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Learn How To Code

Coding is one of the most valuable skills that you can pick up in today’s digital society. Computer science jobs are on the rise and most other jobs as well are requiring their employees to have backgrounds in CS.

No matter how old you are, you should definitely consider learning to code. Even if you aren’t interested in becoming a CS Major or applying for CS jobs, coding is essential for today’s age and it will continue to grow as an invaluable skill.

Computer science can even be learned from a young age. In many states across the US, schools are pushing computer science education through many courses such as Intro to Java and AP Computer Science. In addition to such classes, there are an abundance of free opportunities online for people looking to learn how to code.

In general, these are the steps that you should proceed to take when you are beginning to code:

  1. Choose the language you want to learn
  2. Programming Languages Image
    "Programming Languages. pixabay.com/p-898961/?no_redirect."

    There are more than hundred programming languages in the world today. That being said, it is best to specialize and master only the programming languages that you are interested in. Also, keep in mind that there is no “perfect” language. Once you learn one language, the others will become fairly easy to pick up. Some common examples of programming languages are HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), Javascript, Java, C, C++, Python, and Ruby. The following chart ranks the most used programming languages by the TIOBE index.

    CS Language Rankings Image
    "Programming Languages. Dec. 2017, stackify.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/word-image-9.png."

    Two examples of coding pathways are Web Development/Design and Mobile App Development. In order to become a web developer/designer, you need to master the programming languages HTML, CSS, Javascript, and a database oriented language (e.g. SQL). On the other hand, to become a mobile app developer, you must learn either Java (to become an Android app developer) or Swift (to become an iOS developer).

  3. Find online resources
    • Programming Books
    • The most traditional way of learning computer science is through reading textbooks. There are over 500 free textbooks on Github as well as many more free coding ebooks. Even though reading textbooks is not the most fun way to learn, it is definitely helpful when you need you get stuck on a problem or need to look something up.

    • Coding courses
    • There are an abundance of coding courses that are free for anyone to take. You can find such courses on learning management websites likes Coursera, Udemy, and edX. You can complete these courses at your own pace. However, while it possible to get certificates for complete these courses, they often come at a small price (e.g. $15).

    • Coding Games
    • Coding games can be a great way to practice the coding skills that you have learnt so far. Nonetheless, such games cannot teach you everything you need to learn about a specific language so additional resources are required. Still, definitely play any coding games you can find online as they are not only helpful; they are also very fun! Examples of coding games are CodinGame, CodeMonkey, Ruby Warrior, and Robocode.

    • Online Coding Websites
    • There are many online websites that teach coding through interactive tutorials. Some of the more popular ones include Codeacademy, Free Code Camp, Hacker Rank, Code Wars, Khan Academy, and CodeHS.

    • Youtube Videos
    • Youtube channels can prove to be very helpful when learning how to code since the people making the videos will often screenshare and let the viewers watch them and see exactly how they are coding.

    • Do Projects
    • One of the best ways to learn computer science is through projects. Projects allow you to have fun creating something that you are interested in. In addition, the act of doing allows you to develop a deeper understanding of the material.

  4. Be patient and have fun
  5. Coding is not easy to learn so be prepared for many struggles on your path to becoming a programmer. Once your hard work pays off, you will have many pathways opened up to you, ready for you to explore. Coding is a great skill to have and you will have a lot of fun learning it.

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Tagged in :Computer Science

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Rohan Rodrigues

Rohan is a junior at Fremont High School. He has an avid interest in technology and its application to science. He is the Co-President of Fremont High's Programming Club as well as a board member of many other clubs on campus.