There are so many programming languages to choose from, choosing the right one to start learning can be a daunting proposition. As I’ve mentioned, the real benefit of writing code is the way it forces you to solve problems and think differently—the language you’re writing in is mostly irrelevant. So, here are our top tips for starting to write code, and some helpful resources to use.
While books are a great way to expand your programming knowledge, to get started you really need to get your hands dirty and do some actual coding yourself.
There are some brilliant online tools out there that let you write code and get instant feedback on what you’ve written. One of the most popular (with good reason) is Codecademy, which we’ve seen a lot of applicants use to catch “the coding bug”. freeCodeCamp is similar to Codecademy, but goes on to some more advanced concepts.
As tempting as it may seem, don’t skip the first few lessons in a course. If you do already know the content they will only take a short time, but they might just uncover holes in your knowledge that could result in frustrations further down the line.
Once you’ve learnt the basics, there are lots more resources on the web to dig deeper into particular areas, depending on your interests (and/or needs). For example:
As we’ve discussed above, programming is all about problem solving so look for problems you can solve with your new found programming skills. Maybe you are a member of a society or sports team who could do with a new website? Or you’ve got a scientific problem as part of your studies that you could write a program to solve? You could even set yourself a challenge just for fun, such as a Sudoku solver or try the Project Euler maths problems.
Whatever it may be, solving real life problems is what we do every day for our clients and we love to see examples of our applicants getting a head start on this.