Learn Programming

A Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning Programming

Computer programming is a process that involves writing code that’s intended to perform a specific action on a software program, application, or computer. This code provides instructions on how the device should perform. A programmer’s job is to write these instructions, which involves creating and testing code the software program, app, or computer will use to operate successfully. In 1843, Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace created the first programming language. In the time since, nearly 9,000 programming languages have been created. In this overview, you’ll learn more about what programming is, what it can do, who uses it, and how to learn it to determine how to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

Computer programming is a popular, high-tech field. In the job, programmers write code that locates and solves issues. Once the code is written, Programmers devise strategies to improve or enhance it, so the code can be used to implement various company initiatives. If you’ve always wanted to study programming but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn programming, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use programming.

What is Programming?

Computer programming is writing coded instructions that communicate to a computer, software program, or application you’d like for it to perform a specific task. Programmers write code to create these instructions to find solutions to different issues and ensure that different software programs and apps will operate successfully. This process often involves devising strategies to enhance code to implement organizational initiatives more effectively. Most programmers work with various coding languages, such as Python, C++, and JavaScript. Typically, Computer Programmers perform various daily tasks: writing code, updating software programs to address security vulnerabilities or fix bugs, writing and testing code for apps and programs, troubleshooting code to spot errors, and translating existing code from one programming language to another. It’s a job that is ever-changing. The field of computer programming continues to grow in popularity as Programmers find new ways to communicate more effectively with computers. Programming has changed drastically over the past century. Initially, programmers used punch cards containing rows of numbers read by a machine. Now, it incorporates drag-and-drop interfaces and other methods that allow for much faster programming speed. Although some individuals use the terms “programming” and “coding” interchangeably, the two are slightly different by definition. Programming is a mental process that requires creating the instructions given to a computer. In contrast, coding pertains to translating those instructions into a written language understandable to a computer. Read more about what programming is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Programming?

Computer programming is a versatile skill with various uses across industries and professions. Because we rely so much on computers for daily tasks, those who know how to program have many job opportunities. 

The following are a few items you can do with a background in programming:

  • Programmers who know languages such as JavaScript, CSS, or HTML can design interactive websites for clients.
  • Individuals with advanced programming skills are needed to create computer games, a popular form of entertainment for many. 
  • Mobile apps are more popular than ever as cell phones become more widely used for everyday tasks like banking and navigating. Those who know how to program can create mobile apps to simplify these tasks.
  • Repetitive work tasks can take many hours of tedious work to complete. However, with the help of automation, they can be instructed to work independently to complete said tasks. Programming skills make it possible to automate tasks like posting on social media, controlling the thermostat at home, or sending emails.
  • Programming with R or Python allows users to incorporate advanced statistical analysis into analytical or research tasks. 
  • With programming, it is possible to build or maintain large databases. Programmers use languages such as SQL or PHP to use and maintain extensive databases.
  • Those who work in the field of data science rely on programming to perform tasks such as developing models that can make predictions based on data insights.

Careers that Use Programming

Programming skills are currently in demand in professions and industries across the globe. With this demand comes high pay rates for qualified Computer Programmers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for a Computer Programmer in 2021 was $93,000 a year. Programming skills are an asset to a variety of professions. The following is a list of some of the most popular programming jobs available:

  • There’s a growing need for AI Engineers in all fields since this is one of the fastest-growing areas for tech professionals such as Programmers. These individuals use machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence tools and skills.
  • The healthcare industry benefits from those with a background in data science and computer programming. Individuals who bring analytical skills to the job can create IT systems that can leverage and learn from various data resources in healthcare. In addition, as the healthcare field begins to learn from its data, Programmers are expected to play a vital role in helping providers become more efficient and ultimately achieve improved patient outcomes.
  • Programmers are highly valued in financial service careers. Because of how widely used mobile banking and other technologies are, the financial service industry continues to expand rapidly to keep up with new applications and features.
  • The computer security industry relies heavily on Programmers to help improve the security of the range of internet-of-things devices being created. Many companies who manufacture these devices aren’t aware that these products are migrating to the internet even though necessary security considerations haven’t occurred. Programmers play an essential role in securing these devices.
  • Although it’s not commonly associated with programming, the education sector also benefits significantly from those with a mastery of programming languages. It’s essential for education to stay on pace with innovation. Therefore, there’s a high demand for creative, scalable, engaging educational programs, such as online bookkeeping services and digital reading programs.

