Programming is lots of fun and extraordinarily useful. It allows you to be creative and also opens up a wide range of new careers for you. If you want to learn how to program, read the tutorial below for an explanation of where to go and what to study.
Part1Choosing a Language
- 1Choose a programming language. Computer programming is done as essentially a set of written instructions that the computer follows (also known as binary coding). These instructions can be written in several different “languages”, or which are simply different ways of organizing the instructions and text. Different languages tend to be used to create different types of programs, however, so choose a language that you feel is relevant to what you want to do. If you decide that a language does not suit your needs, you can always move on to a new language.
- 2Consider C, C++, C# and related languages. These languages are mainly used for creating standalone computer applications such as games. C and C++ are difficult languages to learn for a beginner, but not impossible. Learning them will give you an in-depth understanding of not only programming (most programming languages inherit some concept or the other from C and C++) but also of how a computer works. They are popular and widely used, though C#, a language very similar to Java, is starting to become much more common.
- 4Try Python. Python is a very versatile language used widely across several platforms. Despite being extremely powerful, it is an easy language for a beginner to pick up, so give it a try!
- 5Consider PHP. PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Processor. It is a web programming language and relatively easy to learn due to its weak typing and popularity (popularity means there will be several useful tutorials on the language). It is a great language for server-side programming.
- 6Don’t limit yourself to these languages! There are tons of programming languages, all with varying uses. If you want to work as a programmer, you will need to know more than one, so learn as many as you can.
- Your best bet will be to look at ads for the sort of jobs you want to get and look for the common languages that they ask for.
Part2Learning the Language
- 1Think about going to school. While most companies hiring a programmer will care more about your skills than the college you went to or your grades, it greatly helps to have a college degree to point to. You will learn more efficiently than if you teach yourself, all while getting expert guidance from your teachers (and maybe your friends).
- There are often scholarships and grants available to those doing degrees in this field. Don’t feel intimidated by the price tag of a degree: it is possible!
- 2Learn from online universities. Whether you do an online degree with fees and an actual degree at the end or you’re attending a free program like MIT’s wonderful Coursera, you can learn a lot about programming from these structured courses.
- 3Try using online tools. Use free services like Google’s University Consortium or Mozilla’s Developer Network to learn more about programming. These companies want more developers to help their platforms flourish and their resources can be some of the best on the web.
- 4Learn using online tutorials. There are loads of programmers with websites where they will teach you the individual basics, as well as a few tricks. Look up tutorials on the language you want to learn to find these.
- Many free online classes are available to learn to code from. The Khan Academy teaches computer coding, with easy tutorials and videos. Codecademy is another free site to learn from, with step-by-step tutorials.
- 5Start young if you can. There are several programs designed to teach kids to program. Programs like MIT’s Scratch are very helpful and the younger you are, the easier it will be to pick up (like any language).
- Avoid kits, as these rarely teach anything useful.
- 1Start with a good book or tutorial on programming. Get a good, current book on the programming language you want to learn. Reviews on Amazon or similar sites will usually help you identify helpful books from unhelpful ones.
- 2Get an interpreter for that language. An interpreter is just another computer program but it will convert ideas you’ve written in a programming language into “machine code” so you can see things work. Lots of programs are available and you will need to choose one that is appropriate for you.
- 3Read the book! Take examples of the programming language from the book and put them into your interpreter. Try changing the examples and making the program do different things.
- 4Try putting together your ideas to form a working program. Start with simple things, like a program to convert currencies, and work your way up to more complex things as you continue reading and learning about your programming language.
- 5Learn another language. Once you start actively programming in your first language, you may want to learn a second one. You’ll get the most out of learning a second programming language if you pick one that uses a radically different paradigm than the one you started with. For instance, if you started in Scheme, you might try learning C or Java next. If you started in Java, you could learn Perl or Python.
- 6Continue programming and trying new things! To be a good programmer, you, at the very least, have to keep up with changing technology. It’s a constant learning process, and you should always be learning new languages, new paradigms, and most importantly: programming new things!
- Being a successful programmer means learning to think like one. You’ll need to look at challenges as learning opportunities, desire to improve your skills and be open to new ways of improving your programming process.
- QuestionWhat kind of programming books are good for beginners?Community AnswerCheck out “For Kids” books, like Python for Kids. Even if you’re not a kid, the books are still useful for beginners as they explain things with extreme clarity and simplicity.Not Helpful 39Helpful 293
- QuestionWhere can I find free coding practice problems?Community AnswerCheck out sites like TopCoder, Google Code Jam, CodingBat, and Codecademy.Not Helpful 52Helpful 283
- QuestionHow can I practice programming languages?Community AnswerThe best way to practice programming is to write a computer program. No flashcards or note-taking is necessary, just do it. You may make mistakes, but that’s how you learn!Not Helpful 29Helpful 168
- QuestionAre there any free classes for computer programming?Community AnswerYes! Codeacademy is a popular online option. Khanacademy is another option. If you want something more advanced, try MIT Opencourseware. Be aware that none of the above options grant you degrees or diplomas!Not Helpful 26Helpful 159
- QuestionI am a high school student. Can you recommend a programming language for me to learn?Community AnswerLearn Python or Java. Many universities and colleges teach these languages, so learning them is a great preparation for Computer Science and Software Engineering programs! There are also a lot of jobs out there that require Python and/or Java developers!Not Helpful 32Helpful 153
- QuestionHow can I motivate myself in programming?Community AnswerTry to think about the process as if it were a championship. If you were in some kind of sports, for example in boxing, you know that to beat your opponent and to be the best requires hard training and dedication. The same applies here – you want to be better than the other programmers to get recognition, the best jobs, etc.Not Helpful 19Helpful 100
- QuestionI am confused about where to start learning? I’d like to have practical training.Community AnswerJust take your time and take it slowly. You might like to use codecademy or the Khan academy — these are useful websites with many tutorials for you to learn from.Not Helpful 39Helpful 179
- QuestionHow can I study computer languages if I’m a 13 -year-old boy?Community AnswerSoloLearn.com is a great place to start where you can learn many programming languages.Not Helpful 13Helpful 63
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- Start with something fun, motivate yourself to solve challenges, progressing your skills in logical problem-solving.
- Java has a powerful concept called multithreading. Study it carefully.
- Get a handy reference book. Make sure it’s the latest version as languages keep updating.
- Use Eclipse when writing Java programs. It’s an extremely useful program that can debug your code and you can run your code instantly, as well as using the package explorer to flick through multiple files of your code.
- Don’t start with a complex language like Java, but start with an easy language like Python. Python encourages beginners and is composed of almost every aspect of programming.
- By heart, the syntax is a must. You are free to apply it in your way. Study some sample programs then start coding your own.
- There is a very good programming language that is very easy to use for beginners. This is also known as user-friendly. And this is the VB ( Visual Basic language), try this it is amazing.