3 Things before you learn to code

“I’m going to learn to code.”

If you’re like me and love to make everybody sweat about their new year’s goals, this is something you hear a lot. And just like any other resolution, not many people give it another thought by the end of January.

It could be one of those New Year’s Resolutions are made to be broken things. But of course, that’s not just it. Learning to learn how to code is much harder than actually learning to code.

So if you’re somebody who’s never coded before, here’s 3 things that I think will help it become much more easier for you.

1. What language should I learn?

While thinking about this blog, I messaged my cousin who had downloaded a bunch of apps to learn coding and asked what happened.

There’s just too many options and it’s overwhelming for beginners.

Don’t get caught up in learning a language which you think will help you land a job at Google. Go for something that can help you start building straight away. Here’s 2 options I’d recommend:

  1. Learn Java to build a mobile app.
  2. Learn HTML, CSS and Javascript to build a web app.

I’d recommend you go for the latter. Because it’s cheaper/easier to publish and quicker to get feedback on. Start with HTML and you’ll organically start learning CSS and Javascript as you build on the complexity of your test projects.

2. Courses that teach you to build

You don’t need Programming for Dummies or the the first thing that pops up when you search “learn to code” in the App Store. I’ve done that and so has everybody else I know who’s tried to learn to code. For some reason they just don’t work.

One reason why I found it so hard to code in the beginning was because I was spending too much time reading about variables and logic loops and not actually building something.

My advice to you is to follow a course or online tutorial that actually teaches you to code by building something as you learn. It’s even better if you can do it in-person or in a virtual community with other beginners at the same level as you.

My favourite online tutorials to learn a language are those by Andrew Mead on YouTube and the ones offered by Make School.

I still use books occasionally, but now they’re more like reference guides when I want to expand on something new I’ve learnt. I’m still open to recommendations, so do DM me on Twitter if you’ve found a good one.

3. Build your dream app

The best way to learn is by doing. Think of an app you want to build. Make it as simple as possible, break it down into components and then keep Googling ways to figure out how to build it with the lanugage you’re learning.

This is quite literally how I built thiscodeworks.com. It started as a place to save code snippets, and as I kept learning to code I kept adding new features and styling to it which is slowly bringing my inital grand vision of a social network of code to life.

Find your dream app and just start building it. Even if you don’t know how to code yet.

Good luck with your resolutions & have a happy new year!

Originally published at https://mishka.codes.

Creator of thiscodeworks.com \n Follow me @mishkaorakzai on Twitter. I write at mishka.codes

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