How to begin your journey as a programmer?

You have the power to create something amazing. To control it. To shape it. To have it respond to you. Do you feel powerful yet? You can find all that rolled into one concise, systematic and efficient activity: Coding.

I like to believe that there are two types of people in this world: those who like to code and those who haven’t discovered the beauty of coding!

If you lie in the latter category, hear me out. First off, why do you need to know how to code? As Steve Jobs once said, “I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.”
Apart from the fact that coding is fun, it helps you to think outside the box and solve real-world problems. A programmer knows how to go about a problem systematically, right from creating the algorithm to writing the program along with proper comments and indentation. And of course, nowadays quite a few jobs require programming skills because it is the new literacy.
For someone who has absolutely no knowledge of computers and/or programming languages, here’s how to start your journey as a programmer:

To begin with, you must know that it’s okay to not understand a concept in the first go. And that everyone has their own pace of learning and different methods through which they can learn. So instead of being cliche and starting with Python because “it’s the easiest to learn”, I suggest you start with something you really want to do. Think of the end product, do you want to make a game or a mobile application or website or analyze data or manage data? According to your end product, start learning a language.

Here are the programming languages you need to know for your respective goals:

• Game Designing – C++, Java, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript
• iOS Application – Swift
• Android Application – Java (Primary), C++, Python, Kotlin
• Web Development – HTML, CSS, JavaScript
• Data Analysis & Management – Python, SQL, R

Now that you’ve selected what you want to learn, here’s how: There are many amazing websites like Codecademy, Khan Academy, Udemy and Coursera which provide a cool approach towards coding and learning. Codecademy provides you with an environment to test out your programs as you learn. Khan Academy’s Hour of Code focuses on the basics with some fun activities. Udemy has a course on anything and everything possible. Lastly, Coursera too offers courses for free along with a paid certificate from the university offering the course. Of course, at the end of the day, you can always pick up a book to learn the fundamentals of any language.

But always remember, the compiler is your best friend, it’ll applaud your accomplishments and point out your flaws.

Happy Coding!