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Why and How to learn programming?

By: Ethan Nunes and Vedant Mundra 

Rustomjee Cambridge International School, Mumbai.

We all have seen those green lines of code in movies, where the hacker seems to have gotten into the government’s top-secret program with a few lines of code typed at a ridiculous speed! Have you ever wondered how people actually hack into others’ computers or how people code in real life? If you’ve and want to know more about it, then you’ve come to the right place!

To begin with, you may be wondering, what exactly does this word programming mean? It is nothing but the ability to write code for or develop programs for computers. Programmers are of various types, some code for programs that are used by the computer to perform important tasks, whereas some might code for the programs that you use on your phones or program different types of applications or games that you might use. Similarly, a programming language provides the computer with instructions to perform tasks that you want the computer to do. In simple words it is the language in which you communicate with the computer. English, French, and Spanish are few of the various languages that humans use to communicate with each other. Likewise, we can even communicate with computers in more than one language. These languages may be used for different purposes.

Now that you know about what the term programming means, you might be wondering “Why should I learn programming and how is it useful?” If you have good problem solving and critical thinking skills along with an interest in how technology works then you should consider programming to begin with. Contrary to the popular belief that coding is quite mathematical and boring, it will actually allow you to express yourself, by thinking of innovative solutions to real-life problems. If you want to make a career in this field then you have the advantage of working from anywhere as all you need is your laptop and your coding skills! Since everything is going digital, every company will need someone who can program apps or make useful software for them, so the job prospects of being a programmer in the future are looking quite bright!

Programming is used in various sectors like e-commerce to make the user’s buying experience smoother and to give them personalized recommendations, it is also used in robotics and artificial intelligence to innovate and come up with various new robots or technology. If you love how smooth your online experience is or how connected you’re to the world today, you might want to thank coding for this! Programming/coding has various applications in various different fields.

If you feel excited to learn to code and feel quite eager, to begin with, it, then you might have various questions in your mind. Which programming languages should I begin with? What language is the most useful? Which language is the most beginner friendly? How do I start learning one language? Etc are some common questions that you might have at this stage. But not to worry as we’ve prepared a list of some of the most popular and amazing languages to begin with that might make you fall in love with programming!

By the end of this guide, you will have learned about how to start with popular programming languages like Python or JavaScript and more.

Let’s get started!

What Is Programming?

Programming is a specialized language that can be used in a number of industries, especially those involved with the internet or technology. It provides a series of instructions that tell computer how to do process. Every time you use a website or may interact with social media, talk on the phone, or send an email; there’s programming involved.

And even if you’re not working at a company that needs programmers right now, learning to code will boost your skills and make you more employable later down the line.

What Can Be Learned From Programming?

Programming is a fundamental part of the computer world and is the first step to a variety of careers in the technical industry. It can be an intimidating subject for those who are new to it, but learning how to code for beginners could help open up a world of career opportunities with many desirable benefits. Programming can give you a greater understanding of other languages, such as mathematics or chemistry, since most problems have logic at their core. 

In this way, coding for beginners helps prepare students for future STEM classes.

Additionally, these skills may also prove valuable to employers looking for coders or programmers who will work on a variety of projects.

Programming Improves Problem Solving and Logic

Programming is one of the quickest ways to increase problem solving skills. Building a simple program from scratch teaches you the value of logical thinking, planning, debugging, and working with others on a team. Plus it looks great on a resume! As with any skill, there is no quick fix or easy way out. If you want to be good at coding, then you have to put in the time.

Languages to begin with:

Python:

Originally Released – February 20, 1991

Made by – Dutch Programmer Guido Van Rossum

Python is a good first language as it has a straightforward syntax that’s easy to follow. Students can also develop a wide range of applications with Python, such as web-based information scrapers and data manipulators, not only because of its simplicity but also because many popular libraries have been written in Python. Another aspect of Python’s syntax is that it will force you to write “clean code”, code which is easy to read and debug.

  • It is a high level programming language which is popular in fields like machine learning, artificial language, data science, back end web development etc.
  • It is also used heavily in the scientific field and academic research.

Here are some tools to get you started with learning Python:

  1. The book, “Python Crash Course 2nd Edition A Hands-On , Project – Based Introduction to Programming” by Eric Matthes is wonderful book to begin your programming journey with Python.
  2. Online tutorials, such as the one provided by org is also a brilliant resource to start learning this language, as it provides you with videos which are easy to understand and remember.

Java:

Initially name: Oak

First release – May 23, 1995.

Developed by – James Gosling

Jave principle: Write once runs anywhere

Here are some tools to get you started:

Online tutorials on YouTube or websites are also popular and useful to begin with.

Javascript:

Created by – Brendan Eich in 1995

  • Javascript is one the chief programming languages used in the making of the World Wide Web.
  • It is used to build interactive and complex web browsers.
  • Javascript is very useful in coding for mobile applications, and also in games due to its ability to create amazing visual effects.
  • reason to learn JavaScript is its syntax, which is pretty simple and logical that makes it easier for beginners to understand how the language works

Here are some easy ways to get you started with Javascript:

The online tutorials for Javascript on freecodecamp.org really get the basics off and then continue.

C:

C was created by Dennis Ritchie who is actually the co-developer of Unix. C is one of the more complex programming languages on the list which is slightly harder to learn and does require more time because of its complex syntax. However, it is very beneficial as many programming languages are implemented in C and other programming languages are much easier to learn. Not only does C help you understand how a computer works, but it also works on any operating system. It is used in the development of applications, web pages, and operating systems. Companies like Google and Youtube use C daily.

The following methods are good ways to start up on C:

1)The book, “C Programming Absolute Beginner’s Guide” is a good read for an introduction to Ruby as a beginner

2)Online tutorials on youtube or websites like Udemy or Coursera are also popular and useful, to begin with.                                                                     

Ruby:

Ruby was created by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto and released in the year 1995 but wasn’t publicly accepted until 2006. It got its name from one of his colleagues. It was created for the simple reason of programmers being able to have fun. The main appeal of ruby is how simplistic it is as it is very easy to read and write, with its high-level syntax, making the programmer feel like they are coding English. Commands in Ruby process faster than most languages making it very efficient for you to use. Ruby can help with dynamic websites and general-purpose apps. Companies like Apple and Airbnb often look for programmers who can code using Ruby.

The following are good ways to learn Ruby.

1)The book, “The Ruby Programming Language” is a good read for an introduction to Ruby as a beginner.

2)Online tutorials on YouTube or websites are also popular and useful, to begin with.

Conclusion:

The time has come for you to begin your programming journey! Another helpful resource that almost all programmers use is StackOverflow, it is a forum in which you can post your doubts and fellow programmers will help you! In the end, remember, there is more to programming than just learning the languages, the most important aspect of programming is the ability to solve problems using code. The more you will practice and learn, the better you will become at problem solving!

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