So you’re thinking about making your way into coding, but you’re a complete beginner and you need a good starting point…
Perfect, this is your place!
The purpose of this beginners guide to coding is that: to help you choose where to start and what way to go in software development.
Coding helps you communicate with any computer, smartphone, tablet, etc. And since we are on a stage in where we’re practically surrounded by them 24/7, programming becomes essential if you want to dedicate yourself to technology or any related field.
Let’s get started!
Coding: Beginners Guide to Computer Programming
Basic Concepts in Computer Programming
What’s coding or programming?
In a technical way, we can define programming as a set of consecutive and ordered instructions that lead the computer to perform a specific task.
What do I need to code?
Basically, you only need to learn a programming language, a computer and a text editor.
What is a programming language?
It’s a structured communication system that allows us to “communicate”, either through logical series of words or signs – what is named an algorithm – with a computer.
What are the steps to follow to code?
Programming goes beyond mastering a programming language or “throwing lines” of code here and there. You need to have an overview of a problem and follow the following phases to solve it:
- Problem analysis
- Algorithm design
- Run and test (the solution or program)
Is computer programming hard?
Coding is not hard to learn.
Basic computer programming is not harder than creating recipes or assembly instructions for furniture. It’s all about solving problems and creating clear instructions (algoritms).
Evolution of Coding
Here are the most important events in the history and evolution of coding and programming languages.
- Ada Lovelace is accredited as the first person that described a computer program in 1843.
- But officially, the first programming language was Plankalkül, developed by Konrad Zuse for the Z3 in 1945.
- Code, which was proposed by John Mauchly in 1949, is considered the first programming language of high-level – a language that is more understandable for people, contrary to a low-level language.
- Some of the first high-level languages were created in the 1950s and 1960s, like: COBOL, Autocode, LISP and FLOW-MATIC.
- In the 1970s were created some of the most popular languages still in use today, like Pascal, C, C++ and BASIC.
- Tim Berners-Lee developed the HTML markup language in 1990. HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and is widely used in web development.
- Guido van Rossum made available the popular Python programming language to the public in 1991.
- Java was introduced to the public for the first time in 1995 by James Gosling.
The future of coding
Coding in the new millennium has in many ways become simpler and is now teached in schools from and early age.
Some themes and trends for the future are:
Even greater abstraction, unification and simplicity. A big question mark is how the rise of AI will affect the future of coding.
How and Where to Learn More About Coding
With the following resources you can start learning at your own pace, and once you’ve got the fundamentals, you can continue to the next level.
- “It takes work” is the phrase that Kate Ray, a young programmer who learned coding on her own, use to welcome us on her website Teach yourself to code. There are a lot of tutorials and recommendations made by programmers here.
- Stack Overflow, for its part, claims to be the largest website in this field; every month, more than 50 million developers come to Stack Overflow to learn and share their knowledge and develop their careers!
- If you’re interested in Virtual Reality or Artificial Intelligence, you can learn about these fields in Udacity.
On the other hand, if you prefer to learn by reading some good books:
Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve McConnell. The perfect book to learn and understand the basics of programming. It includes a lot of examples, patterns and practices.
Once you’ve a good grasp of the fundamentals, you can check out the following books – depending on the programming language of your preference:
- The C Programming Language
- The C++ Programming Language
- Python Crash Course
- Learn Java in One Day
- SQL Quickstart Guide
Coding as a Career or Business
Among technology-related jobs, software developer is for sure among these with the best present and future.
In fact, the average salary of a software developer in an American company is higher than $90,000 per year, has an unemployment rate especially low, 2.8%, and the creation of almost 140,000 jobs is expected between now and 2022.
It is also a future web development profession, with an average salary of $62,000 and an unemployment rate of 4.2%.
On the other hand, if you want to work on your own once you’ve enough skills, you can try it as a freelancer. There are many websites where you can start for free like Fiverr, Freelancer or UpWork.
And once you have a good client base, who knows, maybe you can start your own software development company.
As you can see, a long time has passed just before we get to the current state of technology, but this is the best moment to be a computer programmer. There are a lot of opportunities out there waiting for you!
The resources we’ve listed here are some the best places to start learning, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what technology you start programming with, if you really like it, you must start learning now!