If you’re just getting into programming, you might be feeling overwhelmed. Words like ‘syntax’ and ‘packet’ read like a foreign language, and you might be thinking that it’ll take years to wrap your head around everything. We can sympathize; most people feel that way in the beginning. You don’t have to dive in so deep right away. Some programming languages aren’t that difficult to master, so you can get started with a basic coding language first. With a little practice, you’ll start seeing results when you hit ‘Run–’ which will boost your confidence and understanding, getting you ready for the more difficult tasks down the line. Remember, coding isn’t rocket science—it’s a language that you’ll pick up over time, just like learning another language. In this article, we’ll go over a few of our favorite basic coding languages that you can start learning today.
HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is a staple for web development and formatting. It’s simple, logical, and you can learn the basics in minutes. Programmers use HTML format and arrange text on a website. While some don’t consider it a ‘true’ coding language, it’s still enormously useful to learn. At the end of the article, you’ll have an opportunity to try it yourself!
Basic HTML Practice
As promised, here’s a short tutorial on HTML formatting. The fundamental purpose of coding is to instruct a computer what to do. In this section, you’ll learn how to change the style of text in a document. First, we’ll show you how to make a sentence bold.
To begin, open this link to the HTML editor in another tab. Your test area will look like this:
<!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> <title>Page Title</title> </head> <body> <h1>My First Heading</h1> <p>My first paragraph.</p> </body> </html>
For the sake of this demonstration, we’ll have you delete what’s already on the page. To get started, simply follow the steps below and give it a try. When you’re finished typing, hit the big green ‘Run’ button and check for the results in the right-hand box.
First, write out a word, sentence, or short passage, and pick any area to make bold.
In HTML, the element for bold text is the word ‘strong’ and is written like this:
Write this immediately before the text you intend to embolden. Now, you can’t just leave it like that—you’ve issued an instruction to the machine so you have to tell it when to stop. Immediately after the word (or words) you want to make bold, write this:
The slash before the word instructs the machine to end the command. The finished product should look like this:
<strong>This is how to make a passage bold.</strong>
Now, click the ‘Run’ button and see what happens! If your text is bold, you’re on the right track. The same principle applies to italics; you’ll use the letter ‘i’ instead, like this:
<i>This text is italicized!</i>
If it’s working, great job! If not, copy and paste our examples and click ‘Run’ to identify what you may have done differently.
It’s also possible to combine elements, such as bold and italics. Write it out like this:
<strong><i>These elements are combined.</i></strong>
See, doesn’t that make sense? It’s fun to press the green button and watch something happen. Keep in mind, this example is a simple example of a basic coding language. Coding will get more challenging, but you’ve just proven that you can do it. Now that you’ve taken step one, you can start learning how to code like the professionals. Take our 21-day challenge to see if a career in coding could be in your future. Until then, congratulations on your first successful programming attempt!