How To Learn Coding And Programming (Steps And Benefits)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 21 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Coding and programming is a process of writing and developing computer scripts that tell a computer system to execute a website or mobile application. With the growth of technology, coding and programming are critical for success in the information technology (IT) and software development sector. If you want to pursue a career in the development field, understanding the best practices for programming can help in career growth. In this article, we discuss what coding is, understand how to learn coding and programming and explore the importance of learning various coding languages.

What is coding and programming?

Any application or website you run on the web or electronic device requires a code to run. Using various languages, developers and programmers write and develop coding scripts. Coding is creating instructions that help a computer execute a desirable job. The languages that a computer can understand are coding languages. The program or coding script a computer creates translates into machine code that helps a computer execute a program or desired set of instructions. A programming language is a collection of syntax rules that guides programmers to create and structure codes. Some commonly used programming languages are:

  • Java

  • C/C++

  • JavaScript

  • PHP

  • C#

  • Ruby

Most developers are proficient in one or more languages. Beyond these languages, it might be beneficial to have some introductory-level knowledge of one or two commonly used programming languages.

Related: What Is Coding? A Complete Guide To Coding Languages

How to learn coding and programming

To understand how to learn coding and programming, follow these steps to make a career growth:

1. Understand why you want to learn to code

When learning a new language, understand why you want to code. Knowing why you want to learn can help you choose courses to pursue and languages to learn. If you are learning a programming language for becoming a developer, you can choose a comprehensive and in-depth curriculum. Otherwise, you may pursue a short online course. Some reasons to learn coding are:

  • increase in job potential

  • boost qualification and skill set

  • increase personal development

  • improve self-sufficiency

2. Pick your programming language

Based upon your career interest and end goals, pick up a programming language you want to learn. For instance, if you have an interest in becoming an Android developer, learning the Java language may prove beneficial. But for iOS development, you require proficiency in C. You can learn PHP, JavaScript or Python to build interactive websites. If you are unsure about learning the language, consider taking some beginner-level courses and studying the languages that interest you the most. Regardless of the language you pick, be mindful to understand the fundamentals before delving into the in-depth course.

Related: What Is C Programming Language? Benefits And Career Advice

3. Enrol in an online course

If you want control over your learning schedule, consider enrolling in an online course. An online course enables you to learn coding and programming at your pace and convenience. Search for online courses offering the programming language you want to learn. Many different online classes teach the same course. So, based on the curriculum, time and cost, consider a desirable course. Enrol in one course at a time to learn the language efficiently.

4. Read a programming book

Complement your online coding course with a programming book. Many coding and programming books can teach you the fundamentals of coding principles and provide a logical flow to the learning process. You can consider reading an e-book that you can follow from beginning to end. Search for books that specialise in more than one coding area, such as testing and debugging. Reading books can help you master a programming language.

Related: Java vs Python: Key Differences And Similarities

5. Read interactive tutorials and coding games

Reading codes from a book or an online tutorial can become challenging. But an abstract concept makes sense when you see a coding example. Using interactive coding tutorials and coding games, you can understand and master coding. Interactive websites and coding games break down various coding concepts into small pieces within your web browser. This can help gain coding abilities and develop tools that address real-world problems.

6. Follow coding blogs

Discover online blogs and connect with developers who share their codes and programming tips with others. While some developers maintain their blogs, others may be a part of an online community. Following a blog or a community can keep you abreast of the latest development trends. Also, you get to learn from experts that can help in career growth.

Related: How To Learn JavaScript With Advantages And Functions

7. Be patient and consistent

While learning the fundamentals of a language is easy, gaining proficiency in coding can be challenging. Mastering a coding language requires great patience. If you show patience and constantly dedicate time and effort to learning a language, you can fast pace the learning process.

8. Watch coding videos

If you are a visual learner, focus on watching various coding videos to gain in-depth knowledge of a programming language. You can access both amateur and professional videos on different coding topics. Look for step-by-step video tutorials to enhance your learning capabilities. Learning from videos can be a fulfilling experience for those who dislike reading books and attending online courses.

9. Practice coding

Another great way to master various coding languages is by practising them online on different platforms. The more you code, the better are your chances of learning the coding process. By using various open-source coding platforms, you can access and examine thousands of codes. From producing a chart to creating a basic program, online platforms can help you incorporate programming into your daily life.

10. Focus on computational thinking

Learning the methodology of finding solutions to problems in a way a computer solves can make it easier to learn a programming language. Focus on learning concepts like abstractions, pattern recognition and algorithms can help you take a complex problem, comprehend it and develop potential solutions. You can consider investing in a computational thinking course to comprehend computer programming and coding.

11. Learn about your error message

If a code throws an error on debugging, there may be a mistake in your code. Rather than spending hours understanding what is wrong, search online for the error code the compiler throws. Learning from your mistakes is the best way to improve your coding and programming skills.

12. Get a mentor

Join a professional software development community or association to connect with experts in the coding and programming field. Focus on hiring an experienced mentor from such professional networks to get expert advice and tips on the coding process. After gaining experience with programming, you can answer questions on these websites or professional networks.

Related: What Is A Mentor And How To Find the Right One For You

13. Participate in coding challenges

Participating in various coding challenges can enhance your logical thinking skills. It can help hone your critical thinking skills, analytical skills and problem-solving skills. Such challenges increase your level of expertise and enhance your programming abilities. Participating in various coding challenges can help you prepare for a coding interview and make your resume marketable.

14. Practice reverse-engineering coding

Another significant step to enhance your coding skills is reverse-engineering someone else's code. Using various open-source coding platforms, you can access thousands of codes and programs. Focus on testing each line of code to understand how the code works. This can help in understanding programming logic and writing better codes.

Benefits of learning coding and programming

Here are a few benefits of coding and programming:

  • Improves self-sufficiency: Knowing how a computer works can help you understand and troubleshoot computer problems. Rather than calling customer support, learning to program can help resolve various computer-related issues.

  • Career flexibility: Coding and programming skills are helpful in many technical jobs. From data scientists to design jobs, learning to code can provide flexibility in your career, allowing you to switch careers.

  • Higher earning potential: Developers and software programmers are high in demand and paid well. If you are not working in the software development field, many positions like graphic design, marketing and sales require different programming languages.

  • Brings your creativity to life: The ability to code can transform ideas into a tangible product that you can execute.

  • Provides a new perspective to problem-solving: Learning to code and program affects how you think. This is because coding helps you understand the logic, making you more prone to logically approach a problem.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Explore more articles