Get Started In Coding

How To Get Started In Coding

Due to the number of requests posted to me on social media, I decided to write a post on how to get started in coding, including going to a code camp. This post will center around what’s needed to get started and what to expect at the end of your studies.

Intro

Firstly, there is a misconception around coding, it’s simply wrong to believe only some people can do it. Anyone can learn how to code with the correct resources and some dedication.

Some personal abilities will of course help, but that is more when it comes to homing in on a specific area or niche within coding that you wish to pursue a career, or just as something on the side to hopefully earn you some extra money for your hard work. These abilities don’t necessarily have to be in any way associated with coding.

 

Getting Started

If you want to get started in coding, probably the best place to start is with FreeCodeCamp or CodeCademy. There are plenty of free resources out there, the main point I’m getting at is don’t pay for your first course. If you finish one of these courses, for example, the “Front-End Design” module on FreeCodeCamp, and want to learn more, then it’s time to further refine your skills, look into different ways of expanding your skill set, including Udemy, code camps, or simply YouTube tutorials!

Free Code Camp

I personally started with this platform. At the time, I was creating websites in WordPress and sometimes was getting annoyed that the base templates I was using were either not very customizable, their markup was poor which hurt the optimization of the website, or simply that the rendering was built for laptops and desktops and looked terrible on mobile and tablet devices.

Due to having prior knowledge of HTML, CSS and some JavaScript, I chose free code camp because they offer a front end module that really encapsulates these three languages. What is important here is that although you might not be the best front end designer after this module, I personally generated several hundred dollars on Fiverr after this, simply creating custom landing pages for clients.

CodeCademy

So far I have only taken the JavaScript module on CodeCademy, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested. This course dives slightly further into this language when compared to FreeCodeCamp and can be used to really refine your JavaScript reasoning abilities and capabilities.

Code Camps

Code camps can be a great way of starting to code. I personally attended a course with a similar philosophy to that of a code camp.

These courses will usually hit the ground running, so be prepared for a lot of work condensed into a short amount of time. Code camps can be a great way to prove that you have what it takes when it comes to job opportunities too. An individual that can jump into such a course, learn to code and ultimately graduate from that course says a lot about the attitude of that person. The fact that you have the cognitive abilities to complete such a course, as well as the dedication you have shown to complete such a course speaks volumes about both your attitude and abilities. Most companies will view this as a bonus, coding languages are forever evolving, it’s easy to find people who can code, but not everyone has the right attitude that makes them employable!

What’s Missing?

Quite a lot! Most of these courses, code camps, and even university degrees will give you the foundations on which to build. The idea is to continuously build on prior knowledge and keep moving forwards but they will not teach you everything. To make the most out of these courses, don’t use the cheat sheet buttons to display answers to problems you can’t figure out, instead, Google your problem and use websites such as W3School and Stack Overflow to find and learn what you previously didn’t quite understand. The ability to have a problem, search for a solution, and implement that solution is probably one of the most important skills you can learn as a coder and will benefit you not only during your days learning but in the future when you are working.

 

When To Start Looking For Work?

This is a very difficult question to answer and depends really on your abilities. As someone who has always looked for work opportunities, even while learning to code I would recommend learning to code in batches, this will maximize your work potential. For example, I learned HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (including jQuery and bootstrap) before moving onto other areas of development. Once I was comfortable with these 3 languages, I signed up for Fiverr, Freelancer, and UpWork which allowed me to earn an income. I was doing this at the same time as studying and dedicated my weekends to freelance work with the rest of the week dedicated to my coding course, although this meant studying or working 7 days a week it not only provided a source of income but also greatly grew my understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Summary

Anyone can get into coding, but coding isn’t for everyone. If you can’t enjoy the process of creating a project, or the reward for a finished project doesn’t completely offset the process of creating that project, then coding probably isn’t for you. Check out a free coding course such as those found on free code camp, or CodeCademy to see how you like coding before you spend any money on education. Try to find an area of coding which you would like to get involved in, do some research, and learn whatever you need to learn to achieve your target outcome.