Coding and programming are no longer the sole realms of computer scientists and people with complicated university degrees behind them. A lot of people teach themselves how to code from the comfort of their living room by using interactive online courses and tutorials.
While this type of learning is effective, it is important to identify the best way to learn coding before you start, otherwise, you won’t be getting the most out of your time.
There are a lot of different ways to learn coding, depending on your end goals and the language you choose to learn. While some people still attend courses at their local university or another teaching institute, online courses are becoming a lot more popular.
Many of these courses are interactive, which means that you can write your code while you are learning, fast-tracking your progress, and increasing your chances of becoming a gun programmer.
Some people still use textbooks as the basis for their learning, while others learn by watching video courses or using coding apps.
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Why Should I Learn How To Code?
As noted above, learning to code is becoming a very popular pastime, especially among younger people. Programming and coding are everywhere in the modern world.
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Pretty much every electronic device or other object containing a computer system - including things like cars and machinery - has to be programmed before it can be used, resulting in huge demand for experienced programmers.
However, a lot of people look at coding for beginners and ask themselves the question ‘Why should I learn how to code?’. The reality is, coding is the way of the future. If you can effectively learn coding, you will experience some of the following benefits:
Instead of having to call on technical support every time you can’t get a blog post to look right or can’t seem to work out how to add an animation to your website, you will be able to fix the problem yourself.
- Learning to code will make you much more employable. Even if coding and programming aren’t a requirement for your job, knowing them will make you a lot more valuable to your employer - see point 1 above. This can lead to increased job security, pay raises, and other benefits.
- Coding could lead to a new career path. If you decide to learn how to code, you could find yourself working as a freelance or contract programmer in no time at all. This will allow you to spend more time doing the things you enjoy and less time working - something we all dream of!
As you can see, there are many, many reasons why you should try and teach yourself how to code. Who knows - you might even find that it’s your real calling in life!
What Is The Best Way To Learn Coding?
Before we start here, it is important to note one key point which everyone should be aware of:
There is no single ‘best way to learn coding’.
That’s right, there isn’t any best way to learn coding. Since everyone is different and everyone learns differently, the best way to learn coding for one person will be completely different from the best way for another.
With this in mind, take a look at some of the most common ways to learn coding for beginners. These are modern ways to learn, along with more traditional computer science methods.
An Online Course
In the modern world, online courses are probably the most favored way to learn programming basics, especially if you are trying to teach yourself in your spare time.
Online courses are flexible, they usually cover a decent amount of material, and they are usually designed for people with little to no experience with coding.
Online courses come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Some of the more popular types include:
Video courses, which usually contain lecture series with worksheets or exercises that allow you to practice coding. Although simple, a lot of these courses run side by side with a code editor, allowing you to write your code as you watch the videos.
This can provide huge learning benefits, as it ensures that you remember the maximum amount possible and that you get the most out of your course.
You can try it yourself by enrolling in some coding video courses offered by BitDegree. By using BitDegree coupons you can even get these courses for free, so it's worth it to check out.
Another option is to use micro-scholarships to get your course fees completely sponsored by someone else.
Learning paths is a learning method that is especially effective when there's a lot of information to absorb. It focuses on dividing complex or/and vast topics into smaller chunks. It's a perfect learning method for those who are determined about their careers and want all of the information in one place.
Already have a career you want to pursue? Check the learning paths hand-picked and crafted by us. The roadmaps we created include courses from some of the best instructors in their area and are focused on practicality instead of theory.
Interactive online courses, which are something of a new invention. Interactive courses will lead you through a predefined scenario, guiding you towards an end goal. They are fun, exciting, and especially effective for young learners who may have trouble concentrating on basic video or text tutorials.
Text-based courses, which are usually cheap and effective. If you don’t have a lot of time or money to put towards your new coding endeavors, you should consider taking a simple text-based course.
Many text-based programming courses run alongside a code editor, allowing you to write your code and see it in action as you learn.
