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!
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.
Computer Programming for Beginners
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: This phase helps us identify the problem we want to solve and its possible solutions.
- Algorithm design: We start designing our solution, based on what we know about the problem.
- Implementation and coding: We put our design into code in order to test and optimize it.
- Evaluation: Run and test (the solution or program) – We analyze the results of our work and make any necessary adjustments.
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).
Core Concepts of Coding – Learn the Basics
Coding is the process of transforming a human-readable text into a format that can be processed by a computer.
Coding is today used in all fields like business, engineering and software development. Coding is also essential for those studying computer science and information technology or just want to able to communicate with their household appliances.
There are many different coding languages to choose from, but the most common ones today are:
- HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
- CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
- PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor)
These languages are used to create websites, scripts for web pages, forms and other interactions with the web, as well as applications that run on servers. There are also other computer languages that let you build more advanced applications.
Which Coding Languages Are Best for Beginners?
In order to learn how to code effectively, you need to understand core concepts such as what is a algoritm, what is a sequence, conditional statements, variables, data types and basic syntax.
Algoritm = Method to solve a mathematical or logical problem:
- Cooking recepies for making a sponge cacke
- IKEAs assembly instructions
- Instructions for making a dress
The Three Basic Programming Constructs:
A set of instructions that allow a computer to carry out a specific task. One step at the time.
- Wash the dishes
- Dry the dishes
- Put away the groceries
- Start cooking dinner
2. Selection (Conditional Statements)
A type of statement that lets you check whether one condition is met before taking another action:
- If it is sunny outside, then put on sunscreen
3. Iteration (Loops)
A sequence of instructions that are executed over and over again.
Variables = Named containers that hold information and can be used in expressions.
The different kinds of information that can be stored in variables. (string, char, int, float, double, boolean)
String = A sequence of letters, numbers, or symbols.
Char = A single letter.
Int = An integer is a number without a decimal point
Float = A float is a number that has a decimal and give more accurate results than integers alone. Also demands more memmory. A float has 7 decimal digits and occupies 32 bits.
Double = A double is similar to floats but as the name suggest it can have a higher degree of accuarasy but at the same time it demands more memory. A double has 15 decimal digits and occupies 64 bits.
Boolean = A value that can be either true or false.
Functions lets us break down a problem into smaller parts and makes it possible to reuse our code instead of having to rewrite it over and over again.
Object-oriented programming is a way of simplifying complex program by making the program in some way replicate real life.
In this 1994 Rolling Stone interview, Steve Jobs explains that a individual human can be seen as an instanced object of the class: human. Jobs exeplifies with how a order of drycleaning is made.
We will in our example try to make a explenation by looking into modern cooking 🙂
Objects can be seen as a “black box” that holds the needed information and capabilities to perform certain tasks. The surrounding environment does not need to fully understand how a object work internally just how they can communicate with it on a high level. (What is the interface? The input and output)
To get a good lunch you do not need to know where to find all the needed farm animals, you do not need to know how to butcher them, nor how to garden. Nor do you need to know how to cook.
You only need to call your local restaurant and have it delivered to your door.
You don’t need to know how they do what they do, just how to communicate with them on a high level.
In addition, you need to be familiar with common programming language syntaxes so that you can write code that behaves the way you want it to.
Syntax = The specific way and rules for how to write code in different languages.
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.
To get started with your Coding project, be sure to check out our extensive list of resources. This includes communities, articles, videos, and tools that will help you get started quickly and smoothly.
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.
Communities and Websites
- 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.
- Coding on Reddit
- Coding on Pinterest
- #coding on Twitter
- Coding on Youtube
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
Beginner Guides Related to Coding
Coding as a Passion
The following tips will show you why many people have a strong passion for Coding and some ways a passion for Coding can be celebrated:
Top 5 Reasons Why We Love Coding
- Coding is creative: We all love creating something from nothing. Whether it’s designing a website or writing software, coding is all about coming up with new ideas and making them happen.
- Coding lets us take control: We all love feeling in control, whether it’s driving a car or programming a computer. When we code, we are in complete control of the process and everything that happens.
- Coding challenges us: Whether it’s beating a difficult level in a video game or solving complex math problems, coding challenges us to be smarter and faster than ever before.
- Coding can be fun: Just like anything else in life, coding can be fun if we approach it that way. When we enjoy what we’re doing, our productivity skyrockets – which is why so many people have a strong passion for coding.
- Coding teaches us how to solve problems: No matter what profession we choose, eventually we will need to solve problems on the job. But few jobs teach you how to do this as effectively as coding does.
How to Show and Celebrate Your Passion for Coding?
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Find a group of like-minded coders and join a code club or online community. This will give you the opportunity to share your ideas and challenges with other like-minded people, and you will also be able to learn from their experiences.
- Take regular coding classes or workshops – not only will this provide you with expert mentorship, but it will also give you the opportunity to put your new skills into practice.
- Write about your experiences with coding – not only will this help others understand and appreciate what you do, but it can also help you develop a following among fellow coders.
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!