Where do I start if I want to learn to code?

Anyone looking to make a career switch to coding or start their education might wonder where to start if you want to learn to code. The good news is, there are so many different avenues you can take depending on what works best. 

Coding is a fast-growing career path that offers tons of room for growth and opportunities to advance. It’s also a career that provides tons of flexibility — you can work for a company, as a consultant, or even run your own freelance business.

Plus, you always have the chance to keep learning and advancing even as technology changes, which means job security. 

But, where do you start learning to code?

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Choose Your Programming Language

The first place to start is by choosing a programming language. It’s important to keep in mind that some languages are easier than others. In fact, we put together a comprehensive list of which programming languages are the easiest to learn here

Once you decide on the language you want to learn first, you’ll have a better idea of where you need to begin. And don’t forget, you don’t have to stick to just one language. After you get started and feel comfortable programming, you can start stacking on your skills. 

Take Online Coding Courses

Before investing in full-scale coding education, you might want to start by taking a few online courses. Community colleges and online schools offer lots of options. After taking a few classes, you’ll likely know whether coding is an avenue you want to pursue. 

A bonus to taking an online course is being around instructors and students that can offer valuable advice or the chance to discuss your potential options. Getting the basics out of the way before fully investing in education is the perfect place to start. 

Sometimes, you can even take beginning coding classes for free on websites like The Odin Project, which presents you with tons of open-source learning content from across the web. 

Learn to Problem-Solve

Outside of learning to code, problem-solving is a considerable aspect of working as a programmer. Putting yourself in situations where you need to learn to solve complex problems can help prepare you to further your education as a coder. You’ll want to focus on things like algorithms, abstractions, and patterns within the code. 

Additionally, you’ll want to try and learn the lingo so you can better communicate with fellow programmers. The best way to do this is to head out to MeetUps or programming conferences and hackathons. These are excellent opportunities to sit with professionals, learn about what they do, and be involved in active discussions.

Read Up On The Newest Information

Books are a great way to learn more about the world of coding. A simple amazon search will lead to books that range from beginner to expert. It’s especially useful to read the reviews and see what other programmers think to assist with the learning process most.

It never hurts to learn as much as possible. If you’re serious about coding, you’ll be interested in picking up books or listening to an audible version of them to learn on the go.

Watch YouTube Tutorials

Like everything else, there are lots of coding tutorials on YouTube. This is a free, easy way to spend some of your spare time diving deeper into interest areas. If you follow along, you might even walk away from these tutorials a step ahead of your online courses or learning how to tackle complex and confusing problems.  

Experiment With Your Devices 

Google Nest and Amazon Echo are the perfect devices to experiment with. You can practice coding and create customized programs that enhance the functionality of your digital assistant. Most of the languages you’ll likely start out learning will allow you to mess around with your devices and see what you can get it to do. 

After all, practice makes perfect. 

Google To Figure Things Out

One thing programmers are great at is Googling. If you’re having trouble figuring out an issue with code and getting an error message in return, your best bet is to put that code into Google and see what you get back.

Coders go to the web to share how they’ve solved unique problems hoping that others might benefit from it. Listening to how these coders solved their problems can help you understand the thought process behind many coding roadblocks. 

There are so many great ways to get started learning how to code. Just a few of these tips will lead you down the learning path before you even step foot in a classroom!