How to start coding? No. Wait! Why start coding?

The last few decades have seen mankind make drastic progress in one field, particularly — digital technologies. Just like every other sector, the IT industry requires people who can drive it forward. The responsibility is shouldered essentially by coders. Whether a professional becomes a database architect, a network engineer or a software developer, one skill is quite essential — coding. Now, how to start coding?

With the Internet, citizens of the world find lots of information within reach and more-than-necessary choices. If there were just a single avenue and single gateway to learning to code, this publication would have been meaningless.

Here we take a look at an approach that can make your first contact with coding easier. At present, plenty of places exist that can give you an introduction to coding. I can suggest why certain places might be better, but this post is not about directing you towards any particular platform.

What guidelines can help you start with coding easily?

In spite of the following points, there is just one cornerstone that can help you learn how to code. But before that secret is divulged, here are some hard-earned and proven pointers.

See what coding enables you to do

Before you start looking for the easiest language to learn or the one with the best usability, find out what you can create when you do so. Look at some interesting projects that you can create or an interactive tool to play with. It can be anything that keeps you glued.

You probably feel more psyched about the fact that Iron Man can fly than the mechanics of the thrusters in his suit.

“Money 😆 and it was fun… It was website… Yeah, why not? I made me money.”

“…No, you can waste time in lot of different ways. It’s actually become difficult now to study anything unless you have a strong motivation.”

Jerwin Nigosh; Software Engineer, CGI Information Systems and Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd.

Jerwin pointed out that when you like the outcomes, you would probably be putting more effort in it. He started out in middle school, creating websites. Once you feel comfortable with the basics, you would always want to know what else you could do and the stone would have already started to roll. Voila! Now you know how to code.

Coding is just like learning a new language.

When a baby starts to learn to speak, he (or she) does not care much about semantics or syntax. It is more about expressing the idea.

Even when dealing with coding, it’s just the same. Once you know what you can do with the language, you will feel more motivated. A practical knowledge, consisting of simple examples, problems and puzzles, when offered with coding concepts — like syntax, operators, statements and procedures — makes the journey easier and worthwhile.

“Dumping programming paradigms into your brain at the beginning of your coding journey seems illogical and unreasonable.”

“In the beginning, I used to mug up bits of code... Couldn’t find someone to help me understand what was happening… I was scared and avoided coding.”

Biprajit Sarkar; Assistant Software Engineer, Tata Consultancy Services

Biprajit explains how people who do not feel very comfortable with coding react to pieces of code. He urged that a simple language can make life easier and interactive platforms like Coursera, Udemy or video tutorials are the best places to learn to code at the very beginning. Once someone understands how to code, he would not find it challenging to shift to other high-level languages.

“Beginners find it hard to relate to the code at the beginning… Students need to understand a little about the flow of control — how the data flow from inputs, processing to outputs to be able to code.”

— Prashant Dev Ratrey; Senior Engineer, Adani Enterprises Limited

The idea is to take baby steps and not overburden yourself. Find out what motivates you and keep exploring.

Commitment is necessary, however.

If you do not feel very motivated to code, however, you might have a rough start. But that is a part of the learning process. Doing what you love always feel easy. Otherwise, you just need to love what you do.

“Most of the guys in CS usually started with ‘how’, and probably they found it interesting at some point.”

Jerwin Nigosh

Coding can involve software development, open-source development or competitive problems. Start out with something that provokes or challenges you. There is something for every level of learner. Just begin with something that suits you. Platforms like HackerRank or LeetCode can help you develop a problem-solving attitude along with strong coding skills.

Not everyone likes to think or put the effort required to code.

— Monosij Ghosh; Software Development Engineer 1

The key is to keep at it. You would slowly start to develop the logical thoughts and reasoning that helps you to code.

“I used to give up. But even then the problem statements would stay in my head, forcing me to ponder… It took time… Sooner or later, you start to get the logic hidden underneath a problem or just learn it.”

Rohit Agarwal; Software Engineer, Adobe Inc.

Do not bore yourself down with details.

You need not have grave theoretical knowledge to be able to code. Make sure to bite off pieces that you can chew. Coding is all about learning to communicate with the machine (not boring with the details of compilation). When you are starting to learn, you need not worry about what happens inside or learn good coding practices. Start with these only as you get comfortable.

My perception dictates that coding is a topic completely different from Computer Science.

Monosij Ghosh

Please exercise patience.

Learning a language requires understanding. It takes time to familiarize oneself with new concepts. If you believe that you would start to code smoothly in the blink of an eye, you might be gearing up for frustration. Coding is certainly fun and easy (if you are not trying to write assembly code).

Patience is utmost… Then company.

Himanshu Bhadani; Software Development Engineer, Amazon IN

Himanshu stresses on the effect of peer groups on learning when you start to code. A learner can benefit immensely by being part of groups with similar interests. Also, online forums and communities can help members to be more inquisitive and knowledgeable.

“It took me time to familiarize with coding... I would suggest everyone to take practise, write code. That’s the best way to learn.”

Madhura Das; Technology Analyst

Appreciation from peers often plays a major role.

“I gained interest when people around me kept chanting that I had a knack for coding.”

Piyush Anand; Assistant Software Engineer, Wipro Limited

All of the above points necessarily revolve around one point — your resolution to learn to code. What necessitates you to learn to code? Do you want to build a career out of it? Is there some application or functionality that you don’t like and you want to improve? What pushes you?

You might have been asking the wrong question. Maybe it’s not ‘how to start coding’, but ‘why start coding’.

So, what’s your reason to code?

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