Coding is one of the best skills to have today as we all are now surrounded by software and technology, for entertainment, for communication, and for everything. But very few people know how to read and write code, so today let's talk about how you can learn how to code and become one of few people who can solve real-life problems using software and technology.
Before we move forward, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Coding is not as hard as you think: You don't need to be a genius to learn how to code. All you need is motivation, interest, and a little bit of discipline. Coding can be as fun as learning a new language. You may find it intimidating at first, but it gets easier as you progress.
You don't need anyone to teach you: This is not to say having someone teach you is bad. But try learning on your own first. Use the internet, there are numerous resources on the web (I will give you a few below), that will allow you to learn even better than you would if someone thought you. Most professional developers today are self-taught.
What you need to get started
Now let's talk about what you need to have in place to start learning how to code.
The only thing you need to start coding is any device with Internet connectivity. whether it's a mobile phone, a tablet, or a laptop, as long it has Internet access.
But I would strongly advise anyone who wants to take coding seriously to get a computer (laptop or desktop), I think this will allow you to learn and get things done faster. For a start, you can get a cheap laptop with minimum specifications.
What you should learn first
As soon as you decide to learn how to code, you quickly realize that there are so many programming languages to choose from, and there are many different opinions on which language to learn first, which often leaves beginners confused and unsure where to start. If you are unsure what programming language you should learn first, I will make it easy for you here:
Start with HTML and CSS
If you like to learn more about what programming language you should learn first, check out this article.
Now that you have what you need and know what to learn first, the next thing is doing the actual learning. So, below are some online resources that you can use to start learning right away. As I said, there are numerous of these resources online, but I will mention just a few.
FreeCodeCamp is a free online coding resource that teaches coding through a well-established curriculum. They also give you hands-on experience working on projects for nonprofits.
W3Schools is one of the best learning resources out there that is perfect for beginners. They offer free coding tutorials and reference materials for learning different programming languages. They will also give you quizzes and coding exercises so you can test your skills right away.
Codecademy is an online interactive learning platform that teaches people how to code. You read a little, type the codes right into the browser, and see results immediately.
Take a look at these resources, and use anyone that you feel is better for you to start learning immediately.
One more thing
The learning process may become boring, and you are likely to give up when faced with challenges if you are learning on your own. So find a group of like-minded people or a community of people who are learning or doing the same thing as you.
There are communities like Google Developer Group, Facebook Developer Circles, Andela Learning Community, ForLoop Africa, etc. Find these communities near you, follow them, and follow their organizers to stay updated on what is happening in the community. Find out when and where they will be holding their next meetup and be in attendance. You will meet a lot of beginners and experts alike who will motivate you. Ask a lot of questions, and don't hesitate to share the little you know, by doing that, you are also learning.
There are also coding challenges like 100HoursofCode, 100DaysOfCode, and many others all over the web. Taking part in these challenges can help to keep you going because you will be motivated to complete them, and you will meet a lot of people around the world who are taking part in these challenges. These people will also keep you motivated in one way or another.
Coding may seem difficult at first, but with time it gets easier. The only thing you need to get started is a laptop (or a mobile phone, if you can't find a laptop) and an internet connection. So don't let anything else hold you back. Start today. Start now. And if you do, you will not only change your life, you may one day change the world.