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Coding 101: What You Should Know Before Getting Started

Coding 101: What You Should Know Before Getting Started

Getting into coding is a great idea, whether you want to tinker with software as a hobby or pursue it as a full-blown career.

Of course, while you can dive in head first, it’s better to take stock before you launch yourself into the world of coding to be better prepared to take advantage of what comes next.

With that in mind, here are a few considerations to mull over to help you move forward with your coding ambitions more easily.

Having coding goals is useful.

Defining the things you want to achieve as soon as possible is better than only thinking about this after committing to a particular course of study.

As mentioned, people can choose to learn to code for all sorts of reasons; it’s just better to establish what you want out of it sooner rather than later. 

This will let you know the correct route forward rather than selecting one that frustrates you.

Choosing the right learning platform is a must.

Coding Learning Platforms

Talking of having goals, you can use this to determine which platforms you select to provide you with the tools, resources, and training you need to reach them.

Luckily, there are many apps to learn how to code available today, so even if you only have the option of taking a course in your spare time using your smartphone, you don’t have to limit your choices.

For those aspiring to dive deep into full-stack web development, selecting a dedicated online boot camp like Altcademy can set a solid foundation, offering personalised mentorship and a comprehensive curriculum necessary to thrive in this fast-evolving field.

Nailing the basics is vital

When learning any new skill, it’s essential to avoid running before you have learned how to walk. This is true of coding because unless you take your time and get to the basics, you might hit a brick wall and become disheartened when you can’t overcome it.

Your approach should depend on the programming language you are focusing on and the goals you have set for yourself.

For example, suppose you hope to become a web developer, prioritising studying languages like JavaScript. In that case, HTML and SQL are better than veering off in other directions to less relevant specialisms.

That is not to say that you can’t broaden your horizons further down the line, but rather that if you don’t master the fundamentals of one programming language, you won’t have much luck with others.

Practice makes perfect

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The more coding projects you get under your belt, the better equipped you will be to pursue your goals when you have built your skill set further.

It is only through practice and repetition that you can make improvements. This applies to writing the code in the first place and testing it out, looking for issues, and troubleshooting bugs that you find.

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Every mistake you make is a learning opportunity, and you will never grow as a coder if you don’t accept this early on.

For many, the most challenging part of this journey is the very first step: understanding where to start. As you might wonder how to start coding, a few key aspects are worth considering.

It is recommended that beginners identify a language that aligns with their specific interests or goals, be it creating a website, developing an application, or building a game.

Striking a balance is necessary.

The world of coding never sits still, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the constant stream of new tools, techniques, solutions, and platforms constantly arriving.

This can lead you to lack focus in your studies, or perhaps endow you with a sense that you cannot keep up with the pace of change.

The answer is to approach learning in a balanced way. Don’t over-commit yourself to learning too many things at once, but instead, aim to recognise and value your skills and see how they can grow naturally.

Using the resources at your disposal will accelerate your learning

Finally, if your coding course offers many learning resources, don’t be afraid to harness all of them.

Take every opportunity to augment your studies, from video lectures and virtual seminars to podcasts and e-books.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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