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Learn Coding

A Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning Coding

Coding is the way that people communicate with computers. Through coding languages such as Python, JavaScript, Java, and SQL, you can tell a computer what to do. Coding is essential for careers in web development, data science, software engineering, machine learning, and many other technology-oriented fields.

Coding is one of the most in-demand skills on the market today. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to code but weren’t sure how to start, this guide is for you. You’ll learn more about coding tools, free resources, and the many careers that use coding daily.

What is Coding?

Coding is one of the most in-demand skills dominating today’s job market. In simple terms, coding is the language that tech professionals use to tell devices how they should operate. There are several coding languages that are used for different purposes; some of the more common languages include Java, Python, and JavaScript.

Coding skills are required in many positions, including Software Engineer, Full Stack Developer, Cybersecurity Analyst, Machine Learning Engineer, and many others. The main upside of coding is that it’s also adaptable to nearly any industry, including education, fashion, finance, medicine, entertainment, and marketing. While it may seem complicated to break into a coding career, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Nowadays, anyone can become a coder and obtain an entry-level position after taking a coding bootcamp or two.

Read more about what coding is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Coding?

Coding is an incredibly versatile field that covers a wide selection of topics. You’ll be able to create websites, algorithms, and programs that have uses in every industry on the market. Even if your chosen career operates primarily in-person, you’ll be able to take creative approaches to coding that will make everyone’s lives easier.

You can make your own video game, build an online presence for your small business, or code simple programs that automate your mundane tasks. There’s no limit to what you can do with coding. This impressive skill will always serve you well if you have an imaginative mind and a willingness to learn more.

Careers that Use Coding

Every industry can use programmers and coders, and the demand for these positions will only rise. Check out some of the careers that people with coding backgrounds traditionally enter:

Software Engineers know many coding languages, such as Java, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and C#. Ideal candidates for this position are teachable individuals who are always eager to learn something new. Their average salary is around $127,500 per year.

For those who are interested in coding websites, you might find that Full Stack Developer is a good fit. These developers are skilled in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, the three most basic programming languages to learn. Despite their simplicity compared to other programming languages, this position earns about $112,000 annually. Full Stack Developer roles take on the responsibilities of two other positions: Front End Developers and Back End Developer. Both positions use skills in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Front End Developers focus on the client-side of websites (known as the “front end”), while Back End Developers focus on the server-side (the “back end”).

If you become deeply interested in JavaScript, you can specialize as a JavaScript Developer. JavaScript is known for its libraries, databases, and frameworks and is one of the most commonly used languages. JavaScript Developers can expect to work with resources such as React, Node.js, Vue.js, and jQuery. They’re commonly expected to learn Git, GitHub, and search engine optimization (SEO), but this expectation depends on the industry and company. At a bare minimum, JavaScript Developers should all know HTML and CSS in addition to JavaScript.

For those interested in back end roles but want to incorporate another programming language into their everyday work, you can learn Python and become a Python Developer. People in this position should know how to use Python’s frameworks, such as MongoDB. They usually make around $119,000 per year.

The best part about all these positions is that they enjoy job security even in highly competitive environments because our world is becoming increasingly dependent on the internet. Perhaps more importantly, they all involve skills that are easily transferable between different coding positions. That means you can move between different positions relatively quickly once you build your skill set effectively.

Why Learn Coding?

Coding is becoming increasingly relevant to the working world. It will only become more critical as companies try to build their online presence. Most businesses are shifting their focus online in response to increased remote working and learning opportunities. As a result, coders have risen both in value and demand.

Learning to code has become more accessible thanks to live online classes that teach basic coding principles. After taking a coding bootcamp, you can start applying to entry-level positions, even if you’re continuing your education in programming. High school students can obtain these skills and use them to bolster their resumes before they enter college.

Read more about why you should learn coding.

How to Learn Coding

Coding can seem overwhelming to a new learner. There are many avenues and categories to choose from, and picking a topic can seem to be a tremendous feat. The most important task is simply to begin and take those first few steps.

First, remember to be patient with yourself. Look through the coding courses and the live online options and bookmark some that appeal to you. Take note of the topics and recurring themes in each course, program, and bootcamp you find. That will help direct your focus when you narrow them down.

Once you’ve settled into your chosen topic, you can check out some self-paced courses to see if your topic is a good fit for you. Start small—stick with one topic or language at a time, especially if you’re a beginner. Make a list of the ones you enjoyed, and then prioritize them based on your goals until you have a sequence of topics to learn. Once you’re satisfied with your choices, you can can feel more confident about commiting to a more intensive course.

You might want to learn a little bit more about your topic before signing up for a class, which is understandable. Free, pre-recorded classes are a good reference point even if you’re already established in the field. You’ll be able to rewatch them as often as you want, which is perfect if you’re taking notes. That way, you can learn as you go before, during, and after you sign up for coding courses.

