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How to Learn Programming the Fast and Easy Way

Artur Meyster - December 29, 2020


Programming is one of those skills that is always in demand. Nearly every company in the world is hiring their own programmers to build websites and applications for them. If you want the sort of high paying job security that being a programmer can offer, follow this guide on how to learn programming.

Build a Strong Foundation

One of the biggest mistakes someone new to programming can make is not learning the basics from the start. Learning programming is always cumulative and it builds upon itself. Step one is to learn the terminology that will be used in any programming tutorial. An introductory computer science course will get you the information you need. If you want to learn how to program, you will need to start by understanding how a computer works, how a program works, and the terminology to go with it.

image of cross stitch with “front end” and “back end"

Don’t Jump Around

As we said in the last section, programming is cumulative. The biggest mistake you can make when learning how to program is to skip a section. If you are working on something and you do not understand it, don’t move on. Stick with that topic. Watch the same video tutorial over and over again. Find another video that explains the same topic in a different way. Break it down into basic definitions. Do whatever it takes to learn that topic before moving on. If you skip ahead, you will only be hurting yourself when trying to understand the next topic. It all builds upon itself. You will end up more confused in the next step if you don’t take the time to fully understand each step along the way.

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Use an Online Training Site

Believe it or not, there are a number of really valuable tutorials for how to learn programming online. With a bit of work, you can even find free YouTube videos that give you a strong foundation in programming. If you do use YouTube, make sure to check the comments and the reviews on the video tutorials. You don’t want to get stuck with a tutorial that is confusing or worse: wrong.

If you want something that is more interactive and hands-on, there are a number of online resources. Codecademy is a great option. They have a range of languages available and you’ll be able to get real time feedback on your code. The fastest way to learn to code is to be hands-on. You need to be writing your own code and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Khan Academy and code.org are other resources that guide you through creating your own programming project. Many of these sites have the ability to try them out before signing up for the program, so try them out and see which one works best for your learning style.

image of the CodeAcademy platform

Consider a Coding Bootcamp

If you find yourself struggling with learning programming through online resources and videos, you might consider a coding bootcamp. These camps are very intensive and take you through the coding process with classes led by an experienced instructor. You will have a dedicated instructor and programming projects to complete as you progress through the program. They are not for everyone, though. Coding bootcamps are intensive and can be expensive – but they can pay off in the long-run by netting you a new career. If you want to learn more about coding bootcamps and what they are like, read this article on our blog.

screen showing c++ code

A pro tip for learning programming is to always ask questions and never give up. Programming is like solving a puzzle; you have to figure out how to get the code to do what you want and that can be difficult. But, once you get it, you’ll be able to build on it. If you keep building and working, you will be creating your own websites and programs in no time at all.

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.

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Artur Meyster

About the author: Artur Meyster is a co-founder and CTO of @Career_Karma (YC W19). He is also a bootcamp graduate and host of the Breaking Into Startups Podcast.

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