An Introduction to Programming
Basic coding knowledge is almost expected of everyone these days. Although it isn’t necessarily hard to get started with, trying to learn by combing through the documentation will be a beginner’s nightmare *yikes*. This article (not to be mistaken for a tutorial) will help with just that, guiding you on your journey to self learn programming by sharing resources and programming tips.
What is Programming?
Wikipedia describes computer programming as ‘the process of designing and building an executable computer program to accomplish a specific computing result or perform a specific task.’
Simply put, programming or coding is just instructing a computer to do certain things, in a language it can understand. These instructions are called programs, and these programs are written in programming languages that have their own rules and syntaxes.
Choosing a language
Identifying what you want to achieve plays a major role in choosing a language. Be it creating a full-stack website, building practical apps, developing useful applications, or just solving problems using code, programming languages can help you with all this and more.
With the number of languages out there, it can get quite confusing choosing a language to start with. Some factors you might want to consider when choosing a language are ease of learning, relevance future prospects, and usage (i.e, projects it can be used for)
Here are some of our recommendations:
- C++: It is a general-purpose programming language and is quite popular in game development and in GUI based desktop applications.
- Python: It is also a general-purpose language that is used in domains like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Science.
While most programs can be executed in the notepad app, having a dedicated IDE (Integrated development environment; source code editor) hugely improves the coding experience. It allows faster setup, includes suggestions, formats the code, highlights errors, and much more.
After deciding on the language, you can find so many tutorials on YouTube, especially for beginners. Here are some recommendations from our side: Traversy Media(a good channel for web dev), C++ Tutorial for Beginners, Python Tutorial for Beginners
Further domains to explore
You’ve written your first program. Learned your first language. What next?
Software development is a broad field, but here are some popular domains that you can start looking into next.
- App Development: Developing mobile apps for devices such as personal digital assistants, enterprise digital assistants or mobile phones. Java is the default development language to write Android apps
- Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence: Creating software applications that are accurate at predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed to do so. Machine learning algorithms use historical data as input to predict new output values.
- Algorithms and Data Structures(Competitive Programming): Competitive programming will help you write better code and solve programming problems.
- Open Source and Hackathons
Some words of advice
On a personal note, it is often helpful when you code with a specific purpose/outcome in mind, rather than coding just for the sake of it. For example, learning to build an app that tracks your exercise will help you stay motivated since you have something you get out of it once you complete it.
Remember that there more often than not, you will encounter a new topic that does not make any sense to you. But persevering through that is what makes you better. That feeling of triumph when it all finally clicks is oh so worth it. Every single time.