could you save by implementing that simple program in your life?
Computer language has a similar structure to the human language; that is, you should learn it in the way as you usually learn the human language. When you first learn French, you don’t expect to speak fluently over the next two weeks. It’s a process of constant learning and enhancing your knowledge and vocabulary. So, programming isn’t different. Choose your preferred language and start by investing around 30 minutes every evening and you’ll see how easy it is to learn programming.
We’re very lucky to have many great free recourses to learn programming today. For instance, a decade ago you had to skim dozens of books to get the basic knowledge of coding. Of course, books were excellent resources for the theory base. However, you didn’t have that variety of tools that would allow you to apply those principles right after.
So, where should you really start?
- Define your short-term goal in point form, then extend it to your long-term objective. Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve by the end of my learning experience?”
- When you’ve set your goal, then you would be able to choose the programming language. Here are the top 4 languages to start with.
- Choose your learning platform. We’ve selected the top 5 platforms for beginners.
- Find a good motivational song, buy a few dozen cups of coffee, and invest 30 minutes every evening into learning and applying your new knowledge in the chosen computer language.
- After completion of each course, think of the simple project that you’d like to work on. It will help you to consolidate the new knowledge.
In fact, Instagram’s CEO and founder, Kevin Systrom, is a self-taught programmer. As you probably know he sold his creation to Facebook for $1B in cash and stock. According to Systrom at his Quora page:
The story starts when I worked at Nextstop. While I was there working in marketing, I started doing more and more engineering at night on simple ideas that helped me learn how to program (I don’t have any formal CS degree or training). One of these ideas was combining elements of Foursquare (check-ins) with elements of Mafia Wars (hence the name Burbn). I figured I could build a prototype of the idea in HTML5 and get it to some friends. Those friends ended up using the prototype without any branding elements or design at all. I spent weekends working on improving the prototype for my friends.
MYLE team is apparently thinking that everyone should know and learn programming, because applying users’ knowledge within MYLE system will allow them to make apps that benefit their lives in the best way.
If you’re still not sure about programming, then watch this short bonus video from Mitch Resnick, who’s speaking about the coding and its benefits to everyone.