Many people will argue that the best way to learn coding is through structured online courses. While we won’t argue with that, we will point out that there are other ways to learn, including:
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By Watching Video Tutorials
A lot of people prefer not to follow a structured approach to learning things like how to code and programming basics. Instead, they like to teach themselves by doing things like watching videos online, reading stand-alone articles, and doing a lot of independent research and learning.
Popular video-sharing platforms like YouTube are great places to start if you would like to teach yourself how to code by watching video tutorials. Simply decide which language you want to learn and type it into the search bar.
Filter through the results until you find a couple of decent channels that offer engaging, high-quality content, and bookmark them for future reference.
There are two main benefits to taking this approach. First, learning like this allows you to learn as fast or slow as you want. If you are having trouble getting your mind around a concept, you can simply spend more time on it.
Likewise, if you are finding things easy, you can skip ahead rapidly, learning how to code in the shortest amount of time possible.
The second benefit of learning like this is the cost. While a lot of online courses and tutorials will cost you money, learning by watching videos will not! This is good for people who don’t have a lot of money to spend, who want to learn coding in their spare time, or who plan on learning for fun as much as anything.
Using Textbooks And Practicing
Although this probably isn’t the best way to learn coding, since it is a discipline that will inevitably involve computers and other technologies, a lot of people choose to start their coding journey with textbooks and other offline resources.
Textbooks and other offline resources can offer a lot of good information which is easy to access and simple to understand. However, we believe that they should be used in conjunction with decent online courses - such as those offered on the edX platform.
Using Gamified Apps
There is an increasing focus on teaching children how to code from a very young age. This has lead to the development of a large number of apps that are designed to teach coding in a fun, engaging manner.
Although a lot of adults may find coding games simple and boring, this is arguably the best way to learn coding for children.
While we probably wouldn’t recommend using coding apps exclusively, they can offer a great way to practice writing code. In an ideal world, you should use them alongside other resources like online courses.
When used right, coding apps can help fast track your progress, allowing you to enter the coding world and start developing your meaningful programs in next to no time.
7 Tips To Help You Learn Coding Faster
Now that we have covered what is the best way to learn coding, it’s time to look at the learning process itself. A lot of people start teaching themselves how to code but give up quickly due to a lack of drive, direction, or motivation.
When it comes to something like learning programming, you should be writing your code within a few weeks if you commit a decent amount of time to it.
Unfortunately, a lot of people get lost and fail even if they know the best way to learn coding, meaning that their progress slows and that it takes a lot of time and effort for them to move forward.
This in mind, we have put together a shortlist of a few of our top tips to help you learn to program faster:
Don’t Neglect Books
Sure, books and other offline resources may seem a little obsolete in the modern world of computer programming - after all, programming is something that is done with computers, on computers, and for computers. Simply because of that, very few people would name it as the best way to learn coding.
However, it is important to realize that books are still a very good resource, especially while you are still getting your head around your code and the best way to write it.
Once you have chosen a language or two, buy yourself a couple of reference books for those languages. Choose ones that have a full list of the syntax and functions of the language, as well as explanations of the most common functions.
Having this to refer to while learning and practicing will help you learn faster and more efficiently.
Teach Someone Else
While this may seem like a strange thing to do while you’re learning yourself, teaching and mentoring someone else can help you retain information better and learn faster.
Spend a few weeks or months learning the basics of your chosen language, and then start searching for someone to mentor. Websites like Hack.pledge are designed for exactly this, and you will be able to find someone who you can help here.
When you are just starting, you might even choose to find a mentor here to help you get past difficult concepts or things that you’re having trouble with. Personally, I believe that teaching someone else is the best way to learn coding.
Remember when you were in school, and you used to play maths, spelling, and typing games? Although you probably didn’t realize it, these games have been carefully designed to complement your learning and to help you overcome difficult concepts.
In the same way, playing coding games can help you learn faster. When used right, they will help you revise difficult concepts that you might have learned in the past, reinforcing them so that they stay in your brain.
Although they are probably aimed more at children and younger learners, people of all ages will benefit from playing coding games.
