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How to Learn Coding

Up to this point, we’ve covered “What is Coding?” and “Is Coding Hard to Learn?” Now, we’re going to shed some light on how to learn coding. While learning how to code may seem daunting, it isn’t as complicated as one may think when taken one step at a time.

But before you start sprinting, let’s get you up and walking first.

Why Learn Coding?

We live in a computerized world. Many companies rely on the work of web developers, IT professionals, and software engineers to operate their business. And each of these technology aficionados knows, in their own capacity, what coding entails — including how to read and write it. But learning to code isn’t something only for the people in a professional setting. Anyone can learn how to code!

Here are just a few reasons why you should learn coding:

  • Opens up new job opportunities, especially in software development
  • Makes your resume stand out
  • Supports career growth
  • Helps you understand different aspects of technology
  • Enhances your ability to problem solve
  • Allows you to pursue passion projects (e.g., video game development, starting an eCommerce website, building an app, etc.)
  • Boosts interpersonal skills because of its enormous community of fellow coders
  • Can lead to freelance or contract work
  • Fosters creativity

We’ve all said things like “I don’t know where to start” or “I don’t know if I can do it.” Maybe you’re saying it right now. But therein lies the first lesson: You have to be patient and you have to be diligent. Learning something new isn’t necessarily easy, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Still don’t believe us? Don’t take our word for it. Hit play below to see what Kenzie alum Daniel Ratzlaff has to say about things he wish he knew before starting in a coding school and how it’s more achievable than you might think.

Beyond hard work and consistency, let’s jump into several ways how to learn coding:

Ways to Learn Coding

  • Your Reasoning

    The first step should be to ask yourself why you want to learn the art of coding. Are you eager to start a new career? Are you looking to further your current standing in your current position? Do you want to pick up a new hobby? Do you have a desire to be a tech trailblazer and make an innovation no one has ever seen before?

    At this stage, you need to be open and honest with your purpose. Knowing this allows you to clear your path and begin to construct a game plan. Without a solid understanding of your aspirations, you’re destined to spin your wheels and struggle to find direction.

  • Set Goals

    As with learning any new skill, setting goals is a paramount part of your checklist. Do things like set tentative timelines, prepare the finances needed for education, manage your schedule to ensure you’re allocating enough time to learning the ropes, etc. This will help you determine what programming language to begin learning first.

    Think about what will set the stage for your success, the job you want or the type of project to start, and so on. Instead of learning for the sake of it, make solid, attainable goals to keep you moving forward.

  • Learn the Basics

    Coding is all around us. You interact with it every day whether you know it or not. To get a foothold in the industry, familiarize yourself with the basics. Check out some of our other blogs that cover topics such as “What Exactly Is a Programming Language?” as well as which job does what and the differences between popular coding languages. Pairing these educational articles with watching videos, reading books, and joining coding communities can give you a base knowledge on what coding is and what to expect when writing and reading it.

  • Pick Your Programming Language

    At this point, you may have a good idea of what area of expertise you’d like to pursue. But, if you still are unsure, check out our “What Programming Language Should I Learn?” article to get direction. While there isn’t necessarily a “best” language, there are those that are more user-friendly to learn than others when you’re just beginning to learn to code. We recommend first learning HTML and CSS as they are both cornerstones of the coding world. They will allow you to get comfortable creating content and adjusting its appearance.

    Next, we recommend exploring a program language that is easy to learn and best meets your long-term goals. Python, JavaScript, Java, and Ruby are a few of the easier ones to learn and offer the most career flexibility. Learning just one language provides you with fundamentals and allows you to learn the next language at a quicker, more efficient pace.

  • Choosing Your Education

    Determining how you want to go about learning to code and to what extent is entirely your choice. It’s common for many aspiring coders, developers, and engineers to take it upon themselves to learn how to write code. Being self-taught gives you the freedom to put as much time and effort in as you wish — whenever you want.

    The issue with self-teaching is that accountability is everything. Missing one day can turn into two, which can turn into a week, and before you know it your schedule is broken, goals are pushed back, and you aren’t making headway. Teaching yourself, in the beginning, is an excellent way to dip your toes in the pool. But the way forward without any structure is a difficult path to take.

    What makes for the best method of learning is to take classes or sign up for a program that best suits your ideal end goal. At Kenzie Academy, you can find tech programs that have the curriculum and guidance of field experts to foster your success. The benefit of opting for a tech school like Kenzie Academy is that programs are 100% online. Additionally, you’ll be paired with an advisor who helps configure a schedule that is completely planned around prior obligations, jobs, family, finances, etc. Your goals are our goals.

  • Start a Project

    Learning isn’t all homework and exams — have fun with it and get creative. After all, this is all about you. You can arm yourself with certifications or fill your coding toolbox with a number of programming languages, but any coder will tell you that reaching veteran status won’t happen without putting your skills to the test. And one of the best ways to do that is to start your own project.

    While your project doesn’t have to be super complex, it should be something you enjoy working on — and want to work on it often. Start with something simple, but with room to make it as big and detailed as you want. Your project should involve the skills you’ve learned as well as those you’re still honing. As you continue to learn and get better in certain aspects, apply them to add something new or enhance what you’ve already created. Have a vision and manifest it into existence.

  • Practice

    And practice some more — whenever you can, and as much as your schedule will allow.

Get more tips on how to succeed in coding school! Hit play below to hear from another Kenzie alum Jacob Short and what he would tell his pre-Kenzie self before starting his journey in tech.

You Can Do This

Throughout the article, we’ve dropped other resources that will help you not only learn the basics but also find the area of expertise you feel comfortable with. In addition to everything you’ve learned here, we can’t stress enough that it’s OK that if along the way you fail or falter — just never stop trying to be better. Becoming a proficient coder won’t happen overnight. But staying true to your goals will ultimately lead to you becoming an excellent coder. Start your journey today by applying to Kenzie Academy!

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