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.
The less work your fingers do to press the keys the faster you will be able to move them. Most keyboards require only a light touch to register a key stroke, so there is no need to mash the keys down. You should type with the minimum force necessary. You will type faster and put less strain on your body. Typing involves muscles not only in your fingers, but in your hands, arms, back, shoulders, neck and head.
You may have enough experience typing to know most of the common keys - the letters, the space bar, enter, and I’ll bet you know that backspace! But you might be uncomfortable with some of the keys you don’t use as frequently. Do you have to slow down and look at the keyboard to type a number or symbol? If you program or work with spreadsheets you will use the symbol keys frequently. If you are a gamer there are probably CTRL, ALT and function keys that you fumble for in the heat of the battle. In fact, most all programs can be used more productively when you know the key combo shortcuts for doing common tasks. Hitting these awkward keys and combos accurately allows you to maintain focus on what you are doing, so make sure you include them in your typing practice.
When you reverse-engineer someone else’s code, testing each line to see how it works, you get a better understanding of the big picture. Thanks to the tons and tons of open-source code that’s out there, you can learn just about anything by examining someone else’s (flawless) work. Just remember to share your code back with the community if inspiration strikes and you improve a part of the program you were fiddling with.
Also, something that I've found is that if you go wrong somewhere instead of mindlessly searching for the error (assuming there are multiple or you don't know the error's location) just start from the beginning and go down seeing that if this works. If you see a break and something disconnects, in all probability that's where the error is. It's all logic.
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Your answer can help determine which programming language(s) you should master, as well as what sort of commitment (in time and money) your goal may require. For example, if your dream is to create the next great operating system or a killer alternative to PhotoShop , you would benefit from a formal computer science education that teaches you C++, as well as more complex topics like data structure, algorithms and memory allocation.
Take a few minutes (or a day) to think about the reasons—the real reasons—why you want to learn a programming language. Be honest with yourself. Are you trying to learn the barest minimum to score a promotion? Are you looking to make a big career change? Do you want to create the next greatest app? Thrill your roommates by programming your various smart devices to do something awesome?