A Beginner's Guide to Computer Programming with No Experience
Beginners guide to computer programming with introduction to basic concepts like IDEs, compilers, interpreters, tailored for individuals without any prior coding knowledge.
Hello my friends on the internet, ever dreamed of building apps, games, and websites? automating your tasks or the cool bots that greet you on your achievements, and create schedules for you? Well, all this magic is made possible by computer programming. everything you see on the internet, the apps you use, the games you play, and even the appliances in your home have some connections with the programming.
Learning computer programming is a superpower, it makes you the magician of computer wonderland. As I mentioned earlier, computer programming is what powers all these stuff like apps, games, websites, automated replies, and many more. Today, almost everything is somewhat connected to computers, the internet and computer programming are the driving force behind this.
Once you learn computer programming, you can build your SAAS startup, and create your apps, new doors will open up to your imagination, and the creativity within you. That's not all but once you learn computer programming, you can advance in your career, it is a must-have skill in today's digital world.
Now comes the time to understand the types of programming languages, Programming languages are classified into mainly 3 categories:
- Low-Level Programming Languages
- Medium-Level Programming Languages
- High-Level Programming Languages
You may wonder, what kind of levels are these, right? Well, these are the difficulty levels for a computer. Low-level means they are easier to understand for the computers, and similarly High-level means difficult for a computer to understand. Here's a good article on Types of Programming Languages and Basic Programming Concepts, once you gain an understanding of the programming languages, types of programming languages, and the tools required to compile or run the code, it'll be easier for us to select one in the next step.
Ok, now that I believe, I've convinced you enough to start your programming journey, but here comes the major challenges. what programming language to learn? and how easy or difficult the path will be. How to select a programming language for X?
Well now before moving ahead, let's clear these things first, programming languages are nothing but tools, it's not the computer program but your logic that does the trick. it is up to you how to use these tools to build your own stuff. Each programming language has its own strengths and specialties, but this does not mean that you cannot do X thing using Y programming language, it's just that some programming languages are more specialized for a particular thing.
Here is an example, of C Program for hello world
Did you see, just to write a simple hello world, one needs to understand the concepts like preprocessors and all, but on the other hand Python needs only one line to print hello world on the console, see the example below.
Selecting a programming language needs some research, you need to decide the end goal first, the outcome you want, and then you decide on which programming language to select.
- If you want to build mobile apps, you should learn Java, kotlin, Swift, dart, etc.
- If you have an interest in data science, you should opt for Python, R, and similar languages.
- If you are interested in embedded systems, and electronics, go for C, or C++.
- Automating tasks? Python is your friend. and for general-purpose programming,
That's not all while choosing a programming language, you should see the community support for that specific language, by community support I mean, the activity on developer forums, such as StackOverflow, the libraries available, and toolings such as IDEs, debuggers, etc.
Now once you select your end goal, and a programming language, it's time to dive into the computer programming world, start with the basics but before that, you need to set up your development environment, download and install the necessary software, programming language tools, package managers, SDKs, etc.
Once the necessary software and tools are installed, you can start learning the specific programming language. there are various ways such as:
- Interactive Platforms: Several online platforms offer learning along with exercises, so you can learn and apply the concepts, this is a great idea if you prefer the learn and practice simultaneously.
- Video Tutorials and Courses: YouTube has a variety of videos on programming languages, and basic programming concepts, and platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and many others platforms provide great content on computer programming.
- Books (Ebooks or hard copies): Another way is to learn by reading books, this way you can go at your own pace and practice along, I started my programming journey with Books.
Here are the steps that I follow to learn any programming language or framework:
- Start with crash course: There are plenty of videos, and crash courses available on YouTube and other course websites.
- Learn the basic constructs: Understand the control structures, keywords, syntaxes, and other features.
- Start a Mini Project: Once you understand the strengths, and capabilities of that specific programming language, build a simple project on that.
That's all. For any programming language, it is always a better idea to learn by building projects rather than learning theoretically.
Now that you have gained a basic understanding, it's time to apply this in real-world scenarios. Learning code is like gaining a new skill. it takes time to master, and the best way to do is to practice.
- Build Smart Projects: Start with building mini projects, such as calculators, To-Do lists, appointment apps, tic tac toe games, etc to enhance your skills.
- Participate In Online Challenges: Participating in Online challenges and Hackathons is the best way to apply your knowledge. I used to participate in coding contests, which not only enhance your skill set but earn you certificates and badges too.
- Contribute to Open Source: Join and contribute to open-source projects, open-source projects are great ways to contribute, they not only sharpen your coding skills but also allow you to collaborate with fellow developers.
Here are few platforms where you can start practicing your programming skills:
Once you learn programming, you can advance your career, build your own SaaS startups or bring your imagination to life, but before that here are few Project Ideas that you can build to gain confidence and Practice.
- To Do list: A To-Do list application to manage the tasks with the status options "Completed", "To Do", "In Progress", and ability to add or delete the tasks from the list.
- Temperature Converter: An application to convert the temperatures from the Farenheit to Degree Celcius and Degree Celcius to Farenheit, vice-versa.
- Calculator: A basic calculator applicatio with simple operations, such as addition, substraction, multiplication and division.
- Note Taking App: An application to take the notes and store them in any database.
- Dice Roller: An application to randomly generate a number between 1 to 6, to emulate a dice.
Computer Programming is a must-have skill in today's digital world. it allows you to build apps, and games, automate tasks, and advance your career. but as every skill needs practice to keep it up to date, programming also needs practice to enhance the skills, online contests, interactive platforms, and coding challenges are the best ways to enhance your coding skills.
But Remember, as I said earlier, programming languages are just tools, logic is everything, and it's your logic that does these mysterious things. If you have prior experience with any programming language, learning another language won't take even a single day (not exaggerating), it's just matter of syntax, and the concepts like loops, condititonal structures, and other things are almost similar for any programming language, so once you learn any programming language perfectly, it won't be difficult for you to learn another one.
- Can I learn computer programming on my own?
Yes, Computer Programming can be learnt on your own, Youtube has a great content on computer programming, also there are several platforms that provides certifications and resources for learning programming languages.
- How to learn computer programming for beginners?
Start with crash courses on YouTube, get familiar with programming languages, their types, and the basic concepts, after that start building projects and participate in online challeneges, coding contests and hackathons.
- Can I learn coding without computer science degree?
Computer programming can be learnt by anyone regardless of degree or education, one can start their coding journey with online resources, books, YouTube videos and platforms like Udemy, Coursera, after that start participating in hackathons, coding contests and online competitions to showcase your coding skills also you can get certified from online platforms.