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How Can I Learn Programming on My Own?

Gaib Bunch - May 23, 2020

Learning to program is both a daunting and noble task. The job prospects are endless, the creative ability is amazing, and coding is effectively the language of the future. So, why not learn it? You’re an independent learner looking for the path that gives you the most freedom and flexibility. In short, you want to teach yourself to code. Career Karma is here to give you the rundown on the best resources to get you started.

What and Why?

Sign written in chalk, “Create a life you love”.
Motivation is key to success.

The most important thing a new programmer can do is to understand what they want to learn and why they want to learn it. Many people who are new to the world of coding have wasted their valuable time learning things that they will never use. Before you begin your own coding journey you have to figure out why you want to code in the first place and what you want to learn. If your goal is to land a job with a major tech company, you may need to do some research as to what programming languages they specialize in. If you wish to change the world with your groundbreaking app idea, you may need to research the best coding languages to write your program in. Regardless of your “what” and “why”, every good programmer must know why they want to do code and what the best steps are to achieve their goals.

Ways to Learn Programming on Your Own

You can’t go wrong with a good book.

On the topic of achieving our goals, it’s time we take a look at the best ways to learn programming on your own. Career Karma breaks these down into three categories:

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Online Resources

Online resources are by far the most helpful when it comes to being a self-taught programmer. If you’re completely new to programming, you may be interested in actual courses that you can follow at your own pace. Some of our top picks for online courses include Codecademy , The Odin Project, freeCodeCamp , App Academy Open, and more. There are many great coding courses to choose from .


Books are age-old learning mechanisms that have continued to stand the test of time. Books can be used as your main course of study or serve as great reference points. Whether you’re a beginner or simply learning to master a specific programming language, cracking a book is never the wrong way to go. Some of the best books for learning to program include The Complete Software Developer’s Guide, by John Sonmez., Programming Pearls, by Jon Bentley, and more. There are also great books for specific programming languages including titles for Ruby on Rails , Scratch , JavaScript , Python , Data Science , and almost every other coding language/tech career that you can think of.

Trial and Error

Some of the biggest breakthroughs in tech history have taken place through the process of good ole’ fashioned trial and error. Trying, failing, and trying again is something that programmers have been doing forever. As you learn new skills through avenues above, you’ll learn even more through the process of implementation. Trying new things and using your skills can help you to become more comfortable with coding outside of the learning environment. Don’t be afraid to try new things!

Finding a Support System

people gathered around a computer
Coding is always better with friends!

Trying new things brings us to another important topic, collaboration. Just because you’re self-taught, doesn’t mean you need to shy away from the prospect of collaboration. In fact, we probably wouldn’t enjoy some of the greatest tech innovations of today, if like-minded individuals hadn’t collaborated. While learning to program on your own can be great, having a support system to keep you on track is absolutely vital. Coding bootcamps can be a great way to learn to code in a collaborative and enthusiastic learning environment. Career Karma understands the importance of collaboration and helps introduce you to other learners at the very beginning of your coding journey.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

What's Next?

Gaib Bunch

About the author: Gaib is a lover of all things technology and design! Gaib is passionate about helping people learn about latest technologies and discover great career opportunities in technology

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