Learning how to program is not as easy or as difficult as most people think. It does require time, dedication and good problem solving skills. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to become skilled enough to start writing original and functional applications or scripts. There are ten top ways to learn how to program in nearly any language.
10. Programming Books
Books are still one of the best ways to learn programming. There are thousands of books available covering every language from Java and C to PHP and Haskell. Books allow a person to learn at whatever speed is most appropriate. They also provide a reference for later when actually coding. The most effective books will come with a resource CD or online library that includes code examples and programming tools.
9. Interactive Online Tutorials
There are many interactive tutorials available online. These tutorials teach the basics of programming while also allowing users to manipulate code or variables. The advantage is that complex programming concepts are easier to learn through an interactive interface. The interactive elements immediately show how changes to the code affect the output of the program.
8.Study and Modify Existing Application Code
Another method is to study and modify existing application code. This can be done by installing the correct compiler and interactive development environment. Simple applications can teach the basic syntax of the language. Making changes to the code will show how applications operate. This method is good for individuals who enjoy hands-on learning and who have some rudimentary computer or programming knowledge.
An internship involves working alongside a professional programmer in a real-world environment. Some employers allow free internships while others offer paid internships. An internship will teach basic programming skills while also showing how programmers fit into a larger business or development structure.
6. Games and Hobby Tools
Several games and hobby tools can teach programming in languages like C, Java or Visual Basic. The games interpret the written code and show the results through avatars or other types of interesting output. Some hobby tools provide visual programming interfaces for electronics that make learning a language easier.
5. Attend Workshops
Many community centers and other locations offer programming workshops. Workshops usually focus exclusively on one language and one skill level. It is often possible to take consecutive workshops that gradually increase the complexity of the programming concepts taught.
4. Join a Computer Club or Group
Most cities and schools have a computer club or computer enthusiast group that attracts programmers. Joining these groups provides an immersive experience where different programmers can pass on knowledge and skills. An added benefit is that most groups will also teach about computer hardware.
3. Find a Tutor or Mentor
A tutor or mentor is a skilled programmer willing to give one-on-one lessons. A tutor can help to guide a person through the entire learning process from understanding the syntax to managing a large multi-file project. Tutors are a good option for people who want to learn programming fast.
2. Free Online Courses
Hundreds of free courses and videos are available online that can teach a person to program. These courses are usually divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced classes. Some involve an interactive element where students can ask questions about the lesson. Watching several of these courses can teach a person simple programming skills in a short amount of time.
1. Take Computer Science Classes
Anyone who wants to pursue a career as a programmer should learn by enrolling in computer science classes in a college or university. Computer science classes provide the most in-depth coverage of all topics associated with programming from logic and design to language skills and project management. Students who complete a degree program can start working in the industry immediately.