Being a software programmer is a high-paying and prestigious job. But is the strenuous four years of Engineering studies a must to get into the software industry? What if you are studying arts and you want to pursue a career in programming because of financial security? Or maybe you just want to acquire the skill of having a backup plan. In any case, even as an art student, or as someone who is not from the software industry, you still have a chance to become a successful programmer.
You do not need high-tech devices to learn to program, nor is a formal education in programming necessary. In fact, self-taught programmers are on the rise. With time, dedication, and internet access, anyone can learn to code. Let’s get to know how.
What is Programming?
A computer program comprises code that is executed on a computer to perform particular tasks. Programmers write this code. Programming is the process of giving machines a set of instructions that describe how a program should be carried out. These computer programs allow us to interact with different software devices and services like smartphones, websites, and the computers themselves.
Understanding the Basics of Programming Languages
As a beginner, it would be advisable to start with easier programming languages like C/C++, HTML etc. But it is also good to start with Java or Python as they have a wide range of applications. It can take you months to learn a programming language thoroughly. But practice makes things perfect.
Choosing the Right Resources for Your Needs
Learning to code these days does not a classroom or formal education. There are thousands of websites out there which offer online courses on programming. A good course will have a structure and keeps everything digestible. It is essential to understand the basic concepts first before coding.
When choosing a course to learn, it is best to know what kind of programming language you want to learn, and what is your primary goal in learning programming. Know where you want to apply the program to. Before enrolling, check the course curriculum if it includes the language that you are most interested in. Also, you need to know how much technical support you will be getting during your course. When you face a difficult topic or fail to write a program, there must be people to whom you can ask questions.
Getting Started with Online Tutorials
Popular free course providers include:
- Hour of Code by Khan Academy
- Harvard’s acclaimed Introduction to Computer Science course on edX and the CS50 YouTube channel
Giving a try to these free services could be a good option before investing any money to learn to code online formally.
Finding a Mentor or Teacher to Guide You Through the Process
Sometimes learning online alone is going to be difficult for certain people. Not having a dedicated teacher to turn to with your specific doubts and difficulties can hinder your smooth studying. In that times, it is best to have a mentor or teacher offline. It need not be a proper teacher, it could be someone who works in the software industry and is good with the programming that you are trying to learn. They can guide you when you are having a difficult time.
Exploring Different Learning Platforms
Don’t stick with just one learning platform when trying to learn to program. Another learning platform may have something that your current learning platform is not offering. It is always best to explore different sources and learning platforms.
Using Virtual Environments to Create and Test Code Projects
You just don’t need to learn to code, you need to practice it. You need to spend time reflecting on whatever you have learned and practice is the most important thing. There are various websites on which you can practice your coding skills. These coding websites will create virtual environment problems which are challenging yet fun for you to tackle with your coding skills.
Some of these websites are:
Finding Your Niche in Arts-Focused Programming Resources
Thanks to modern programming languages and libraries, programming for art is a lot more accessible than before.
Coding can be challenging, but it can also be a fun activity if you really enjoy it. The possibility of codding is endless and is one of the fastest developing sectors. So if you want to be a part of the coding community or want to make a career out of it, you really do not need a computer science degree. Even as an art student, you can still be an excellent coder. You just need a computer, the internet and most of all, the willpower to study.