Want to code a web page but don’t know where to start? What about a killer app for Android or iOS?
If you’ve never programmed before coding can seem daunting. All those curly braces and statements – where do you even begin?
This guide offers 7 simple tips for first-time programmers. Read on to get advice on how to learn programming fast and create your first project.
1. Set Goals Before Choosing a Language
There are so many computer languages to choose from it’s difficult to know which to learn. Some languages are best suited to different projects so here’s a tip: set your goal then work backward.
We’ve outlined some languages that best match their development types:
- Android Apps – Java or Kotlin
- iOS Apps – Swift or Objective-C
- Windows Apps – C# or VB.net
Web sites are the easiest starting point, so begin with basic HTML. Technically it’s not a language, but it’s the best way to get a good grounding.
2. Research Before You Play
It’s tempting to dive into coding, but the fastest way to learn programming involves some prep work.
There lots of free websites that explain what programming is and how to start. W3Schools is a favorite and offers courses in lots of languages for free.
Don’t forget about YouTube.
Visual guides give the best feedback to ensure you’re doing things correctly. YouTube offers thousands of coding tutorials. That’s especially important when you first install your IDE.
3. Install Your IDE
Coding has its own way of speaking. Acronyms like IDE which stands for Integrated Development Environment crop up a lot so be warned!
An IDE is a software tool you’ll use to code with. Many are free and tie with the language. For example, Microsoft’s .NET platform uses Visual Studio, Google has Android Studio, etc.
Some languages need a compiler that turns your code into machine code. A good IDE does all that hard work for you. Follow the guides for the right advice.
4. Hello World
The best way to learn programming is to keep things simple.
Tutorials use the Hello World example to display something on your screen. It gives you an idea of how things work. Don’t bypass this essential first step or you’ll regret it later.
5. Keep to the Script
Follow the tutorials and try not to go off course. As you complete each step, your knowledge will grow, but you aren’t ready to tackle something big.
Try not to get ahead of yourself but remember to keep your goal in mind at all times.
6. Ask for Help
Let’s face it; coding isn’t easy. Beginners and pros alike need support so reach out when you need it.
7. View Source
Don’t be afraid to read other developers’ code. This is the best way to learn and builds good-practice into your own style.
For example, right-click in your web browser and choose View Source. This lets you read the code behind the page.
How to Learn Programming Fast
We’ve explored some useful tips on how to learn programming fast but the key is perseverance.
When things seem tough, keep your eye on the prize. Visualize what you want to accomplish and you’ll make it.
Remember to check out our other great guides in the Technology section. Go to the Web Development tab to read about learning Python for beginners. Get coding!