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.
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.
Third, Keybr.com lets you introduce as few keys as possible to the lesson, adding more keys automatically when it decides that you are proficient at the current level. When you only start learning it generates lessons with words from a very small alphabet of the most frequent letters. When your typing speed for every key in that alphabet reaches certain threshold, the algorithm adds the next most frequent letter to the alphabet. And so on, until the next letter. This way you will learn the most frequent letters first, and the least frequent ones later.
By recreating existing projects, you’ll learn more about the inner workings of your highly customizable device. You might even find yourself inspired to create new ways to use your mini-computer and delve further into the world of code. (You can even enroll in UC Irvine’s The Raspberry Pi Platform and Python Programming for the Raspberry Pi Platform class through Coursera, if you want a little help getting started.)
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?
Spend an afternoon brushing up on statistics. Discover how the Krebs cycle works. Learn about the fundamentals of music notation. Get a head start on next semester's geometry fundamentals. Prepare for the SAT, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, NCLEX-RN, and AP exams. Or, if you're feeling particularly adventurous, learn how fire-stick farming changes the landscape of Australia.