In this guide, we will cover how you can teach yourself computer programming. Learning how to code is in essence the process of acquiring a new language and a new mindset. Computer programming has become the fad of our times, its benefits are numerous and the way to learn it is rather straightforward and easy.

To learn how to code, one first needs to develop a learning strategy. Below, I have listed a few things to consider before embarking on your journey.

Which Programming Language Should I learn?

The first question you need to answer is which programming language do you wish to learn? You need to be absolutely sure, as adamant as one can be, that the language of your choosing is the one that fits your needs.

I Want to Create Websites

If you are primarily interested in developing websites, you may consider HTML and CSS (these are technically not programming languages but markup languages) as the corner stones of your web development education. The former will help you develop static websites whereas the latter will help you style the websites which you have created. Following this, you can venture into PHP and JavaScript. These two constitute the most popularly used (and therefore, most in demand) programming languages in existence.

I Want to Create Software

To create software, games and similar applications, these are the languages you will need to focus on; C and C++ will constitute a nice starting point. These are among the most popular programming languages used today and they will cover much of the basics and ‘intermediaries’ of coding. You should note that these are typically characterized as having a steep learning curve. Having that stated, learning C/C++ is beneficial seeing as so many computer games and applications in Windows are based on these languages.

Graph of programming languages trends

I Want to Create Smartphones applications for iPhone/Android

If you are primarily focused on creating mobile applications for Android, you should begin by learning Java using the Android Development Kit. Learning Java is further useful as it can run on virtually any OS, although the performance is typically not as good as when something has been created to run natively.

As far as iPhone apps and other Apple products are concerned, you will need to learn Objective-C as this is the main language used to develop apps for the OS X operating system used by iPhone. To decide which language you place an emphasis on, it is perhaps wise to ask whether or not you intend to sell the app for a fee or release it as a free product (with or without ads). The old saying goes that Android is better when it comes to free apps which produces revenue through ads whereas iPhone apps generally make more money through paid apps.

Where To Find Resources to Learn How To Code

There are lots of free tutorials, guides and articles on the web that can teach you how to begin coding. All you need to do is search youtube and you’ll find lots of videos showing you how to code in your language of preference. Although video tutorials are very useful, they shouldn’t constitute your sole method of learning. There are some really useful textbooks (which you can find both online and in libraries and bookstores) that cover an entire programming language from A to Z.

In short, to learn how to code, you should consult the following methods:

  • Video tutorials
  • Articles
  • eBooks
  • Textbooks

The different categories mentioned above can comprise both free as well as premium resources. In pursuing knowledge about how to program, it is crucial that you attempt to follow the examples provided in these guides. Programming is not something that you learn from a book, rather it is a continuous process of trial and error. This is how programmers get things done. A piece of code may not work immediately but given enough tries, it tends to work out fine in the end. It is also important that you do not give up too quickly. It takes time before you can develop intricate applications so do keep at it, every little step that you take in your journey brings you ever closer to your eventual target.