With your index fingers you can feel a bump on the keys 'F' and 'J'. When you type you must get back to these two keys as soon as a key has been pressed on the keyboard so that you know all the time where you are on the keyboard. If you don't find the keys 'F' and 'J' again you will get lost and make a lot of mistakes. For the same reasons the first lessons are done without ever moving your fingers from these two keys.

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?


Do you have a smarthome device like the Amazon Echo? You can put your coding skills to the test by creating customized mini-programs to get more functionality out of your devices’ digital assistants. Amazon’s Alexa may already know many basic voice-command “skills,” like reading the latest news headlines, but you can teach her more complicated tasks by coding in Node.js, Java, Python, C#, or Go. (Or, if you want to start with something easier, try the simpler Alexa skill blueprints site.)

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.

I can’t recommend Harvard’s CS50x Introduction to Computer Science enough. You can audit the course for free via edX and earn a certificate by completing all the assignments, or you can go at your own pace and watch all the lectures posted on Youtube. You can build your own DIY college-level computer science program with this selection of fifteen online courses (many of which are also listed in our Lifehacker U series).


A lot of people type with two fingers, and thus type around 10 - 15 words per minute. After completion of this course you should be able to type at least 45 words per minute, and even faster if you type often. If you at your job type nine hours a week you will be able to save the six out of these nine hours provided you triple your typing speed. That will be nearly 300 hours saved a year or seven weeks extra holy days a year. If you have 30 years left before you go on pension the course will save you about 230 weeks work. Are you self employed you will be able to stop working four years early. Or, if you could convert your increased typing speed into a pay raise, you could get four years extra payment before retirement. Learning how to touch type is probably one of the best educations you could invest in. And it won't cost you any money. You can here: calculate your own personal benefit from improving your typing speed. How ever it works out for you, you have probably never met a person who regretted spending some time improving his or her typing speed.


I'm Dave Henderson! For over 34 years, I've made a wonderful living for myself and family of four creating world-class water features using real and faux rock in sunny San Diego as well as professional sand sculptures all around the world. And now I'm taking what I've learned about starting successful businesses, contracting, sculpture, water feature construction, and more, and sharing it with the world. It's my mission to help people like you enjoy more success both in your business and in your personal life.
Mastering typing skills takes training and practice. Practice on a regular schedule, 10 minutes to an hour per session, depending on your energy and focus level. As Vince Lombardi said, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect,” so it is important that you practice at a time and place where you can maintain focus and accuracy. Eliminate any potential distractions. If you find yourself making lots of errors, slow down and find a way to regain your focus or call it a day. The goal of practicing is to build muscle memory. You do not want to “learn” bad habits and mistakes.
Skillcrush’s Free Coding Camp is our totally beginner-friendly intro to tech, techies, and kick-ass careers that you can complete in less than five minutes a day. Delivered straight to your inbox, you will learn how to code in the simplest terms possible—and even get to try writing your own code!—so you can see if learning coding is the right move for you…
I recommend checking out CS Dojo, TheNetNinja, and Harvard’s CS50 YouTube channel. If you don’t have time to search for a perfect coding video or channel, you can also check out LinkedIn Learning’s vast video library for vetted and professional-looking tutorials. While the service’s $30/month subscription fee is nothing to sneeze at, you can binge-watch an unlimited amount of content and topics—making LinkedIn Learning a better deal than other on-demand online classes that come with annoying restrictions.
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.
Touch typing, or blind typing as some calls it, means that you type without looking at the keyboard. To learn to do that finger position is very important. When you type you must use specific fingers for the same keys all the time as illustrated at the image above. If you don't do that you will soon loose your orientation and make mistakes. When you have found the two home keys, 'F' and 'J', you should strive to type with out looking at the keyboard. Look instead at the two hands at the virtual keyboard on your screen. Don't get frustrated if you do mistakes in the beginning. Every one does. After exercising for some time you will know by heart where the keys are and your touch typing will go much more smooth.
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. 

Coding is all in the details, which is why you need to “celebrate small victories,” as one of our programming professors put it. It takes practice to make each element work on its own, as well as constant testing to ensure each line of code will work with all the rest—without errors. If you don’t do seemingly minor things right like closing a HTML tag, you’d be stuck debugging a simple syntax error rather than writing more impressive and complex code.
I recommend checking out CS Dojo, TheNetNinja, and Harvard’s CS50 YouTube channel. If you don’t have time to search for a perfect coding video or channel, you can also check out LinkedIn Learning’s vast video library for vetted and professional-looking tutorials. While the service’s $30/month subscription fee is nothing to sneeze at, you can binge-watch an unlimited amount of content and topics—making LinkedIn Learning a better deal than other on-demand online classes that come with annoying restrictions.
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