From non-profits and government to fortune 500 companies, talented coders are in high demand. And we don’t expect that trend to change any time soon.
If you learn how to write code in today’s tech-oriented world, you can expect a top compensation package and excellent career prospects.
To get started, you’ll need determination, patience, and a passion for building innovative tech solutions.
There are no shortcuts here, and learning a new programming language can be tough. But it pays off in the form of a long-term career that promises great job security and high salaries.
It’s important that you understand what’s involved in this field, and what a coder actually does. Read on to discover which skills you need, and which programming languages should you learn to become a coder. We'll take you through everything you need to know to start learning to code, and turn your web development and coding skills into a career you love.
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Strategies for Beginners
Anyone can learn to code. But there are some strategies that will make the learning process much easier.
Here are our tips for starting your journey into web development.
Research What This Career Involves
Coding (also known as computer programming or software engineering) is the process of instructing computers to perform useful tasks.
Any software application you use follows computer code. From business software like word processors, spreadsheets and databases, to mobile applications and video games, you interact with code multiple times a day.
Clearly, writing accurate code that functions the way it’s supposed to is an incredibly useful skill. Our world operates on computer code, and poorly written code can have immense, sometimes disastrous, outcomes.
So a career as a coder may be high stress at times, and requires close attention to detail. But you'll be rewarded with job security and high pay.
Learn the Basic Skills
Good news: you can actually start to pick up many of the foundational skills that will make you a successful coder in your own. Here are some of the more important skills for a newbie coder.
Attention to Detail: Programming languages follow a strict set of rules (or syntax). If your code doesn’t match the correct syntax, the computer won’t understand your instructions and the program will crash.
In some cases, missing just one comma in 1000 lines of code will create a bug. You need to have an eye for detail and be able to quickly bug-fix typos and syntax errors that inevitably occur.
Abstract Thinking: People often question whether computer programming is an art or a science. In reality, it’s a bit of both. Not only must you solve difficult mathematical problems, but you must also think outside the box and structure your code using objects and abstract classes.
Coding is a very creative process and there are many different ways to solve the same problem. You often need to step away from the low-level mechanics and find solutions on a higher level.
Good Memory: Let's be honest: you already know if you're that person who remembers everyone's name, or the one who's constantly forgetting their keys. The skill of good memory will come in handy when you learn to code.
Coders tackle new challenges every single day. The ability to retain information and call on past experience will be hugely beneficial when working as a programmer.
Patience: There is a steep learning curve for any new coder. You may feel frustrated at times, especially if your code keeps giving you errors. Even the most experienced programmers can spend hours fixing bugs.
Patience is extremely important. As long as you make progress each and every day, you will eventually succeed.
Logical Thinking: Writing code requires logical and analytical thinking. You need to make decisions based on strong reasoning.
If you’re not a natural in this department, don’t worry. There are ways you can improve. For example, Dcoder is a tool that provides challenges to help you develop your skills in this area.
Creativity: In computer programming, there are often multiple ways to solve the same problem. Software engineers are tasked with not just accomplishing a task, but figuring out the best, most streamlined way to execute that task. That requires creative thinking and an innovative approach to problem-solving.
Decide Which Languages to Learn
HTML: HTML (or Hypertext Markup Language) is one of the primary languages used for websites. Browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge read HTML documents and output the website to the user.
Java: Widely used in mobile application development.
Python: This is a great first language to learn because of its English-like syntax and user-friendly design. It allows you to develop apps quickly for a range of different use-cases including machine learning, data analysis, and web applications.
PHP: PHP (or Hypertext Preprocessor) is a server-side language used to add functionality to websites. It’s often used with databases to perform back-end tasks.
Go: This is an open-source programming language developed by Google. It follows syntax similar to C.
The Benefits of A Coding Career
More and more people are exploring careers in coding or web development, and there are some very good reasons for that trend.
Some benefits of this career path include fast job growth, the ability to work from anywhere, and the potential to pursue work in any industry.
Positive Job Growth:
Companies need to constantly update their technology, apps and websites to keep up with consumer demands. That means there's a growing demand for people who know how to code quickly and efficiently.
Remote Work Potential:
Whether you decide to work as a freelancer or for a company, you'll likely have the opportunity to work from home. Most of a coder's work can be done on a laptop with a secure connection, so you'll have the freedom to work out of whatever space works best for you - whether that's a co-working facility, your own home office, or an AirBnB in the Caribbean.
Flexibility to Work in Any Industry:
Coding is a tech skill, but that doesn't mean you have to work with a big tech company to earn a great paycheck. Coders are employed in just about every industry imaginable, including healthcare, manufacturing, travel and hospitality, and more.
Types of Coders
Coding or web development is generally divided between front-end coding, or back-end coding.
Front-end coders focus on building the user-facing aspects of a site or app. That includes fonts, buttons, page layouts and graphics.
Back-end coders build the inner functionality of the site. Back-end programming includes creating data infrastructures and making sites compatible with different browsers.
Coding VS. Web Development: How Is It Different?
The terms "coding" and "web development" are often used interchangeably, but they're not exactly the same thing.
Coding refers specifically to the act of learning a computer language and using it to build or change websites and apps.
Web development includes coding, but also typically encompasses the broader job responsibilities of managing development projects, interacting with a team, quality testing your work, and more.
When you start applying to jobs, you'll probably want to search for both entry-level coding roles, and junior web development jobs.
Resources for Learning More
Considering the popularity, scope, and effort required to code, you might be under the impression that learning to code is expensive. Fortunately, that's not always the case.
If you’re interested in learning how to code, here are some free online resources:
Thinkful: Our Software Engineering bootcamp is designed to help you learn the programming skills you need to get hired as a full-time programmer, even if you've never worked in tech before.
Code Avengers: One nice feature about this platform is that you can test what you have learned through quizzes and tutorials. Code Avengers is perfect for people with no coding experience.
Hour of Code: This resource attempts to put the fun back into coding. They provide you with small, interesting projects that bring out your passion for coding. You'll no longer see coding as tedious and time-consuming when you put your skills to use with these beginner-friendly challenges.
Mimo: This mobile app allows you to learn to code on the go. Understand how games are made or how websites are developed, with easy-to-digest, bite-sized lessons.
freeCodeCamp: You can start with basic coding using HTML and move on to more powerful languages. The platform provides free instructions and you can even become certified.
YouTube: There are countless YouTube channels offering free coding tutorials and advice. Whatever language you’re interested in, a quick search will bring up step-by-step guides by enthusiastic programmers keen to share their knowledge.
Steps for Starting a Career in Coding
When learning how to code, both theory and practice are important. Once you gain some basic programming skills, you need to continually practice to improve and develop. Always set tangible goals and hold yourself accountable as you learn.
You’ll make many mistakes along the way, but that's normal! Don't get discouraged.
Launch Your Web Development Career
Free online resources are a great place to start, but to take your education to the next level enroll in our online coding course. Kickstart your new career and learn all the skills you need to land a highly paid job in web development. In our web development bootcamp, you'll gain all the technical knowledge top employers need.
You'll graduate with a coding certificate that shows you completed the course and are committed to this path.
One of the great things about coding is that you can leverage your skills in a range of different fields: not just web development. If you’re still deciding which tech career is right for you, we recommend doing your research. Start by reading more articles about careers in coding, data analysis, and UX design to find the right fit.
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