3 simple steps to learn programming

learn to code

writer icon Tormod Birch     ISB   |   Startups     🕐 15. Oct. 2019

Do you ever wonder what makes apps work, or how a website was put together? Perhaps you have toyed with the idea of creating something of your own, but do not know where to start.

In order to master these things, you need to learn to programme. For those who have never approached programming before, it can seem like a daunting task. However, there are three things you can do to ease your way into programming and kick start your journey towards becoming a software developer.

Decide your goal
The first thing you need to do is decide what you want to achieve. Where do your interests lie? The reason for this is that there are several different programming languages used for creating different things.

It is similar to learning any other language. In the same way that you would not learn German for a trip to Spain, you need to know what you are hoping to achieve before you set out blindly towards your goal.

Start simple
Once you have decided what you want to do, you will have a starting point. For example, if your dream is to build an app for the iPhone, you may choose to start by learning Swift. Meanwhile, if your plan is to build websites, then a good starting point would be to learn HTML.

While ambition is positive, it is best to start with the basics when it comes to programming. When someone is overambitious, there are risks that they will rush ahead and make mistakes. Making mistakes is a vital part of learning to code, but the best way to start is to keep things simple so that any mistakes are surmountable and can be learned from.

Stick to what you understand

As a lot of programming code is readily available online, there is a great temptation to use existing code as a quick way to complete a task. This is not an advisable way to start learning to programme, as the chances are that a new programmer will not understand the code they are using, and therefore not be able to apply changes, fix errors or explain the functions of their code.

The goal should always be to write clean code, even if this means starting with a very simple piece of code. A programmer should always understand every symbol in their code, and exercise patience when testing something new.

Use the community
Make use of the community of programmers that already exist. Forums such as Stack Overflow exist for software developers to share ideas and ask each other for help.

There are online tutorials for most programming languages. These are an excellent way to start. They provide a good grasp of the basics and can leave you feeling inspired and ready to try out your own ideas.

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