Becoming a Programmer From Zero to Sixty

The tech field has become one of the largest and most sought after markets to work for today. As technological advances continue to shift civilization and life itself, more people are needed to satisfy the demand for technically proficient and competent programmers. But getting the necessary skill set and know-how can be daunting, especially in the field of software engineering. Learning the seemingly extraterrestrial syntax of programming languages, like Java and C++, can take time and deliberate effort to practice writing lines of code that work. Here’s four tips on how to take your programming expertise from zero to sixty.

Start Small

A common, and sort of tradition, for newcomers in the field is to try and get “Hello World” to print on their browser. This encourages you to learn a language called HTML, which is a markup language that defines the structure of websites. HTML is ubiqutious in web development and is often used hand in hand with CSS, which is another language that applies some cosmetics to the HTML framework. Taking baby steps is a good way to introduce yourself to programming without being overwhelmed by the sophistication of some more advanced codebases.

Take Online Courses

There’s dozens of online courses that can teach you basic programming concepts as well as specific technologies. From learning what REST API means and how it powers virtually everything we click online to creating mobile applications with Ruby on Rails, there’s a course for just about anything you’ll want to learn about in programming. What’s great about online courses is that most of them are free and self-paced, meaning you can take them whenever you have the time.

Consider Intensive Bootcamps

Intensive web development bootcamps are designed for those who want to make it as a professional programmer. Bootcamps last longer than most online courses but take a shorter period of time to complete compared to a traditional computer science degree. They strive to teach you fundamental programming concepts as well as the specific tools you’ll need to get an entry level job. The cost can range anywhere between $500 to $15,000, depending on what program you decide to take.

Meet Up With Passionate Coders

Look for an OKC PHP meetup or a hackathon happening around your area. These casual meetups are a great way to meet like-minded and equally passionate hackers and programmers who you can learn from. Perhaps the fastest way to learn in programming is through communicating with people who already know how specific things work. If you expose yourself to OKCPHP meetups, seminars, and hackathons, you’ll be able to write elegant code and be able to understand how specific technologies work and interact with each other.

Final Thoughts

There is no secret recipe to become a good programmer. All it takes is deliberate effort and a hunger and passion for tinkering with code. Don’t be afraid to “Inspect” and “View Page Source” to see what’s under the hood, ask questions and answer some on Stack Overflow or Reddit.