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.)
If you want to better understand the relationship between hardware and software, then you’d enjoy the Piper Computer Kit 2, which has you building a Raspberry Pi-powered computer. Using this DIY laptop, you can learn to code through its custom Minecraft Story Mode challenges, use the drag-and-drop Blockly language to learn physical computing, or just pick up some basic Python from the pre-installed lessons.
No matter how many certificates and coding workshops you complete, or how many programming languages you learn, the proof of your coding skills will be in your programming project. While your personal project doesn’t have to be as ambitious as creating the next Google Maps, it should be something you’d want to work on 24/7 to constantly improve and expand its scope.
Once you figure out why you want to code, you can more easily pinpoint which programming language you should tackle. While there is no single “best” programming language to learn, some languages are more user-friendly than others. HTML and CSS are considered the easiest entry points into the coding world, but they are only really useful for developing basic websites.
Start small, but think big. Your project should involve skills you currently have in your toolbox, but you should also have a plan for future features and skills you’d need to turn that vision into reality. Without applying your coding skills in a few projects, you wouldn’t even be considered for professional coding gigs—so start planning and practicing. (Our advice? Use your coding chops to build an amazing setup for game night.)
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.
Udemy bills itself as an online learning marketplace, hosting 130,000+ user-created courses on all kinds of topics (including over 2,000 coding-related classes). While some of Udemy’s offerings are paid (costing $20-$200 per course), there are plenty of free coding classes as well, including some shorter Tech 101-type courses that teach code for beginners.
Instead of hyper-focusing on learning a specific programming language, you can also learn to problem solve in a way that a computer will understand. In other words, improve your skills at concepts like pattern recognition, algorithms, and abstractions. There’s also lingo, like loops, which are bound to pop up in any language you use. The better you understand these principles, the easier it will be to learn the next language (and design better products or projects as a result).
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EdX is another leading online-learning platform that is open source instead of for-profit. It was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, so you know that you’ll learn about cutting-edge technologies and theories. Today, edX includes 53 schools. You probably can’t go wrong with the free Introduction to Computer Science from Harvard University.