In addition to typical applications of programming, many traditional industries, such as agriculture and oil, require qualified programmers to create software. If you’re currently on the hunt for a job, programming skills are an excellent way to find work in nearly any industry around the globe.

Why Learn Programming?

Computer programming is one of the most sought-after skill sets in this technological age. Because the tech boom isn’t expected to slow in the coming years, those with programming skills have many job prospects with high pay. The median pay for Programmers in 2021 was $93,000. Programming is valuable because of how much of the world is automated online. Those with coding skills have the power to improve how businesses run, which is of value to many employers. 

Another reason to learn programming is that the profession has many perks beyond the high pay. Not only are programming jobs available in various fields and professions, but many provide enticing work benefits, such as unlimited vacation time, flex hours, and work-from-home options. In addition, programming is a skill that allows you to explore your creativity through a technical channel. This profession involves much more than giving machines instructions; it involves problem-solving, abstract thinking, and creativity. Even though programming may seem a rigid, tedious process, those skilled at writing code find creative solutions to real-world problems that address the larger picture. They create code from scratch, using the organization’s goals to inform their work. This process involves experimenting with different codes to find the most efficient, appropriate solution. 

You may also want to learn programming because it’s a skill that can lead to much greater workplace efficiency. Programmers create applications that can automate regular processes that would otherwise take many hours. In addition, they create websites or apps that reach a much wider audience of interested customers. This scalability has the potential to improve an organization’s reach much more than advertisements, or physical stores would be able to accomplish.

Read more about why you should learn programming.

How to Learn Programming

If you want to learn more about computer programming, excellent study options are available from Noble Desktop and other top educational providers. In-person programming courses provide hands-on training from instructors who have industry experience working with programming languages. These interactive courses are perfect for extroverted learners who thrive in the classroom setting. Another benefit of the in-person study is that it provides a computer lab with the most up-to-date software and tools.

In addition to in-person study options, more than 400 live online programming classes are available. Like in-person study, live online coursework allows students to connect with an instructor in real-time who’s available to answer questions, provide support, and help with complex programming concepts. This learning format also allows students to complete all coursework remotely from the comfort of their home or office space.

Many educational providers also offer self-paced online programming classes. Unlike in-person and live online study, asynchronous programming material can be completed at your speed, on your own time. It consists of pre-recorded videos, YouTube videos, blogs, and other resources. These materials can be watched or read at any time of the day from any location. An additional benefit of on-demand programming material is that it is the most affordable learning option. Some content is even available for free. These accessible features make self-paced options a helpful resource for those new to programming or those who want to get an overview of this field before committing to a more structured learning path.

Noble’s Desktop’s Blog & Learning Resources page provides a wealth of information about different programming languages. Interested learners can read more about Python, JavaScript, Coding, and Data Science. If you want to learn about Python specifically, you can also check out Noble’s YouTube channel, which has a range of videos on this language. Their YouTube video, Making a Twitter Bot in Python, provides an hour of beginner-friendly instruction on how to get started writing Python code. In addition, Noble’s Python Tutorial: Exchanging Excel for Python is also provided for free. This video discusses whether Python will replace Excel in the future in fields like marketing or finance and how you can work with this programming language to stay ahead of the curve.

Noble provides an Intro to Front-End Web Development for those wishing to learn fundamental skills needed for creating the parts of a website visible in a browser. Another option offered by Noble is their Intro to Python Fundamentals. This one-hour webinar explores what Python is and how to install it. 

Read the complete guide on how to learn programming.

Free Introductory Programming Course Online 

Free introductory programming courses are available online if you want to learn computer programming but aren’t sure about enrolling in an entire course. These courses and videos are designed to help you understand different programming languages before committing to more intensive learning options. 

