Learning to program is challenging, but it is also an incredibly valuable skill to have in today’s internet-dependent society and is increasingly sought after by employers. If you’re looking to learn to program, here are five important steps to get you started on your path to success.
1. Select a programming language to focus on.
The choice of a programming language should depend on your interest and what you want to build after you’re done learning. There are many programming languages probably tens of thousands—and you definitely can’t learn all of them at once.
Each programming language has its strengths and weaknesses, making them suited for different purposes in the field of programming. Here are some of the applications and the programming languages mostly used to create them.
a. Desktop applications mostly use C++ and C,
b. We have C, C#, and C++ for video games.
c. Operating system programs use C, C++, Rust, and Python.
d. Mobile apps: Android apps are written in Kotlin or Java, while iOS apps are written in C#.
With this in mind, now choose the one that is right for you, stick with it, and learn it till you’re a pro.
2. Create projects while learning to program.
After you have chosen the programming language you want to learn, don’t hesitate to start working on projects. If you’re learning game development, then start creating simple games immediately. If you’re doing web development, then start creating simple web pages. The list goes on.
Remember, putting into practice what you’ve learned is the key. It makes everything you’ve learned stick. And the best part is, you can always use these projects in your resume` thus giving you a competitive advantage in the job search.
3. Learn Git in the Process
Git is a free, open-source, and incredibly powerful distributed version control system that can handle small to large projects in a fast and efficient way. It’s an amazing resource for software developers, web designers, and anyone else who needs to keep track of their work. The reason I added this here is that, at some point, you will need some way of keeping track of your code changes. This is where you will use this technology to help you organize and manage the changes in your code.
Here is why you need to learn Git.
a. It’s a powerful tool that can help you stay organized, manage changes in your code, and keep everyone on your team up to date.
b. It’s also a great way to share your code with other developers and back it up safely.
c. It can help you revert to a previous version of your code in case there are some errors in the latest push.
d. It is a requirement for any job placement.
As a programmer, learning how to use Git is a great way to enhance your skills and open up new opportunities. Plus, it is a requirement for every coding job opening out there; you can never get a job if you don’t understand Git.
So this being said, if you’re interested in learning more about version control, our Git tutorial is a great resource. There are other resources, like reading the git docs, on GitHub.
4. Become a member of a coding community.
When you’re learning to program, you need to join a thriving community of passionate learners who are eager to share their knowledge and help each other. These communities are there to help you on your journey, to answer all your questions, and to guide you whenever you get stuck. There are several communities on various platforms with the same goal that mostly work the same way. When you join, you can ask a question or search for answers to your questions among the plenty of questions and answers that are already there.
Here are some of the platforms where these communities can be found:
a. Stackoverflow: It’s generally a platform where people post coding questions and others who have knowledge about it can give the answers for you to choose from.
b. Quora: It’s similar to Stack Overflow in that it allows you to write long-form articles about your journey. This platform contains comprehensive tutorials on any topic, from programming to marketing, it is not limited to programming.
c. Reddit: is one of my favorites; here, you can subscribe to a subreddit dedicated to specific programming languages. From here, you will find pros who will guide you on your journey.
d. There are so many platforms out there; others are Hackernoon, Discord, Tumblr, and more.
In these communities, you will form connections with other coders and become a mentor to those who are just starting out. Remember, sharing what you’ve learned helps you understand the concept even better.
5. Practice Constantly
As the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect,” and that’s especially true when it comes to learning to program. To be able to understand a programming language, you need to practice coding in it! Even if you’re just starting out, coding in your target language can help you improve your learning process. Remember that programming languages evolve pretty quickly, and you have to always be on your toes and keep track of the changes that come every now and then.
If you want to stay relevant in this field, you have to keep track of the programming language. And with regular practice and dedication, you’ll be able to perfect your skills.
6. Bonus: Contribute by writing tutorials on what you’ve learned.
Writing tutorials is a great way to help others while also expanding your knowledge of the programming language.
Like I said earlier, sharing makes you learn even more. When you’re learning, make it a habit to give back to the people who are still starting out.
Here is how you can give back to the community.
a. Write a tutorial about the concept you now understand. To you, it may seem simple, but to someone just starting out, it can help a lot. You can post your tutorials on Quora, Reddit, or Tumblr, or you can create a video and post it on YouTube.
b. Answer programming questions on platforms like Stack Overflow; this will earn you a lot of respect from the community as you get more badges for answering questions. But don’t do it for the badges; do it to help.
c. Create a programming blog and consistently write about the things you do, your journey, and what you’ve learned so far and share it with your fans.
Besides the respect you get, the best part is that you can always make money from the content you post on Quora, YouTube, and your blog. You can also include them on your resume and stand out among your peers.
Becoming a software engineer doesn’t have to be a daunting task with the right tools and resources, anyone can learn to code! All you need is a good strategy: start by choosing a programming language you’re passionate about, then get yourself a free trial of a top coding course. Focus on mastering one language until you feel comfortable enough to move on to other languages. With dedication and hard work, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a software engineer.