Learning to Code: step by step guide

A guide for starting a career in programming.

Shiva Pandey
Jul 27, 2020 · 4 min read
Photo by Max Duzij on Unsplash

With humans moving towards digital world. This is the best time to learn the language of computers. According to Evans Data, By 2030 there will be a demand for 45 million software developers in world. And based on current statistics the number of software developers will be smaller than the demand, which is going to make it a lucrative job with best job benefits available. Learning to code can be daunting process with lots of different technologies and a belief that programming is complicated or relies heavily on Maths.

Although there isn’t a single/right way of learning programming. Different people learn it in different ways. Below is a guide which will give you a decent roadmap for starting a career.

Motivation

Programming is a long process. You have to spend a lot of time practicing and reading before you reach a point where you get comfortable. So, it’s very important to keep yourself motivated through out the journey. My best advice is to keep creating things. Don’t aim for complex functionalities, set your expectations low.

Build the most simplest thing you can think of then second most simplest thing, that’s how you win

Keep celebrating when you build small things, it keeps you motivated to move forward.

Choose a Platform

There are lots of languages you can start with. Instead of randomly picking up a language, take your time and think what would you like to create. (Mobile App, Websites, Games, Automation tools). Once you choose a platform do a small research and try to find out which is the most popular language for that platform. For e.g. if it’s Android (Java/Flutter/React native), IOS (Swift/Flutter/React Native) etc. Once you have that you can start looking for tutorials on that particular language. For absolute beginners, I would suggest to start with Website design, because it has easier learning curve and provides quick wins which keeps you motivated constantly. Let’s continue the guide with Website Design.

HTML

For web design HTML is the basic building blocks and one of the easiest thing to learn. It helps you create basic blocks/boxes where you put your content in the website. Here are some of the resources that you can learn HTML from:

W3Schoool
Freecodecamp
Codeacademy

CSS

Next is CSS, once you have basic knowledge of html and you can create buttons, headings, forms etc. we need to make it beautiful using styles like colours, spacing, typography etc. CSS allows you to write styles for your html code. Here are the resources that you can Learn CSS:

W3School
Freecodecamp
Codeacademy

Style Library

Once you get your hand dirty with CSS. You should be able to create basic styles for your website. After some time you will feel like most of the styles are repeated. for e.g buttons needs to be always styled, input needs to be modified. So, instead of doing same things repeatedly, we use style libraries. These libraries provide us with basic styling for most of the components which we can tweak according to our needs, saving us lot of time. Which library you choose is based on your preference. Here are some of the CSS libraries, you just need to chose one and spend time learning that:

Bootstrap
Tailwind
UIKit

Javascript

Once you have learned all three things mentioned above. You should be able to create beautiful looking websites yourself. If not, spend more time practicing and recreating the websites you see on the internet yourself. After you get comfortable with designing websites. It’s time to make it interactive. We use javascript for this purpose. Javascript itself can be very vast topic. So, don’t get distracted by numerous frameworks and libraries out there. Just start with plain javascript and learn your way through it. You will know yourself when it’s time to learn a library. Here are resources to learn javascript from:

W3Schools
Freecodecamp
Codeacademy

Things to Remember

  • It takes time to learn, be patient and keep practicing.
  • Don’t focus on building complex things, it takes months or years even for a group of experienced programmers to create an application.
  • Find a mentor if you can. Having a mentor speeds your learning progress by 10x

Once you follow through this basic steps, you should be able to create basic websites on your own and you will be qualified enough to join as a junior developer. After joining a company, you will then learn different paths you can take next. So, don’t get distracted by fancy languages or technologies out there. Get your basics right and you will have an easy entry to the programming world. Follow me at: https://shivapandey.com

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Shiva Pandey

Written by

Full Stack Developer at Facebook and Tech Enthusiast. Read my personal blog at: https://shivapandey.com/ Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/shivapandey04

Dev Genius

Coding, Tutorials, News, UX, UI and much more related to development

Shiva Pandey

Written by

Full Stack Developer at Facebook and Tech Enthusiast. Read my personal blog at: https://shivapandey.com/ Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/shivapandey04

Dev Genius

Coding, Tutorials, News, UX, UI and much more related to development

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