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What’s the best way to get into computer programming/coding?

by tom44 on January 4, 2014

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Question by letawookieewin: What’s the best way to get into computer programming/coding?
Hello, I’m 28 years old. I graduated from a small university with a bachelors in Mass Comm about 4 years ago. I’ve been working in journalism/writing but the job market has been pretty tough. I have a passion for computers/technology/mobile devices. A lot of the content I currently write about centers on them. I’m wondering, what would be the best way to get into coding/programming whether it be HTML5, CSS, app development, web design, etc? Should I consider some kind of degree program? Are there any online certifications worth checking into? I’d love to break into the technology job market as I’ve heard there’s a big need for coders/programmers. I’m just looking for the best way to get started without spending too much $ $ $ .

Thanks!

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3 thoughts on “What’s the best way to get into computer programming/coding?

  1. Almighty Wizard says:

    I would first take a look inside yourself and determine how great of a programming job would you want right from the get-go. If you are looking to work for a larger company as a application developer, I would suggest looking into getting a Bachelor’s degree. Many larger companies won’t look for simple programming languages, but also for database training, as well as design abilities… most of which are glossed over in many tech schools. Now, if you are looking to gain enough knowledge to get into the field, a tech school degree may be enough. Once you have worked in a smaller position for a couple of years, gaining experience, most larger companies will focus more on your experience, rather than the education piece. Either way, I think you will be needing some formal schooling to get your first position.

    This should not push you away from learning online or anything. I would strongly suggest learning other languages and techniques when not taking formal classes. It will make the classes a lot easier if you have more experience coding online projects, even if they are simple projects that just outline base concepts.

    In my opinion, online certifications are not worth their money for actual application development. Most businesses look for degrees that show you can learn and adapt. Certifications appear to HR reps as just the opposite… you are specialized in whatever the certification pertains to, and are not well versed in other technological aspects. You can surely complete the courses and exams to get the certifications you are looking for, but I wouldn’t attain them in hopes of getting a job with them.

    In short, think about what you want to do in the field (web, app, etc), how soon do you want to get into the field and at what level of entry, and then look into programs in various schools to see what best suits that time frame.

    Good luck!

  2. Colm says:

    Sometimes a degree program is what is needed, but that’s really just to get the official piece of paper. There’s nothing coding-wise that you can’t learn online. Check out thenewboston videos on YouTube. He has tutorials on a lot of languages/tools that are a really good start. Code Academy provide some great tutorials online as well that range from beginner to advanced.

    Just keep on following these and reading up online. You will pick up the skills really quickly as long as you are dedicated!

  3. jplatt39 says:

    I am going to say look at Open Source. Specifically look at programs you use and tasks you are interested in and what is out there. Are there any you use? Are there any you would like to use? Obviously if you use the web both Yahoo and Google run on various free software OSes (Yahoo used to be a major supporter of FreeBSD and may still contribute. Google has always been the more OS-agnostic but has finally decided Windows doesn’t contribute that much to its functioning — to be worth all the security risks). Anyhow these projects do have structures. You can contribute –doing testing or whatever — in many ways.

    If you use android then you almost certainly use some open source apps — besides the OS. Apple and Microsoft discourage them from their app stores but Android attracts them the way honey does bears. So look around, volunteer — and as you get involved you will find your work IS a calling card.

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