Where to start learning programming

A few of my friends, all in their late 20-ties with careers in diverse, but mostly nontechnical fields, recently asked how they could start learning programming on their own. They have different motivations: some want to use it at work, others feel they want to understand what the whole programming thing is about.

I started programming when I was in primary school and the joy of solving ever more challenging problems (some more, some less meaningful) that were at hand was what drove me into becoming a software engineer. Not only solving these, but being in the flow is a gratification in itself. So start simple: a blinking LED connected to an Arduino, plotting some data you always wanted to visualize, displaying Hello, World on your Android phone. Then find what motivates you and learn, practice and enjoy!

Below are some sites that might help you get started. I haven’t tested the material therein myself, but I found them to be recommended over and over again. Do evaluate yourself which works best for you:

As it’s usually hard to be stay motivated throughout a lengthy online course you participate in while staying at home you might want to consider contacting local groups that organize workshops and create communities of programming adepts like you. If you’re in Poland there is a handful of options (mind that most of these are in Polish):

Good luck!

Originally published at maciejb.me on April 28, 2014.