Programming is a skill that is indispensable these days — with computers controlling more and more of our world, it makes sense to learn how to program in order to be better at working with computers, as well as have better job security.
Thankfully, learning programming is probably one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do nowadays — there are plenty of resources out there, some of them completely free, and all it takes is a computer and the willingness to learn. Heres what the guys at New Braunfels Sprinkler Repair did.
The best starting language
If you’ve started researching the best language to begin learning programming with, you probably noticed that there’s an overwhelming number of them out there — it is quite difficult to decide which one to go with, especially since each one of them seems to be for different purposes.
But that is not the case — most of the general programming languages are quite similar and can be used for the same purpose equally as well. The major differences lie between scripting and compiled languages, the former getting more and more capable by the hour, while the latter being harder to use but more general in nature — there’s nothing that C++ can’t do, for example.
Resources to get started
Beginning to learn programming is extremely easy thanks to the multiple resources and websites that can teach you anything you want, for free. There are a couple of online resources that I’d recommend to complete beginners:
Codecademy.com. Codecademy is a completely free website that lets you learn the basics of several major programming languages via friendly step-by-step guides – an excellent place to start learning programming by yourself.
Coursera.org. Coursera provides top notch courses from major universities and industry experts, and they have a lot of material on programming. You can learn it all yourself or participate in active courses, interact with the teachers and other students — perfect for beginners and intermediate users who want to learn how to program.
edX.org. EdX is very similar to Coursera — it’s got the same “teacher-live-course-multiple students” approach, and you can find lots of courses on programming from the best experts around the world.
These three resources can keep you going for the better part of learning any language to a proficient level — you can even get a certified degree that is usable in many workplaces — online degrees are much more powerful these days than they were back in the day!
Start a blog
While you’re learning, you should take a lot of notes and… start a blog! Not only will this get you acquainted with how modern Web technologies work, but it will also help you better understand your own material — if you write it down in a concise manner, you’ll better remember what you learn, and you get to help others along the way. Starting a blog is completely free, so there’s no reason not to do it — a win-win-win if I ever saw one.
Volunteer for projects
Once you’re feeling proficient enough in a language, the next step I’d recommend is volunteering for various projects — they can be open source or you can intern at a company if you want. This will help cement your knowledge and get a feel of the action in real life. You don’t have to start with advanced programming — writing technical documentation and reviewing code is easier and will still let you learn a lot about how everything works.
You can even start freelancing on the side, taking on jobs that you feel you can accomplish, and building knowledge and a client base along the way.
Getting started with programming is easy — with tons of free resources available, you don’t even have to spend anything until you’ve learned enough. Of course, programming isn’t for everyone — it takes a lot of learning to understand the concepts and some people have a better knack for it than others, but anyone can do the basics, so it’s definitely worth the time invested!