For someone who has never seen a single line of code it may look like and alien language and to learn programming seems like impossible idea. For a travel writer like myself, to learn coding was essential, as it gave me a lot of freedom in terms of organizing and managing my blog. To be honest, it did scare me at first too. It is, however, an important skill and should be learned by many people. Ideally it should be included in school curriculum so that kids would get comfortable and learn coding from early age.
In fact, young generation is already mastering technology better than us, adults, and can easily learn coding in days. Kids nowadays have tablets, smartphones and other tech gadgets that can help them learn programming. Learning to code is an important tool that can be used for future development of a person. Everybody knows how to read and write and so they should learn to code as well.
Online resources to learn coding
Many resources to learn coding are available online for newbies to develop their skills. While some may require a small fee, most of them are free for everyone.
– Udacity is Stanford Univercity’s course offered for free to anyone. College courses are available, one of the opular one sis Introduction to Computer Science.
– Code School has great online resources with many programming languages, as well as design and web tools.
– Code Racer is a great new learning platform where newbies can build websites using HTML and CSS.
These are just a few examples as there are many more resources to help people learn coding. For instance, searching in Youtube may bring up several coding tutorials. One of the great ones is thenewboston channel with tons of useful videos on different programming languages. Another great channel is PhpAcademy. Make sure to check them out if learning by doing is the right way for you.
Make a website with CodeAcademy
CodeAcademy.com is a great place to learn coding basics. Probably the simpliest tutorial they are offering is called “Make a website”. It gives an overview of some basic HTML, as well as CSS and bootstrap. The course is easy to follow for a complete beginner, as it features a lot of great examples and explanations of the code. The great thing about this tutorial is the possibility to try to code “hands-on” – it features an interactive window where you can type the code. If in trouble, there is a helper on the left. By the end of the tutorial, anyone should be able to make a simple website. The course should take around 2-3 hours, for someone familiar with coding it takes about 30 minutes. I would recommend this course to anyone, who is willing to learn how to make a website. Once the course is finished, its best to continue practice. One of the great code editors is NotePad++ – its free and great for writing and editing code, creating HTML pages and custom CSS files. Files can be saved with respective extensions, like MyPage.html and MyStyle.css and viewed by any browser.
Easy to follow
Allows missing semicolons ( ; ) and brackets ( } )
A bit confusing sometimes
Some parts can be easily skipped
Learning any programming language usually starts with mastering the most simple and basic things – making a program write “Hello, world!”. The reason is simple – first, you get to know the syntax of a language you are going to learn in more depth. Second, because it allows you to test if the system is working properly and no errors pop up.
Here are a few examples of “Hello, world!” written in different programming languages.
Learn coding:”Hello, world!” in ASP.NET, C, C++
How to start?
Everybody had to start somewhere. If you feel you are unsure where to start try joining support groups and evening classes. Many language communities organize special events for newbies to learn the basics. For instance, Ruby community is organizing events called “Rails Girls”. These are special events held once or twice per year and designed to introduce women to the basics of programming and web design. During this two day workshop women of all ages get a chance to try what it feels like to write a code and run it. For some it will be enough to just learn the basics but others might be interested in pursuing it further and studying computer science at college or university.
Either way it a great experience and a chance to meet people just like yourself – curious and eager to learn.