Programming can be a bit to byte off
LEARNING a programming language is fast becoming a very valuable skill in modern times.
Most workplaces these days use at least one form of ‘built for purpose’ application to manage their workflows.
The ability to create or edit such a program can make you an invaluable asset to a company, or make you a fierce competitor if you run a small business of your own.
While I personally believe that those who advocate for teaching every child in our schools to code are overestimating the amount of jobs available in programming (after all, the purpose of coding is commonly to build some form of application that is accessible to large groups who don’t know how to code, or for whom it would be an inefficient use of their time), it certainly won’t hurt people to look into it if they are interested, and if they see a personal need.
But the question faced by most people when they are looking into the subject is ‘Where do I even begin?’
Start by asking yourself why you want to learn a programming language.
Where you begin will largely depend on the purpose for which you intend to learn coding, and how much time you have to devote to learning.
If you want to become a professional programmer, a university course is likely your best bet.
If you want to build apps or games in your spare time, there is a wealth of free resources online - from courses, to software development kits, to open-source code modules.
The website ‘Bloc’ has a great comparison tool for helping you decide which online course you could potentially take, based on your need. Which language do you learn? Competitiveness and prejudice aside, there is no ‘best’ language to learn.
Some languages are more ‘beginner friendly’, but again, the language you learn will largely depend on the reason you want to learn.
For example, If you want to build an app specifically for IOS, then learning Swift (Apple’s own language) would be recommended.
And just like ‘normal’ languages, once you’ve learned one additional language, learning more becomes much easier, so don’t fret too much. Start with the basics I know you have this great idea for an app.
It merges Facebook and Twitter and Youtube and Instagram and SnapChat.
It wakes you up in the morning and makes you coffee too.
It’s also a fantasy until you learn from the beginning. Repeat after me: ‘Hello, World.’ Patience isn’t a virtue, it’s a necessity.
When most people start looking into programming, they are put off by the perceived laboriousness and monotony for less than spectacular results.
But if you are determined, you will get there, and it really won’t take that long for you to reach a point where it all starts clicking and making sense. That’s when it starts getting fun. Happy crunching.
RESPECT THE SYNTAX: Interested in programming? There are some great resources online to get you started. ◆