Learn to Code: 5 Beginning Resources
Today I give the first quiz to this year’s java students. Scripting (web programming) and computer programming are becoming more and more popular courses at the high school level, so popular in fact that not every student may be able to take the class of their choice. What’s a determined future coder to do? Check out online resources of course! In this blog post, guest blogger Sarah Raymond shares a number of resources available to people of any age interested in exploring the fascinating and rewarding world of coding.
So you want to be a coder?
You’ve run across the Thespian masterpiece that is Hackers, and you’ve decided to pursue your destiny as a world class computer programmer. In reality, programming is a lot less dramatic, and far more complex and interesting than Hollywood is ever able to portray. Far be it for me to disillusion you about your chances of hacking into government databases, so I’ll get you started with some usefulbeginner’s resources to start building your l33t programming skills. Just remember, even Justin Long’s character in Live Free or Die Hard had to start somewhere!
Development Environments: Sure, every computer has at least a basic text editor that you can use to write anything from .html to .java files, but they don’t provide you with any tools for compiling, executing, formatting, debugging or automating code. You’ll quickly learn to appreciate integrated development environments like Netbeans and Eclipse (both free), which do all that and more, including giving you drag-and-drop tools for developing graphical user interfaces.
References: The great thing you’ll learn as you start to program is that somebody has probably done a ton of your work for you. Class libraries and references like the Java API and tutorials, or the Ruby documentation, which all contain ready-made classes and collections that have already solved a lot of problems with time-tested code. Learn how to use these, and you’ll save yourself hours of programming headaches.
Real-time Learning: There’s nothing like having an actual person explain, in detail, how things work and write a program right in front of you. Luckily, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials on programming. If you don’t feel like searching YouTube, watch other people code on Code Player.
That ought to get you started on your path to taking down small governments and join the ranks of the world’s most notorious hackers. If all else fails, you might just decide to dive into a challenging career as a serious programmer. Now, get to coding!
Author bio: Sarah Raymond loves computers, gaming, technology and geek culture. When she isn’t writing at TheTechnologyLounge.com, you might finder her programming flash games or reconstructing Pong in Java.