Learn to Code - First Steps

Learning to code has become popular lately, especially in the last two to three years. With movements like Codecademy’s Code Year and Hour of Code in 2013, more people than ever are talking about coding. This surge in popularity is supported by countless news stories and articles about the gap between technology industry jobs and qualified candidates. The outlook is ripe with opportunities for those that learn and master this essential and in demand skill in the information age.

In this three part Learn to Code series we will explore the initial steps to take, how to gain momentum with goal setting and choosing a design or development focus.

To Code or not to Code

You may be thinking, “Is learning to code right for me?” To that I say, it depends. If you are interested in math, computers, technology and similar subjects, you may have in interest in coding as well. If the idea sparks your interest or curiosity, give it a try! You have nothing to loose. On the other hand, I would not suggest learning to code, or any other skill, just because of the job market outlook or associated salaries. Ultimately, if you learn a skill or take a job just because of the money or “job security”, if there is such a thing, you risk becoming burned out and unhappy in your work. In the long run, no amount of money can motivate you to enjoy work you don’t like or don’t find inspiring. Life is too short for that. You are better off finding something that interests you and matches your strengths. Then, finding a way to make the amount of money you desire doing that work.

Where to Begin

If learning to program is for you, test the waters by trying an online education site like Codecademy or Khan. These site are free of cost and fit any budget. They are perfect for trying out coding and getting a few exercises under your belt. Codecademy was the first site I used to try coding. After working through HTML exercises for a few days, I was hooked.

Another route to getting started is a paid learning website such as Code School and Treehouse. These sites offer courses in the form of videos, code challenges and quizzes to learn and test your knowledge. These sites also offer free trials allowing you to try them before buying a membership.

Take the First Step

If you have read this article to the end, it’s safe to say you are seriously considering learning to code. Go for it!

Happy coding!