How to learn programming from scratch

How to learn programming from scratch

1. Independently

If you have the iron willpower and are burning desire to become a programmer, then you can achieve your goal through self-education. This is not the easiest and shortest way: you have to understand the information chaos and fight against procrastination. But you can study at a convenient time for relatively little money or completely free.

It’s easiest to start with interactive online courses. There are many sites on the web, the materials of which explain the fundamentals of programming and set the direction for further development. Pay special attention to those courses that are taught on examples of real projects, that is, they stage-by-stage tell how to create a specific program or site.

FreeCodeCamp platform with free web development courses

Remember that you will not succeed without practice. Study on project-oriented courses and try to write the programs and sites disassembled in them. Look for lectures on YouTube with the analysis of projects that you would like to develop. First, copy the work of other people and analyze it. Then try to move away from the original, experiment, change the individual elements, until you can create something unique.

In addition to courses and video lectures, at your disposal are official documentation available on language sites and books. When you figure out the basics, look for the latest editions with the subtitle Best Practices for the chosen programming language. Such books contain the best methods of development.

Be sure to set a goal to create your project and constantly work on it.

This will help to consolidate the acquired knowledge and understand what kind of information you still lack. Your skills will develop along with the project. When you finish it, work on a new one – more complicated.

If you have difficulties in the process of training or development, you can always address any issue to the community of programmers like “Toaster” and Stack Overflow. You, for example, will help to solve some problem, choose a good course or point out the errors in the code.

Service of questions and answers on technological topics “Toaster”

To sharpen skills is convenient on special platforms where it is possible to compete with other programmers, solving various practical problems with the help of the code. Among such services are Codewars, TopCoder and HackerRank.

If you feel that your development has reached a dead end, or you want to speed up your training, try the following options.

13 tips for those who study programming on their own →

2. With the help of a mentor

Mentor is a personal mentor who points out mistakes, warns about pitfalls, helps to lay out a course of study. A useful recommendation received at the right time can save you a lot of problems and save you a lot of time. Therefore, the mentor will not hurt anyone.

Find out if there are any developers among your friends. Perhaps one of them will want to help you. If you do not know such people, you can search them in the communities of programmers. For example, on the same “Toaster”. Only mentoring services are not cheap, but for just spending so much time on strangers no one wants.

3. The teachers of the “live” courses

Distance and full-time courses with teachers who teach programmers from scratch have become incredibly popular in recent years. Within this format, you also have a lot of work to do on your own. But you will be engaged in a professionally prepared program, and a living person will check the tasks. To the shortcomings of the courses can be attributed the high cost of training.

Popular Russian-language online sites that deal with the system training of programmers: “Netology”, GeekBrains and Loftschool.

If you prefer to practice internally, you can look for educational centers that teach programming in your locality. Unfortunately, such establishments are most often present only in large cities. An example is the computer academy “STEP”, which has branches in several countries.

4. At the university

If you have a lot of time in reserve and you are sure that you want to connect life with programming, you can study computer science at the university. But keep in mind that traditional educational institutions lag behind progress, so that modern programming languages ​​and other technologies you will have to master yourself.

On the other hand, the university will provide fundamental knowledge of mathematics, algorithms and other areas that will help you become a high-class programmer. During the years of hard study you will form the right type of thinking, through which you will grasp everything on the fly in the professional sphere.

How to choose the direction and language

In the IT industry, there are several areas, each with its own set of languages. Let’s list the main directions in order of increasing complexity:

  1. Web development. Popular languages: JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby.
  2. Mobile development. Popular languages: Java, Swift.
  3. Development of games and programs for desktop computers. Popular languages: C ++, C #, C.
  4. Big Data, machine learning. Popular languages: Python, R, Scala.

What to look for when choosing

To make the right choice of the direction and, in particular, the language, consider the following factors: the complexity of mastering and the number of training materials on the web, your personal preferences (what exactly do you want to develop) and the demand for language in the labor market.

Graph of the demand for languages ​​in the international labor market / research.hackerrank.com

The relevance of the language in your area is easy to check on the job search sites. Just open the section for software developers and see the number of available vacancies.

INFOGRAPHIC: Which programming language should be taught first →

If you can not decide

If you are confused, take a closer look at JavaScript – the language on which almost the entire web is written. Many organizations and programmers advise newcomers to choose this language as the first.

For example, the founder of the educational resource of freeCodeCamp Quincy Larson recommends JavaScript for all beginners. Larson gives very simple arguments:

  1. JavaScript is relatively easy to learn. And to write something and run in this language, it is enough to have a code editor and a browser.
  2. JavaScript is the most popular language on the international labor market and it has great prospects. The ecosystem of JavaScript is invested by large companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook.
  3. JavaScript has a very wide scope: from sites and browser games to mobile applications.

In addition, around this language formed a large community of developers. High interest in JavaScript provides a huge number of courses, books and other educational content.

What else should a programmer know: mathematics and English?

Any programmer will not be hurt by a deep understanding of mathematics. For such areas as the development of game graphics or large data, the mathematical mind is a necessity. But with respect to web development and the creation of simple programs, in most cases it is possible to do without mathematics. Although among professionals there is no consensus on this score.

But understanding English, even at the level of fluent reading of documentation, is mandatory for all programmers. Official documents and most of the educational materials appear primarily in English. Books often become obsolete even before the translation comes out. In addition, knowledge of English opens up prospects for working with the whole world.

How to learn English: all the most interesting and useful →

How to get first experience and first job

To find the first job as a programmer, you must have a portfolio. This is a project you created, or better a few that demonstrate all of your developer skills. The program of most courses includes the development of projects that can enter your portfolio.

A very valuable item in the summary will be the availability of work experience, especially team development. But where to get it, if you are looking for the first job?

  1. Do a few orders on the freelance exchanges. It can be Freelancer or Upwork. Offer your services for free, then the first customers will come to you.
  2. Find like-minded people and create a common project with them. People join together for such purposes on almost every educational site, where there are programming courses.
  3. Choose courses whose organizer helps with employment. For example, in GeekBrains after the training, access to internships from different companies, including paid ones, is opened. GeekUniversity and “STEP” guarantee the employment of their graduates.

Before the interview, do not forget to search the Web for a list of tasks and questions that are often asked by applicants.

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