How do you get into coding? With over 294 thousand jobs reported by the US Department of Labor programming is a big part of the economy. And, with use of technology daily in the forms of phones, computers, and laptops interaction with software is increasing. Coding allows you to control your computer in every aspect, create helpful applications for yourself and others, and allows for you to use all of the power in your computer to whatever you can imagine.
The first step is figuring out what you want to program in, computer programming or coding, is done in a variety of languages. These languages are just human readable text that tell a computer what you want it to do. Certain languages are geared toward certain uses. Good languages to start with are Python, Java, or C.
Each of these languages have their ups and downs. C is by far the most powerful and dangerous to start with. It allows for heavy pointer arithmetic that other languages don’t. C has an extensive library of functions and allows for bit manipulation. It’s the best to get into if you want to really become a programmer, though it’s hard, isn’t forgiving, and can, if done incorrectly, harm your pc. Java is built to be similar to C, but with several restrictions to keep safeguards on programers not to harm your pc. Though with this protection comes no pointer arithmetic and a strong emphasis on object oriented programming. Python is very different from C and Java as no declaration of type is required and most of the logic operations use statements. Due to these Python can sometimes appear as if it were just a sentence with statements like “print(‘A’) if (a > b) and (b is not 0) else print(‘B’)”. Though this format like sentences can have a downside when learning different languages.
Now knowing what you want to learn, learning coding is easy, tons of websites are dedicated to teaching any form of language you can choose. Good websites include codeacademy.com, coursera.org, or lynda.com (access provided by the Virginia Tech Library). These have written and video instructions. Hundreds of books are also published on coding that are useful guides. But the best teaching experience in coding is coding itself. Just making a project and finishing it will teach you so much, and give you such satisfaction.