The demand for programmers keeps increasing each year and it is not likely to decline. According to the American Bureau of Labour Statistics, employment in the software development sector is set to grow by 22% in the decade between 2020 and 2030.
Currently, programmers or coders are seen as royalty in the job market with average annual remuneration of over $100,000 interest in coding is on the up.
You probably aspire to be a programmer and you are wondering, how do I learn to code, specifically how to learn Java from scratch. Well, you are in luck. This article provides an answer to your question.
What is coding?
Basically, coding means instructing a computer in the language it understands. Codes in programming parlance are artificial languages used to communicate with a computer. For every software, mobile app, and Webpage you see, codes are involved.
These languages are quite technical and require a lot of diligence and logical reasoning to be able to understand and write them.
How to code in Java and other languages?
There are several ways by which to learn how to code but these five ways capture the essence of learning how to code. You can apply these tips in both Java programming and other languages.
- Decide on the kind of developer you want to be.
- Select a programming language.
- Learn the fundamentals of programming.
- Read/Write lots of codes.
- Be active on online coding forums to stay updated.
Decide on the kind of developer you want to be
From the outset, you have to articulate your reason for being a programmer. You must ask yourself why do I want to learn to code? You must know if you are learning to advance your career prospects or are you learning coding to be an app developer or Web designer? Answering these questions will help you decide on the programming language to settle for as well as motivate you when the going gets tough.
There are different kinds of developers viz: back-end developers, front-end developers, and full-stack developers. All of these have their unique niches and where they function.
Front-end developers are concerned with the part of software development used by the everyday user. The design and functionality of a Web page or app is their forte. For instance, UI/UX designers work on improving the experience of a person on a website or a mobile app. They help in making the user interface cleaner and easier to navigate.
Back-end developers work on operating systems and the whole component of what makes software or programs work. Website architecture, databases, server-side development are what back-end developers focus on.
Full-stack developers are experts in both the front end and back end. They offer cross-functionality between the front end and back-end. This usually requires a high level of coding ability to do this.
Select a programming language
- Java. One of the simplest programming languages to learn is Java. Over the years, app developers have come to easily identify with Java due to its features such as having a large number of libraries, ease of deployment, stability, security among others. If you want to go the route of app development, Java is the language to learn.
- Kotlin. inspired by Java, Kotlin has become one of the most popular programming languages among developers. Just like Java it is open-sourced and object-oriented. It is widely used for app development as well. For some developers, Kotlin offers the best platform to build android apps, especially as the unofficial programming language for Google.
- Python. Another simple way to learn a programming language is Python. It is usually used in data science, DevOps, and to make enterprise applications. Financial institutions and government agencies typically deploy Python in designing their websites and apps.
Learn the fundamentals of programming
The fundamentals of programming like every other endeavor is non-negotiable. These are the very essence of what programming is about. Without mastering these basics, every subsequent thing you learn will be defective. Some of these fundamentals include basic syntax, debugging, data structures, and algorithms. IDEs among others.
The basic syntax for instance is the grammar of programming. Computers are generally unable to read typos in codes because it confuses them. Basic syntax helps you understand the right order to place codes to avoid spending time debugging the software.
Debugging is the process involved in removing present and potential errors from lines of code. These errors or bugs can render the software redundant. The ability to use debugging tools ensures a smooth running of your codes.
IDEs or Integrated Development Environment are the toolkits needed to write and finetune codes. Ideally, you want your codes to be clean and error-free. Understanding how to use the individual tools in IDEs goes a long way in helping you design that smooth-running code.
Read and write codes
Needless to say, you can only learn coding by reading and writing codes. Coding is a practice-oriented venture. While reading codes helps you expand your bank of coding knowledge, the actual writing of codes builds your coding ability.
It exposes you to the complexities of writing codes as well as boosts your creative ability. You can read up on the codes written by other programmers and use the template to write your unique codes.
Writing codes by hand prepares you for coding tests that an employer may require a potential developer to pass.
Be active on programming forums to keep updated
The programming space is never static as new discoveries are made every day. Being on forums keeps you informed on the latest happenings. On coding forums are different levels of developers from beginners to experts. Online forums give you a unique opportunity to glean into the minds of professional developers and learn from how they got to the top.
Becoming a programmer is not an insurmountable challenge. Learning how to code is the starting point and with these suggestions, you have nothing to fear. Go on and put them into practice.
Helen Baumeister did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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