Get Started Programming

This is my view.

This will be very opinionated.

This is what I would do if I had the opportunity to start all over again.

This is my current answer (as at October 2, 2016) to a question I get a lot — in one form or the other.

How can I learn to program from scratch?
Which language should I learn as a beginner programmer?

So I need a URL to refer to as a quick response to future asks.

If you are starting programming, here are 3 things you need to do:

1. Read a good beginners’ book on your chosen/focus area e.g HTML, Web Design, App Development, Android, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, PHP etc. Read one (1) book from the beginning to the end —front cover, front-matter, copyright, table of contents, dedication, acknowledgements, introduction, all chapters, appendix, index, back cover etc.

Read just ONE book COVER to COVER. Not two (2) or more. ONE.

2. Follow through on one (1) video or multimedia course/tutorial on a platform such as Codecademy, Code School, Coursera, Lynda, Pluralsight, Udacity, Udemy etc. on your chosen/focus area in [1.] above and complete the course.

FOLLOW THROUGH on ONE video or multimedia/tutorial and COMPLETE the course. Do you really need me to define COMPLETE?

3. Join a group e.g Google Developer Group (GDG)* in your city/school and attend as many technology meetups as you can. It is extraordinarily difficult, if not virtually impossible, to succeed at programming without the help of the community — offline and/or online.

JOIN a group.

  • Full disclosure: At the time of publishing this post (October 2, 2016), I work full-time for Google, directly managing about 150 Google Developer Groups (GDGs) across 48 countries in Africa.

I used to (and still do) go to meetups to learn new things, share my knowledge, network with my peers in the industry and of course for the good food. You don’t have to admit the ‘for the good food’ part during the job search, interview and/or hiring process e.g.

Recruiter: “So why do you think you would be a perfect fit for this role?”

Job Seeker: “I’m passionate and very involved with the community and technology ecosystem. I like to go to meetups to learn new things, share my knowledge and network with my peers in the industry.”

And for the final, controversial, opinionated, ‘my view’ angle to this post…

…learn JavaScript (I’m assuming you have a fair enough grasp of, or are currently learning HTML & CSS).