I know what you are thinking. You probably think that only geniuses and prodigies can learn how to code. Or perhaps you saw a pile of code running on your computer and you think, 'Geez, what the heck!?. Yeah, we've all been there but believe it or not we can all learn how to code regardless of age or learning ability. But, before you click out of this hub, frightened to death, let me tell you something. I am not a nerd, geek or techie. I am simply a person who learned how to code and now reap the benefits.
In this article, I'll be telling you why you should learn to code and how. It's easy to start making your own apps, websites and games in no time.
Why Should I Learn?
There are hundreds of reasons on why you should learn. Although you may be thinking when you'll ever need to know when to code. Besides, you can't really show off to your friends that you know how to code. Maybe a few bizarre looks but that's all you'll ever get.
Well, that's beside the point. Coding is a very (note, the emphasis) very, very empowering skill to learn. Think about it, we all depend on technologies; Facebook, SmartPhones, the device you are using to read this hub, medical devices, apps, games, websites, the list goes on forever, it's clear how much we depend on technology in our everyday lives. We are all moving ever forward into the future, with all of us depending more and more on technology. And you know what? None of us know how to read and write code!
One of the main and best benefits is all the jobs. You know how to code? You will easily get a job in software companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, SAP, Amazon or Oracle. The coolest thing about working in these companies is the perks. You get free food, massages, spas and better maternity leave. The offices are top-class. There are over 1 million software engineering jobs that are unfilled in the United States.
Another great thing is that if you know how to make your own apps or games, you can put them on the Android Marketplace and make a load of money if people buy them.
Check out the awesome video below which gives you all the details.
How Do I Learn?
So how do you actually learn? That's a good question. There are many ways you can learn to code from tutorials on the internet to books that go through it with you. I've gone through all the books and websites and I have picked out the best ones that are bulletproof and effectively teach you how to code. Read further for more.
Codecademy is a website which teaches you how to code step by step using tutorials which start off very basic to getting very advanced, all for free.. It has the instructions on the left hand side of the page, a code editor in the centre, where you write your code. Then, when you run the code, it has a 'shell' on the right which shows you what actually happens when you run your code. The tutorials are made by professionals and expert software engineers who make it easy and fun. You have to sign up for an account with virtually a username and a password, or you can sign using your Google Account. The sign-up process is very easy, taking a couple of seconds really.
The proof isn't just in this review, the site has received positive feedback and great ratings from blogs, websites and newspapers such as TechCrunch and The New York Times. And that's not all, the site had 550,000 users who had completed over 600 million exercises. So why not have a go? It will be worth your while.
AppInventor.org is a website and editor which teaches you how to make your own apps using their editor. It is a lot easier to use than if you were to use the Android editor (could take a full year before you start making a very basic app). First of all, you design the interface of your app. Then you program it with easy to use event blocks (example: If they touch the button, the song will play). Once you have your app programmed, you can connect it to your Android device or use their emulator and play the app. The first app you make is the HelloPurr app. Touch the kitty and it will meow! Yes, it is basic but a huge milestone for budding app creators! After creating that app, you can start making navigation apps using GPS, note takers, magic 8 balls, paint and drawing apps and lots more. There is a wide variety of components you can use in your apps such as:
Text to Speech capability
Sound and Player
To use appinventor, you don't need to know how to code at all. There are plenty of tutorials which go through the invention of the app step by step. The only drawback is that Google Play and the Apple App Store might not accept your app into their marketplace if it isn't actually 'coded' using Java. At least you can make highly advanced and fully functional apps with little knowledge of coding.
New - Coursera: One Of The Best Places To Learn
Another fantastic place to learn programming is Coursera, a free, educational website which offers courses from universities around the globe. This is not your usual educational website, the courses are of an extremely high standard and the course is taught by some of the best lecturers and professors in the world. This website has been praised by Oprah Winfrey in her O Magazine and you need to sign up to avail of the courses. The courses are similar to that of any university course, you are given lecture videos, homework, assignments etc. The assignments have to be given in by a certain due date and usually there is a final exam at the end. I have done programming courses on Coursera and I have found them absolutely excellent. Plus, you get a certificate at the end if you got at least a pass in the course.
If you want to do some courses to add to your CV, you can do signature tracks. These courses give you a proper certificate at the end in which your identity has been certified by Coursera and you have an official diploma.
Now, in October, November and December 2013, is currently a course which teaches you interactive programming in Python and is an introductory course, so no programming experience is needed. Rice University in the U.S is teaching this. Over 50,000 people are taking this course and it can be great fun too.
Hello World: The Best Book for Coding on the Market
As the title suggests, this is the best book for learning how to code on the market. It teaches you how to actually code using a common language called Python. It goes through the set up process which is very easy and begins step by step on teaching you how to write that language. By the end of the book, not only will you have a great software terminology which is useful for any language such as Java but you will be creating games too. The language is simple so that any random person can understand it and it's snazzy and catchy language will delight any one, no matter what age.
So, after this article, it is great to know that learning to code and make apps is easy if you know where to go and what to do. Warning: Learning to code takes stamina and endurance so you will not be a whizz at it overnight but as you practise and learn, you will get better and better at it over time. The best age to start would be when you are still a child as you can absorb languages quickly and easily but even if you are an adult, you can still learn. I hope you enjoyed this hub and please leave your feedback below. I will be delighted to answer you!