Learning to code is a great way to not only teach yourself invaluable tech skills that can be applicable to any industry, but to practice complex problem-solving skills that will benefit you time and time and time again. One of the first things you’ll need to know is that there is no magic formula for learning to code; it takes hard work and dedication. Many coders have started teaching themselves to code from a young age.
Starting from scratch as an adult can be frustrating—but not impossible. The good thing about starting fresh is that many of the tools that help spearhead development—including DevOps tools like Helm repository—help build you automate your workflow, cutting unnecessary repetitive actions out of the way. Before you embark on a mission to code your next app or build a website, be sure you have a passionate reason to learn that will keep pushing you in the right direction.
Ask yourself, “Why do I want to learn to code?” Knowing the answer to that question will help you learn where to start. There are a myriad of programming languages, and you’ll need to start with the right one if you want to achieve your goals. With that in mind, here’s how you can get started:
Join an Online Course
Fortunately, there are dozens of online coding schools to choose from. An online coding course gives you the flexibility you might need. You can learn and practice from the comfort of your own home or local library. By now, you should have a thorough understanding of which language you want to start with. This will help you pick a class that’s best suited to you. There are plenty of low-cost coding classes on platforms like Udemy.
Take an In-Person Course
Online courses aren’t for everyone. Some people would prefer and benefit better from face-to-face instruction. There are several ways you can approach this. Local community colleges are a good place to start if there aren’t any nearby hyper-focused coding programs. However, if you can get to a program, you’ll benefit from learning from experienced programmers.
General Assembly is one of the more popular programs. The program offers immersive coding bootcamps with free prep courses to help you get a feel for what to expect from the program. Although they offer online and physical classes, this is a good place to start for more personalized instruction. For example, their full-time software engineering course have placed more grads in more high-growth, high-tech pay careers than any other program.
Start Applying Your Knowledge
Play Games & Have Fun
Let’s face it: staring at long lines of code is no fun when you hardly understand the letters and symbols sitting on your screen. But there’s a reason why gamification has made its way into so many non-gaming industries; it makes even the most boring of tasks feel a bit more fun. With the growth of coding programs, many game-based learning tools have emerged.
For example, with RoboCode, you can code your own robots to fight against your enemy. The cleaner your code, the more successful your attempts. In Codingame, you write real code to solve puzzles and challenges. And with the puzzle game Shenzhen I/O, you create simplified circuits and write assembly code that run on those circuits. Games like this could also make it easier for you to branch off into more niche fields. If you enjoy Shenzhen I/O, for example, you might teach yourself how to navigate PCB design software and create circuit boards of your own.
Attend Local Meetups
As a coding beginner, you might start to feel a little isolated in your lessons—especially if you aren’t learning at a school or school has finished and the community you’ve built has gone with it. Fortunately, if you head over to Meetup.com, chances are you’ll find technical meetups in your area. These meetups allow you to cultivate a support system, which ultimately encourages you to keep moving forward. This is also where you work together to problem solve, get inspired, and learn more about coding. Theses communities are welcoming, and you’d be surprised by how much insight you can gain by being around similarly-minded people of all experience levels.