Noble Desktop offers an hour-long webinar devoted to getting started with Python programming. Intro to Python Fundamentals provides an overview of how to use Python for automating boring or repetitive tasks. This beginner-friendly course is designed for those who may be new to programming and want to know what Python is and how to work with it. Noble also offers Intro to Node.js for those who want to learn about this popular JavaScript framework used for creating web apps. 

In addition to Noble’s free online programming resources, materials are available from other top educators as well. Udemy currently has several free online programming classes, such as Programming 101, designed for those new to working with hardware, networking, licensing, and programming. In addition, Git & GitHub Crash Course: Create a Repository From Scratch is also available. This course is a mere half an hour long and teaches students how to make a Git repository, clone it, and make changes. Coursera also provides a wide range of free programming courses. Code Yourself! An Introduction to Programming offers 12 hours of beginner-friendly content on core programming principles in software engineering. Coursera’s C++ Basic Structures: Vectors, Pointers, Strings, and Files includes nine hours of instruction on how to code and run a C++ program.

Read more about free programming videos and online tutorials.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

If you’re interested in learning programming, you may wonder how hard it is to write code. Programming is generally considered difficult to learn due to the complex instructions a computer can understand. When communicating with a computer, you can’t simply feed it instructions in English or any other human-created language. Thus, depending on the project in the cue, Programmers have to learn different languages to communicate with the computer, a process similar to learning French so that you can speak to locals when visiting Paris. 

Programming is also considered by most to be a complex skill to learn because of the sheer number of languages being created each day. It can be challenging for some individuals to decide which is best to study. Another factor contributing to the difficulty of learning programming is the inherent uncertainty in this field. Additionally, the vocabulary required to write code can be challenging to acquire for those who don’t have prior technical experience or aren’t familiar with primary foundational languages such as C. 

Because programming requires an understanding of logic, it’s essential for those who wish to master different coding languages to have a solid background in the field of logic as a prerequisite. Logic involves the study of “correct” reasoning. There are two primary branches of logic: formal and informal. Formal logic studies logical truths or deduct inferences; informal pertains to critical thinking, informal fallacies, and argumentation theory. Logical or “correct” reasoning is used in many fields, such as linguistics, philosophy, math, and computer science. Learning to code will be a much more challenging task if you don’t know how to understand or work with logical statements. 

In terms of cost, the good news is that most of the core coding languages are free to use and simply require installation. Popular languages like C, Python, R, Java, and C++ are free downloads.

Read about how difficult it is to learn programming.

How Does Learning Programming Compare to Other Fields?

Many people use the terms “programming” and “computer science” interchangeably. Although these two fields are closely related, they differ fundamentally concerning training, cost, and difficulty. 

At its heart, computer science involves understanding the theory behind computer processes. Programming is the practical application of this theory, which can help them come to life. Tools and skills such as human-computer interactions, database management, software engineering, and artificial intelligence play an integral role in computer science. Programmers focus on creating, writing, and testing code that will plug into operating systems or software applications.

Computer Scientists and Programmers often work together to create new technology. Computer Scientists collect requirements and document their findings to understand better how a system works so they can make recommendations to improve the system. Programmers are tasked with reviewing this documentation and designing a system that aligns with the suggestions and requirements. Within both fields, there’s room for specialization. Some Computer Scientists focus on one or more types of technology that are of interest, such as software engineering or AI. Similarly, Programmers often select one or more coding languages to master. 

In terms of difficulty, computer science and programming are considered relatively tricky skills to master. Computer Scientists must have programming skills, which makes programming a prerequisite for computer science. For this reason, computer science is thought to have a steep learning curve, especially for those without a programming background. Both computer science and programming require attention to detail so that the developer can address any tiny coding mistakes since tiny mistakes result in significant problems. In addition, those who work in both fields must have creative and logical skills to write unique code to accomplish tasks in various ways.

