It’s a new year, and you want to learn how to code in a new programming language. You pick out a programming language, sit down in front of your computer waiting for inspiration to come, and roll your sleeves up. Where to start? Here is my advice for learning a new programming language for those of you who are just starting with coding.
- Don’t be afraid of coding: if you haven’t done much coding before, you might be a little intimidated by it. Don’t be. Coding is just a logical set of steps where we tell the computer what to do. Computers follow orders in a certain way, and coding is just the way how we communicate those orders. You don’t need to be a genius to code, and you must certainly know that learning a new programming language is just as learning a new language: you will make many mistakes first, but the more you practice, the better you will be.
- There are many resources online: you will find plenty of resources online that will help you with coding. Which programming language I recommend? Python. It’s easier than others, and it’s very flexible: you can do webcrawling with it, you can do analytics, you can do web development, and many other things. You will find plenty of resources online to help you learn Python.
- Find a project that interests you: after doing tutorials online, purchasing books, and starting becoming comfortable with coding, I recommend finding a project that interests you, and using the programming language you are learning in order to develop it. My experience tells me that it’s not until you truly need it, that you will learn it, so go ahead, and find a project that you are passionate about, and develop it using the new programming language you are learning.
- Find groups in your community: as you are learning a new programming language, you will have plenty of questions, and you will have bugs to fix. Many groups in your community get together each month/week, and have friendly groups that will provide advice/help to newcomers. Meetups are the best for meeting new people with your same interests, and to find help/resources for learning a new programming language.
- Errors will come, errors will go: don’t be afraid of all the errors you will encounter as you learn how to code. Even the most experienced people receive those errors. Google will be your best friend for debugging. Chances are that someone else already asked why he/she was getting that error, and someone else already gave the right solution.