For many, learning to code is as crucial as learning to drive or learning to swim. It’s widely considered to be an essential life skill for the 21st century, and anyone who can’t do it is, in some way, missing out. For that reason, most people will have experience with coding at some point in the next few years. Some of those will take things further, either as a talented amateur or somebody with a professional qualification and a career.
For those tackling coding for the first time, especially those for whom it was not an everyday thing while they were at school. For beginners everywhere, here are five things you need to consider when starting to code.
1 Start with the basics
If you are like most people who code, you will learn by doing. However, more important (in the long term anyway) than knowing what happens is understanding why it happens. Learning the basics is important because once you approach more complex and advanced tasks, you will be better at them if you already understand the fundamentals.
2 Play with your code (and the sample code too)
As stated above, you’ll learn best by doing. Playing around with your code to see what happens can be an important part of that. You can also play with any sample code your tutors give you as part of whatever course you are using to learn. Tweaking things here and there can add to your experience, even if all you learn is not to do that again.
3 Search for help and resources online
One of the benefits of many people learning to code is that you will have access to a vast amount of online resources and your course content. Massive online forums and communities exist where you can seek answers, and you should learn not only the answer to your question but that you aren’t the only person having that problem.
4 Get the right equipment
Having the right tech may seem obvious, but you’ll need to make sure it can handle what you will learn. This might not be important at the early stages, but starting the right way is always a good plan. Sourcing a new laptop that you will see you through your coding education could be vital and should not be underestimated.
5 Code by hand
It may seem counter-intuitive, especially with all of the technology available, but coding by hand is an essential part of the process. Those with more coding experience will tell you that because you are going through the process of writing your code on paper, you are more considered about each step, especially as you can’t run it to see if it works halfway through.
You may also hear that, as part of any job interview for a coding position, you will be asked to code by hand to show what you can do, so if you have ambitions of a coding career, you should start early.