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The Best Ways to Learn to Code

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The Best Ways to Learn to Code

Are you considering a career change into technology? At Hackbright, we know making a major career change into tech isn’t always easy, but if it’s something you want to do, you can probably do it! The good news is that there are many valuable resources to help make your tech career dreams a reality. Now is the time to apply yourself, your life experiences, and both soft and hard skills to see how they will translate into your new career goals. Begin building a plan that will help you secure your pathway into tech. Before you begin, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

Why Do You Want to Learn How to Code?

What are the real reasons why you want to learn a programming language? Are you seeking out a promotion at work that requires programming skills? Are you a hobbyist eager to learn how you’re favorite website works? Or are you in a mid-career state looking for a change by transitioning into tech? Once you know you are passionate about it, and you are committed to learning to code, how do you begin?

What Programming Language Should You Learn First?

Like an instrument, learning another programming language becomes much easier after mastering your first. That being said, it’s important to take on a foundational language that suits your needs while also being easy-to-learn and versatile enough to get the job done. If you’ve taken the time to think about what you want from coding, then it should be much easier to make a decision.

Keep in mind that many coding bootcamps teach a full stack, meaning they focus on one foundational language and then add in several other complementary languages. Once you learn a universally useful language, learning other back-end languages and tech stacks is easier.

Due to their flexibility and versatility, many developers recommend learning Python (which is what we teach as a foundational programming language at Hackbright Academy) or Javascript (which Hackbright touches on during the full-stack course) as a foundational language. To help give you a better idea of what will work best for your needs, here is a comprehensive list of some of the most popular programming languages and what they are often used for.

what programming language should you learn first

Python

Growing in popularity due to the growing demand in data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, Python is an extremely versatile programming language that can be used on its own, or as part of another framework like Django. Python is the foundational language taught at Hackbright Academy, and this foundation is enhanced in the software engineering program with JavaScript (and it complements HTML and CSS), Flask, Jinja, and PostgreSQL.

PHP

Powering more than 20 million websites (including Facebook and Wikipedia), it is hard to ignore PHP. In 2020, PHP is still a great scripting language to learn as it continues to be a powerhouse of the web.

Java

Java, unrelated to JavaScript, is another one of the most popular and widely used programming languages. It is also one of the oldest languages on the web. Java is the basis of the Android operating system and is a must if you are interested in developing mobile Android applications. 

Objective-C and Swift

If you’re interested in mobile development specifically for Apple devices, these two are a must for you. Objective-C is used strictly for developing both iOS and macOS applications. It cannot be used for other platforms such as Android. 

Swift is designed by Apple for macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS apps. Apple open-sourced the code, making it available on the most recent version of Xcode.

JavaScript

Thanks in part to its major role as the native language of the everyday web browser, JavaScript has become one of the most popular programming languages in the world, and it has been a leader on GitHub in terms of pull requests. If you’re looking to add your own individuality to your website with single-page web apps, JavaScript is ideal.

Ruby

Tech startups like Airbnb, Twitch, GitHub, and Twitter were built on Ruby. Its popularity is dependent on Ruby On Rails, a full-stack web application framework that runs Ruby. Developers love it because of its simple, beautiful syntax that allows them to do more with less code. 

Hopefully, as you’ve begun learning more about the various programming languages out there, you’ll be able to plan out how to reach your new tech career goals. As you narrow down your options, consider what kind of commitment your goal may require. If you’re looking to build a large, complicated software program, your goal may require a more formal computer science education. If you’re looking for a mid-career change or to boost your skill-set at an existing job, maybe a short-term software engineering bootcamp is right for you.

Develop The Skills Needed To Be A Programmer

Just about anybody can learn the basic steps to learn how to code, but what will really provide value to an organization is being able to be presented with a problem, analyze it, then break it down and find a solution. Rather than just focusing on learning the ins and outs of one specific programming language, try learning how to problem solve in a way that a computer will understand. Shifting your focus to problem-solving will help you develop skills in pattern recognition, algorithms, and more.  

As you begin to think more like a programmer, explore some different ways you can get acquainted with coding to become more comfortable. To help you get started, here are some of our favorite resources to get you familiar with coding. 

Hackbright Academy | Explore Python

Hackbright has a six-course module online coding course to help you learn the basics of Python. The course is available because we want to encourage you to take your first step into the world of coding. You can do it on your own time through 1-2 hour lessons whenever it is most convenient for you.

Hackbright Academy | Prep Course

We offer a 4-week evening and weekend Prep Course to help give a deeper understanding of what being a programmer is all about. This is a great way to figure out if this is the right path for you while being surrounded by like-minded women supporting your next career move.

Devmountain | Beginner’s Guide to Web Development

Whether you’re interested in looking for a major career change in an exciting field or expanding your current skill set, Devmountain’s Beginner’s Guide to Web Development provides a foundation to begin your adventure in developing web development skills.

Dylan Israel CodingTutorial360 | YouTube Channel

Dylan Israel’s YouTube channel is one of our favorite resources because of his useful tutorials covering a variety of coding topics ranging from Software Tutorials for Beginners, Code Like a Pro: How to Write Code, to building a web app from scratch.

Start Your Path to A Successful Career In Software Engineering

Once you’ve mastered the basics with an online program, you may find yourself in need of a  full-stack bootcamp, like Hackbright Academy, to really dial in the entire set of skills and programming languages you’ll need to enter the workforce as a junior web developer, in addition to networking with tech employers, and building a portfolio that can help you land a job.

Want to learn to code in person with like-minded women? Learn software engineering at Hackbright Academy in just 13 weeks through our software engineering fellowship! Learn more about Hackbright Academy courses today.

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