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).
This Google project for web developers launched in 2010 to counter Apple’s HTML5. The site is full of tutorials, resources and the latest HTML5 updates. It’s open source, so developers can play around with HTML5 code. Because this site's offerings are more advanced than most introductory courses, you'll need some knowledge and experience before jumping in.
Coding games are also a fun way to get your feet wet in programming. If you have an hour to kill, you can give the simple Hour of Code games a try. Additionally, many schools already use the Minecraft: Educational Edition to teach kids programming basics with coding blocks, and even JavaScript. (You can download this version of Minecraft for free if you have an Office 365 Education account.)
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).
The programming community is full of people who are willing to help the next generation of programmers. GitHub, the online hangout for developers who use Git to manage their coding projects, is designed for online collaboration. Not only do developers host and share their projects with their peers, they also provide code feedback and general advice to the community.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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