Cost-wise, the most popular programming languages, such as Python, JavaScript, and C++, are free to use. Both Programmers and Computer Scientists use these languages. In addition, tools that help Programmers and Computer Scientists create applications and maintain their computers are also essential. Tools such as interpreters, compilers, editors, debuggers, and application generators are used in both fields that may require additional costs for purchase. 

If you want to learn more about computer programming, Noble Desktop’s Coding Blog & Learn Resources page provides a range of articles. In addition, more than 100 articles are available on Data Science and Noble’s Data Science Blog & Learning Resources page.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn Programming

If you want to learn programming, a variety of excellent in-person and online learning options are available from top educators like Noble Desktop. Deciding which class type suits your programming needs will ultimately depend on how you intend to use this skill. 

If you’re new to programming and don’t want to invest much money in studies before you know if this field is a good match, free introductory materials are a great starting point. These courses generally contain pre-recorded material, such as YouTube videos or tutorials, and are designed to provide an overview of programming basics. Some self-paced online content pertains to specific programming languages, like Python or SQL, whereas other provides an overview of the field. One of the main benefits of asynchronous materials is that users can access them at any time, day, and location. Asynchronous classes can be a flexible and convenient study option for those balancing full-time work and other commitments. 

Noble Desktop’s Making a Twitter Bot in Python is a free seminar where participants receive instructions on creating a social media bot. This course provides learners tips on creating various Twitter bots, such as ones that send out personal messages or contain valuable hyperlinks. 

For those who want to develop a working knowledge of programming, learn skills to grow within a current role, or plug a skill gap, bootcamps are designed for you. These courses are often available in both in-person and live online formats. Expert instructors with real-world programming experience provide lessons and are on hand to offer support and answer questions as they arise. Students who wish to explore programming in this interactive environment can select courses in various popular languages, from JavaScript to Python to full stack web development. Although these courses generally cost several hundred to several thousand dollars, they offer participants a great way to network with other programmers while receiving instruction that will help them professionally.

A more rigorous program may be beneficial if you’re interested in learning computer programming to begin a new career or pivot to a new industry. Certificate study provides learners with several weeks to months of intensive training on the core programming skills needed to begin a new career. Certificate programs are generally the most expensive learning option (often costing thousands of dollars). They often include professional perks such as one-on-one mentoring, help with professional portfolios, or the option of a course retake to revisit complex material. Noble’s in-person and live online programming certificates are available in topics such as Python Developer Certificate, JavaScript Development Certificate, and Full-Stack Web Development Certificate.

Learn Programming with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop, an educational provider, located in Manhattan, offers a range of programming courses for those new to this field and individuals with more advanced coding skills. Noble’s bootcamps and certificates provide hands-on programming training in the small class setting and are an excellent option for those who want to take their programming skills to the next level.

Those wishing to pursue a career as a Full Stack Web Developer, explore Noble’s in-person and live online Full-Stack Web Development Certificate since it presents a high-level learning opportunity. Instruction is provided on both front end web development and back end programming. Participants in this rigorous course learn CSS, JavaScript, and HTML. In addition, instruction is provided on using Git to track code changes. Those enrolled also create dynamic web apps using Node.js and React. For those who want to study the most widely used programming language, Noble’s JavaScript Development Certificate is for you. This intensive certificate program teaches students how to use JavaSript to design websites, build web applications, and create database-driven apps.

Noble also offers a Data Science Certificate for those interested in becoming Data Scientists. This hands-on program provides mentoring, as well as hands-on training, from industry experts. Instruction is provided on core data science skills, such as creating machine learning models, using SQL to query databases, and performing data analysis using Python. Tuition includes the option of a free class retake for up to one year, as well as one-on-one mentoring.

Noble also offers an in-person and live online Python Developer Certificate for those who want to work with Python. Those who enroll in this certificate receive hands-on instruction on fundamental Python programming skills, like using Django for Python software development and working with Django REST, SQL, and Git. This training is designed to prepare students to become Back End Developers, Software Engineers, or Python Engineers.

Software Engineering Certificate: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, 0% Financing, 1-on-1 Mentoring, Free Retake, Job Prep. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

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