Coding (also known as programming) is used to control computing devices. From NASA’s Mars exploration rover to the latest website or the children’s interactive talking toy depend on these devices. So, learning to code is a worthwhile pursuit. You will have the opportunity to use your creative, problem-solving, logic, storytelling, art, and design skills.
What is Coding?
Coding is the process of writing a set of instructions in a computer language to make computing devices perform particular tasks.
Computer languages are like human languages.
Suppose you have a group of English speaking employees, and you want them to complete a project exactly the way you want it. You would write a detailed project plan in English with step by step instructions on how to do the work. A computer program is like this project plan.
If a certain number of your employees speak a different language, then you will need to write part of the project plan in that language. Similarly, different computing devices might require different programming languages.
What language to learn?
Before you start on a language, decide what your objectives are in the long run. Then, research to find out which ones are used in your field of interest. This will keep you motivated in your learning process.
How to learn?
As coding is a complex field, traditional university education might be a great investment. There are also online resources available for self-learning. You can try out some of these courses or tutorials to see if computer programming is right for you.
A good starting point would be the simple “Hello, World!” program. It outputs “Hello, World!” on your screen. You will find this program in every language. This can give you a taste of how your chosen language works.
The next step would be to learn the fundamentals of coding. Besides learning the language, you will also have to master the problem-solving concepts. A good background in math and logic is helpful for this. Try to come up with a routine to learn every day and gain some hands-on experience. Like writing is the only way to become a great writer, coding is the only way to become a great coder.
As a career, coding can be lucrative. But for the right person, it can be a satisfying pursuit in itself. There are coders all over the world who are hobbyists.
Whatever your goals are, writing code can be fun. Imagine telling your friends and family you wrote the code for an app or a web page that millions use around the world, or you programmed a robotic hand or a self-driving car. Those are all within the realms of possibility for you as a coder!