So you want to learn to code but you’re not sure where to start?
First of all, you’re not alone and second of all, it’s easier than you think to become familiar with the basic principles of coding. Essentially, coding is a computer language that allows you to reprogram, update, and upgrade websites along with various other faculties of the internet. While all those letters and numbers might seem intimidating, learning to code is just like any other skill – if you take it one step at a time, you’ll soon get the hang of it.
Why is it important now?
Essentially, code is what makes a computer program run the way it does – it impacts the visual image of a blog, and when used incorrectly, is the reason you get that frustrating Error 404 screen. Learning to code is a valuable asset because, despite it being a relatively simple subject to learn, it’s still not a skill that everyone possesses. However, the gap between those that can code and those that cannot will probably close over the new few years considering there are coding course offerings everywhere from community centres to YouTube. Now, everyone from engineers and programmers, to freelancers and students can access computer programming education.
What are the benefits of learning to code?
Simply put, if you can code, you are a more marketable candidate in the professional world. Not only are you familiar with certain intricacies of the Internet, but you have a proven aptitude with languages as well. Also coding doesn’t just teach you how to build websites or design apps, it also provides you with the skills to analyze company data. Large amounts of data often require coding to analyze their meaning and someone equipped with that ability can crunch the numbers with ease.
Another great reason to learn how to code, outside of getting a traditional tech job, is that it can give you a sense of independence when you’re working. Regardless of your profession, you will likely deal with computers. If an issue arises, instead of waiting for IT to fix a minor problem with your database or interface, you might be able to solve it yourself and maybe even help your coworkers out as well.
What should you be learning?
There are several basic languages that people tend to start with when they first decide to code.Two popular choices are HTML and CSS.
HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It works by formatting text files using markup tags, also known as a code, that specify the format. Web browsers read and display HTML documents according to their code specifications. Sites such as Tumblr or WordPress allow users to manipulate their HTML code to customize their web pages.
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and this type of language determines how HTML elements appear on various mediums. It allows you to control the layout of various pages at the same time, and influences the way the margins, the titles, and the spacing look on a page.
Other languages you may hear about include Python, Ruby, and Java. Each language has its own niche and while some are usually easier to learn than others, choosing the right one to start with depends upon your personal learning style. Try out some free online resources to find the language that suits you best.
If you prefer independent learning, or if you simply wish to supplement your in-class learning, you can turn to a number of online resources including: Code Conquest, Codeacademy, or Code.org. Online resources are a great way to get started in the coding world, especially if you just want to test the waters. They are also great for practicing on your own time.
However, if you prefer more of a traditional classroom style, there are plenty of options. Find courses in your area through your local university, city hall activity listings, or check out tech skills bootcamps like Brainstation or Bitmaker Labs for more information. These types of classes allow you to access to useful feedback, tests, and other resources.
Learning to code is a challenging endeavour but the benefits far outweigh the time commitment. Coding will open you up to possibilities you never even thought were possible, so what are you waiting for? Keep calm and code on.