Explore Someone Else’s Code
Since a lot of coding and programming is open source, it’s very easy to find a piece of code somewhere to explore yourself. Try and find something which isn’t too complex if you’re a beginner, and then look at it closely, noting the following:
- Consider the function of each line of code. Are the most efficient methods being used, or are there better ways to do some things?
- Think about ways you could change to the code to add more functionality or to make it do different things.
- Are there any mistakes in the code? If so, where?
You should be able to find good source code snippets on a website like GitHub, but remember to re-share your code if you manage to make improvements to it! It not only could be the best way to learn coding for you, but you might also help somebody in need.
Take A Free Course
Free online courses are a great way to get started when it comes to learning the basics of coding. Some people would even argue that free online courses are the best way to learn to code, especially for beginners.
Unfortunately, most free courses - including those offered by BitDegree - are not comprehensive enough to teach you everything that you need to know.
Sure, they are a good starting point, but you will need to take the initiative and move onto a better course once you have completed your free learning. For example, you might decide that you want to learn HTML, CSS, and other front-end programming techniques.
You could start with BitDegree’s free Interactive HTML, CSS & Web Development course. However, you will complete this in a couple of hours if you put your mind to it, after which you will need to move onto something like the Comprehensive HTML5 Tutorial.
Identify Why You Want To Code
Now, arguably the most important thing to do before you start your coding journey is to identify your reasons for learning how to code. You shouldn't start looking for the best way to start coding until you have identified the reasons why you want to code in the first place.
Different people want to learn programming for different reasons, and the courses you take and the direction you go in will depend on your reasons for learning. Consider the following:
- What do you hope to get out of programming?
- Do you want to become a career programmer, or is it simply a hobby for you?
- Are you interested in building games, websites, apps, or something else?
There are plenty of different types of coders and programmers out there, each of which needs a different skill set. If you want to do a certain job with your coding knowledge, make sure that you learn the right languages.
Focus On One Language & Be Patient!
In the same way, it is important to focus on one language (in most cases) when you are getting started, otherwise it is too easy to get confused and to mix up the syntax.
The exception to this rule would be when you are planning on becoming a front-end web developer. In this case, you would start by learning both HTML and CSS together. Neither of these languages is very useful on their own, so in most cases, you will be using them both at the same time anyway.
So you’ve done a bit of research, have been thinking about it for a while, and have decided that you want to become a coder. But now what? How do you go about getting started on your journey?
Well, the first thing to do is to identify the best way to learn coding for you. For most people, the best way to start learning will be using an interactive coding course like those offered by BitDegree.
The following steps should guide you as you look for coding courses, decide on a language, and think about the best resources to use.
- Start by choosing a language. Think about what you hope to get out of your coding course, what kind of work you hope to do with your new programming knowledge in the future, and how much time you have to commit to coding. Most people choose simple languages like Python, Java, or HTML/CSS when they are starting, but this is by no means a must.
- Find a course.Once you have chosen your language, it’s time to think about what course you’re going to take. There are plenty of options out there for real beginners, especially if you’re happy to pay for them. For example, if you choose to learn Python on the BitDegree platform, you will have a choice of four different courses - a Python Tutorial, a Python Basics course, a Python Imaging course, and Learn to Make Python Data Structures.
- Start learning! Now, all that you have to do is start learning your new language. Make sure that you practice regularly, try writing your programs once you have developed a little knowledge, and take notes about difficult concepts.
The best way to learn coding is something that programmers, developers, and computer scientists throughout the world have been arguing about for the last decade or so.
While there is no clear ‘best way to learn coding’ that applies to everyone, interactive online courses are becoming increasingly popular. They allow people to learn from home in their spare time, they offer increasingly efficient learning pathways, and they are fun at the same time!
If you are thinking about learning how to program, you will need to start by choosing a language to learn. Base your choice on the type of programming work you hope to do in the future, and take a look at the wide range of courses offered on the edX platform.
Remember, progress takes time, so don’t expect to become a master programmer overnight. Stick to it and practice regularly, and you will improve rapidly. Good luck, and most importantly, remember to have fun on your journey towards becoming the world’s next super hacker!