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Learning how to code is an extremely useful skill to have in your repertoire. Whether you want to build a prototype for your great app idea or snag that promotion you’ve had your eye on at work, coding skills can get you there.
What’s more, Monster projected that jobs requiring skills in programming will rise by over 8% in the next 10 years. In fact, Uber, Google, Intel, and other large companies are consistently looking for professionals with coding skills.
While learning to code may sound intimidating, it’s not only attainable and necessary. The new world of work will increasingly need coders. And, with these skills, you’ll be able to work in a wide variety of industries building solutions that help to analyze data, cut down manual labor, and even educate and entertain.
To get you from staring at a blank computer screen to becoming the next expert coder, you need to know where to start. There are several techniques first-time programmers can use to learn how to code, ranging from reading coding textbooks to online courses.
The way(s) you choose to learn to code depends entirely on your future goals. However, everyone has to start somewhere. Here are the top three most effective ways to begin learning how to code.
1. Explore Literary Options and Research Guides
Learning to code from a book instead of a computer might seem a little old school, but it is an effective method.
Books on coding are great because they contain a combination of high-level and deep information on a particular coding language. They also have practice problems that start at the basics and build up into more advanced learning.
Spend some time researching online about what language you wish to learn, then go see what is available at your local bookstore or online. A few popular options include Code Simplicity: The Fundamentals Of Software, The Pragmatic Programmer: Your Journey to Mastery, and Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction.
2. Try the Self-taught Route and Build Something New
There’s no better way to learn than by doing, right? Dive right into learning to code by forming a group project with friends who either know how already or are interested in learning. Alternatively, you could contribute to an open-source project on GitHub.
If you choose this route, be sure that you are comfortable with making mistakes. Failure is a normal part of the learning process.
Try to leverage the people you are working with by asking more experienced coders for code reviews, and be sure to ask them to be brutal with their comments so you can learn!
3. Learn to Code Online
Online learning platforms — like Udacity — offer robust, yet manageable, coursework to help you achieve your technical learning goals, like learning how to code.
Online courses generally are led by teachers from the industry, consist of projects for deeper understanding, and provide a community of students to interact with as you learn to code. Plus, Udacity has free courses like Intro to Algorithms and Programming Languages to help you get acquainted with coding before you dive into the world of programming.
The best part? You can learn to code on your own time and from anywhere.
Ready to Learn an In-demand Skill?
Learning to code can help you build up your technical skills and advance your goals. If you’re dying to get started right away, pick up a book, start a coding project, or sign up for Udacity’s Intro to Programming Nanodegree program.