On the other hand, if you’re a mid-career professional looking to transition into a tech career, a short-term coding bootcamp might make more sense than going into debt for a second degree. If all you want to do is build websites or push your Raspberry Pi to its limits, a combination of interactive tutorials and free online courses might be enough to get you going.
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Sometimes, it’s just easier to watch someone show you how it’s done. You can find all kinds of educational videos about nearly any coding-related topic nowadays: ex-Googlers sharing solutions on coding interviews, YouTubers livestreaming their coding marathons, and even programming veterans showing you how to troubleshoot a specific error in any language you want.
Whether you’re an adult looking to transition into the tech industry, a student looking to learn the latest language, or a hobbyist who just wants to understand how software and services work, all you need is a computer and internet access to start your programming journey. But before you take a flying leap into The Matrix, here are our best tips and resources to set you off on the right foot.
This is our best piece of coding advice: If you can’t figure out why your code is broken, you can always look for solutions online. You’re probably not the first person to make your mistake, after all, and someone on the internet has surely already found a solution to your issue. Just “copy and paste” your error message into Google (or your preferred search engine), add a pair of quotation marks around the entire phrase so that you’re not just searching for keywords, then hit “Enter.” Hopefully, this little trick will lead you to the correct answer.
You should do your touch typing lessons as often as you are capable of without hurting your fingers! As with everything else, regular training gives the best result. Most people will probably get the best result by distributing the lessons to several days in the week rather the doing a lot of exercises in one day. It is a good idea to put your touch type training into a calendar to be sure to remember to do them. If you don't have a calendar you can use the Google calendar which is free and easy to use. In this way it is easier to remember to do your exercises.
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As a self-taught programmer, you might also benefit from books that offer broader advice on the profession. You’ll improve your thinking and habits, traits you can apply to any language you decide to learn. Steve McConnell’s 900-page Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (2nd Edition) is considered the definitive guide for best practices, with data-backed advice on everything from project design to debugging code.
Luckily, institutions like the Flatiron School and The Grace Hopper Program offer scholarships or deferred tuition to make these bootcamps more affordable for under-represented groups like minorities and women in tech. Check out Course Report for a comprehensive breakdown of the many online and in-person bootcamps—including detailed reviews from their alums, which can help you decide whether a bootcamp is going to help you achieve your programming dreams.