Coding (also known as computer programming) is the process that allows computers to perform useful tasks. Skilled software developers write lines of code to tell machines how to accomplish a specific goal.

These instructions can be simple or incredibly complex depending on the software requirements. A basic calculator app can be written in just a few lines of code. On the other hand, an entire operating system consists of millions of lines of code stored in hundreds of different files.

A career in coding is perfect for technically minded individuals who have a passion for problem-solving. If you’re keen for a future in programming, we're here to run through some of the coding skills you’ll need to get started. We’ll also discuss online coding courses and how you can learn these career-ready coding skills from leading experts.

Learn to Code with Thinkful

Take the proven path to a high-income career with professional mentorship and support, flexible ways to pay, and real-world, project-based learning.

Required Programming Skills

Programming languages are used to instruct computers and machines to perform certain tasks. Each language has its own strengths and weaknesses. Understanding these is essential if you want to make it in this field and learn what a coder does.

Some common programming languages include:

Write Clear, Understandable Code

Most coders work on existing software written by other programmers. This means it’s extremely important to write clear and easy to understand code. Not just for your colleagues either. You might return to some of your own code years later and forget how it works.

Commenting is one way to make code more understandable and involves writing short, single-line notes throughout your program. These notes explain in plain English what each section of code is trying to achieve. You can also write concerns or flag areas of code that might need updating. The compiler ignores comments so they don’t affect your program in any way.

Consistent formatting and indentation is another method you can use to help your code read better. Avoid writing Spaghetti code which is unstructured and hard to maintain. Don’t repeat lines of similar code, instead try to build a separate function that you can call multiple times.

Develop Logical Thinking

Logic is one of the most important skills to have if you want to become a coder. It’s used to conceptualize efficient solutions and fix bugs in code. The good news is, logic can be developed over time by training your mind.

Tools like Dcoder can help build your logic and reasoning skills by giving you problems to solve. You can also use the conditional thinking approach that uses the ‘if this, then that’ technique. This approach is used to test variables against values.

Consider spending time on creative hobbies and games. Chess and Sodoku are perfect for developing logical thinking. Don’t worry too much though, you’ll naturally learn to think logically as you learn programming techniques and gain experience as a coder.

Other Technical Coding Skills

Together with core programming skills, a coder is also expected to understand the following principles:

Coders Also Require Soft Skills

Soft skills (also called interpersonal, essential, and non-cognitive skills) are concerned with how you work in a professional environment. As a coder, you’ll interact with many different people. For requirement capture, you’ll need regular client meetings. Chances are you’ll be working as part of a team, so you’ll also need to discuss development with other coders. The following soft skills are required to become a successful coder:

How to Learn Coding Skills

The coding industry is highly dynamic and constantly evolving. To be a successful coder, you should keep on top of industry trends and stay relevant. There are multiple ways of gaining fundamental coding knowledge:

How to Stay Relevant in the Coding World

Your learning doesn’t stop once you land a job. You have to continue learning and upgrading your skills to stay in the field. Some tips for doing that include:

Learn Key Coding Skills for a Bright Future in Tech

Even if you’re not certain about your future career direction, learning to code is always a wise choice. You’ll not only gain an advantage in any technical role but managerial jobs can also benefit from coding know-how. By understanding the coding tasks you demand from your team, you can be a more effective manager.

To get started, enroll in our software engineering bootcamp where you’ll learn fundamental coding skills from scratch. Our expert team will support you every step of the way and beyond. As part of this coding course, you’ll build a professional portfolio of work to wow future employers and help you land your dream coding job.

Before securing any coding position you’ll need to impress during an interview. Take a look at our post on coding interview questions to get an idea of what to expect.


Can I learn coding on my own?

Yes. You can start to learn coding with any programming language. A few basics for creating your first program are to code by hand, check the syntax, experiment with changes and start debugging. This will familiarize you with the entire process and will come in handy as you take on more challenging assignments.

What type of projects would I work on as a coder?

Some interesting projects that you will be working on as a coder or programmer are building multi-page responsive websites, redesigning existing websites, creating interactive games and applications and taking on web scraping activities for a better understanding of user experience and engagement.

Does Thinkful teach these skills?

Yes! Our Software Engineering Bootcamp will teach you multiple languages including C, C++, Java, and JavaScript. This course is designed for anyone who is motivated to start a career in tech and include many interesting exercises learners can benefit from, even if they don’t have a background in coding.

Learn to Code with Thinkful

Take the proven path to a high-income career with professional mentorship and support, flexible ways to pay, and real-world, project-based learning.

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