Learning a new skill is challenging for many reasons.
First of all, we start investing time in something we know only very little about and it can take days, weeks or even months before we start to understand what it takes to be "good" at it.
Since it takes a great amount of resilience to get from 0 to 1 and knowing where to start is always helpful.
To help all beginners, we gathered below the 5 things that any beginner should do when starting to learn programming.
#1 - Pick an "easy" programming language
I know that when starting a new challenge, anyone wants to shoot to the moon and that's fair, but yet it is very helpful to start with a simple programming language in order to focus on what matters most: understanding the basics of programming.
Here are below programming languages that are nice to get started with programming:
- PHP: this is a very simple and solid programming language, widely used over the internet, it is indeed a very nice language to get started.
- CSML: this language is very simple and requires no software to be used, CSML Playground allows beginners to get started online.
- Python: widely used among Data Scientists and web developers, Python can be very easy to use and well as very technical for deep use.
#2 - Find yourself an app or website idea
Learning how to code is much easier when you have a use case in mind: a website for your chess club, a chatbot to book meeting rooms, etc...
Having a target app in mind will help you to find what the next step should be. You will also be able to look how others have done the same kind of app.
For instance, for a chatbot, you'd need to learn the programming basics concepts as well as HTTP requests.
#3 - Start with conditions, loops, and logic
These three concepts are mainly what defines a programming language, therefore they are common to every single programming language out there, even very low-level languages like Assembler.
As a matter of fact, when we started developing CSML, we started with conditions and logic, that allowed us to do pretty much anything we wanted right from the start.
#4 - Be consistent when it comes to writing code
// 1st way of writing this instruction start: say "Hello how are you?" goto end // The line below will show the same output start: say "Hello how are you?" goto end
This is solely a habit and the earlier to get it, the better.
#5 - Get involved in communities
When learning a new skill, it's vital to talk to other people to get help, to help others as well, or even just to read through conversations.
There are many communities over the internet: subreddits, slack teams, discord channels, dev.to, Facebook groups, etc...
For instance, with CSML, we have a community on Slack that anybody can join. People help each other over there, share their issues, solve others' or just talk about the products they build.