We all know that learning to code takes hard work. The problem is that many tutorials on how to become a programmer try to intimidate the reader. Or they suggest they enrol in expensive programs at their local university. But that's not what we want, we want to tell you how you can improve your programming skills without spending a lot! Let's see how to become a computer programmer at a reasonable price.
In 10 easy Steps to Become a Computer Programmer
We’ve covered everything you need to know about how to become a computer programmer. We’ll go over all the fundamentals in detail, so you’ll have no problems! Let’s look at ten easy steps on this rewarding journey!
- Make a goal and stick to it
The first step, of course, is to be 100% sure that you will become a programmer. Before you start, think the whole thing through and fully commit to it. Realize that the learning curve will be complex, and the first few lessons might seem difficult.
However, once you learn the basics, you will find programming quite fun. From then on, it gets easier. Start by going through the available materials. If you find it interesting and are sure you won’t give up anytime soon, then give it a serious look.
- Choose your programming language
You can start by focusing on one language. Don’t start by learning two or more from scratch. Once you have a firm grasp on one, you can move on to another.
Remember, you need to be patient. You need to learn all the basics without skipping anything. We recommend starting with Python. Not only is it efficient, but it’s also easier than several other languages. Plus, because it is open source, there is a huge community of developers. So, you can get access to many resources for free.
- Practice as much as possible
The next step to becoming a programmer is to practice. Whatever language you choose, just practicing it will help you learn. There is no shortcut. Set a time frame for practicing every day. It is imperative that you keep trying different codes no matter what. If you don’t understand some parts, check out guides or tutorials that are available online.
It’s not as hard as it seems. According to experts, it can take students four months to ten months to learn a language. So, start practicing!
- Learn more about Programming Tools & Become a Pro
Finding the best tool that you are completely comfortable with can help you a lot in practical life. For example, Codecademy is a great free resource platform. All you must do is type in the browser and you will get a score based on performance. But that’s not what a programmer really does.
You can use these free resources to learn. But you have to use the tools that programmers use to practice. Some great Ruby on Rails options include Opal, Breakman, and Pry. Meanwhile, for PHP, some ideal tools are Netbeans, Eclipse, and PHPStorm. You can find several tutorial videos on the internet that you can use to learn how to use these tools effectively.
- Learn how to read code
Most people tend to skip this step. However, a good programmer can read existing code and modify it accordingly. After reading the code, you can figure out how the program works. This will also speed up your learning process. You can use documentation like GitHub to get the existing code and then debug it to see how it runs. Pick just one and work your way through each line. Once you’re good at it, you can write the code yourself.
- Become part of the community
One of the necessary parts of becoming a programmer is joining a community. In fact, the choice can be a great one for you. As part of a community, you will get the push needed to succeed on this arduous path. Plus, working in a group makes the learning process completely painless.
If you run into a problem, you can easily ask for help. While in-person groups are great, they are not always available. So, try to stick to online communities where support is available 24/7. In the beginning, you can choose the Reddit, Stack Overflow, and DEV community. They all have a range of programmers from beginners to experts.
- Leverage your projects & build them
Watching tutorials or videos is fun, but it’s just not going to be good. So, the next step should be to use the skills you’ve learned to build a project. Before you join a group, try an independent project first. After you have created some successful programs, join a group to work on the tasks together.
- Work on your timing
While it’s great that you can build projects yourself, if it takes you long enough to complete a project, you need to polish your skills. To make a career out of your computer programming skills, you need to be highly productive. You will be a part of many projects and keeping them, all together can be difficult if you are slow. So the next step is to get up to speed.
- Learn other languages
Once you’ve mastered one language, start working on the others. Just sticking to one won’t be enough. Becoming an expert in more than one language can open huge opportunities for you. While it’s a lot of work, it can be very beneficial for your future!
- Have your own professional network
Creating projects or joining a community helps to expand your network. Most people want to learn programming because they want a career change.
Whether it’s a well-established career or freelance, building a network ensures the success of your skills. In fact, most new programmers are hired this way. You can volunteer at events, attend meetings, or even start a blog. These methods are ideal for spreading the word about the programming market.
Useful tips for your programming journey
Now that you know how to become a programmer, here are some tips to help you on your way:
Code when you can
While learning more than one language has its advantages, it also has its disadvantages. If you stop coding as soon as you learn a language, your hard work will be useless. So when you get the chance, you need to practice your skills.
Try to challenge yourself
You can’t become an expert unless you challenge yourself from time to time. Pushing yourself is the perfect way to master your newly acquired skills in a short time.
Contribute to communities
There are many open-source communities. Contributing something can be a significant milestone. It will help improve your programming skills and become part of a larger community.
Connect with programmers
Partnering with skilled programmers is also another great trick to becoming an expert. Since they have more knowledge, they can guide you well.
Implement your specialty
Not every programmer is able to master all the languages you know. In fact, most people are best in only a few languages. Therefore, knowing your specialty will be very beneficial when it comes to group projects.
Stay up to date
It’s important to stay up to date with the latest developments. Do extensive research or read books to learn new coding tricks. Since technology changes rapidly, it will be very beneficial to stay up to date.