Read more in the full guide on how to learn coding.

Free Introductory Coding Course Online

You might feel a little overwhelmed when looking for coding classes and bootcamps, which is perfectly understandable. You’ll likely want to start with something that matches your interests or aligns with your career goals.

It’s okay to hesitate when you’re starting the process of learning to code. Try some free courses first to see which topics appeal to you, and then you can go from there. Many pre-recorded lectures cover the fundamentals and will give you enough knowledge to gauge if it’s right. All these free courses are intended to let you test the waters and make an informed decision before committing.

Websites are where most people start when they’re first learning to code, and the Intro to Front End Web Development class by Noble Desktop shows you which programming languages are needed and how to use them. From there, you can look into WordPress, one of the internet's most-used Content Management Systems (CMS). WordPress is highly customizable, and the Intro to WordPress for Developers course teaches you how HTML and CSS knowledge can enhance its interface.

Another side of coding is data science. General Assembly's free Intro to Data Science class teaches you the essential practices data scientists use. They also have an Intro to Data Analytics course that covers Google Sheets and other standard tools.

Read about more free coding videos and online tutorials.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost

The topics you need to learn before coding depends on the specific coding language you plan to use. In general, you can learn most coding languages with no experience in others. When it comes to ideal languages to start first, most people enjoy HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Python due to their overall accessibility and range of uses. Learn about typical coding prerequisites for more details.

Coding languages themselves are generally free to use and learn. Specific tools may require a fee to install. Luckily, many applications and tools, such as React, are open-source, meaning that it’s freely available for modification and community interaction. For more specifics about the costs associated with coding, check out the guide on coding costs.

The difficulties that come with learning to code are often subjective. Still, most people without experience can gain entry-level coding skills within six months through bootcamps and certificate programs. No matter how you approach learning to code, it’s essential to have a mentor who can give you feedback on your work. Read about how difficult it is to learn coding.

How Does Learning Coding Compare to Other Fields?

Coding is one of the most diverse fields in the modern world. You can code games, teaching tools, and simple-use programs such as algorithms for elevators. You can even program games that teach you how to code elevators.

Even learning simple programming languages such as those that build websites (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) can go a long way in earning you a promotion or helping you stand out in your field. JavaScript is also commonly used for databases and servers, and Python can automate tasks through machine learning and algorithm development. Coding often overlaps with other digital skills such as graphic design, web design, user interface (UI) design, and user experience (UX) design. You’re sure to find more uses for them as you continue to learn.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn Coding

If you’re learning to code without any previous experience, you may want to begin with free online classes that will give you an overview of the programming language (or languages) that interest you. Search through the selection, watch the pre-recorded courses, and take note of the ones that feel aligned with your goals.

You might be someone who already has coding knowledge, but you want to build on skills you already have or branch out into another topic to become a more well-rounded programmer. Bootcamps are best for that purpose. Most bootcamps are available in-person and online; you can adapt them to your specific circumstances. Many of these programs also offer financial assistance if needed.

There’s a chance you’re a professional who already has an entirely different skill set and wants to pivot into a coding role. If that’s correct, you can benefit from taking a certificate program either in-person or live online. These programs include immersive courses that cover various topics relevant to your coding goals. They often include one-on-one mentoring to assist you with employment opportunities and interview skills. By completing a program, you’ll earn a certificate demonstrating your mastery of programming concepts that you can present to your current or future employer for hiring and promotion considerations.

Learn Coding with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop has a robust collection of coding classes and bootcamps that fit various learning needs. They offer in-person classes in Manhattan as well as live online classes internationally. All classes have relatively small class sizes and are taught by coding experts who have practical knowledge in the field. After completing your classes, you’ll have the option to retake those courses at no cost for up to one year, allowing you to practice, review subjects, and receive insights from instructors for free.

If you’re eager to learn a collection of coding languages and applications, the Software Engineering Certificate will give you a taste of three notable ones. You’ll start with Front End Web Development, allowing you to create websites through HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Once you understand these subjects, you’ll shift focus to JavaScript’s various frameworks and databases, including React, Node.js, and Express.js. Finally, you’ll learn Python Development with Django, which is helpful for server-side programming, among other topics.

The Full-Stack Web Development Certificate provides a comprehensive education in coding designed to take you from coding novice to career-ready. You’ll first learn to develop the front ends of websites with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and WordPress. After that, you’ll dive into a JavaScript back end stack known as MERN: MongoDB, Express.js, React, and Node.js.

Anyone interested in algorithms and data collection should look into the Python for Data Science Bootcamp. It’ll show you the fundamentals of Python and everything that it entails. The possibilities of uses with Python are vast. Companies such as Netflix and Amazon use Python, and this bootcamp will teach you how to start writing your own Python programs.

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