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.
Touch typing is the ability to use muscle memory to find keys fast, without using the sense of sight, and with all the available fingers, just like piano players do. It significantly improves typing speed and eliminates errors. Touch typing simply makes you more productive and it is a skill worth learning. However, many people engage in the bad habit of ‘hunt-and-peck’ typing, even those seasoned professionals with years and decades of computer experience. It is easy to understand, though, as touch typing requires dedicated practice to learn it well.
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.
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.)
Instead, Keybr.com generates random, but readable and pronounceable words using the phonetic rules of your native language. These words look almost natural, and often they really are. Typing sensible text is much easier than repeating random letters, and it helps you to remember frequent key combinations. The latest point is very important. For example, it’s almost impossible for the letter ‘W’ to follow the ‘Z’ in English, and you will never type this combination in Keybr.com. Instead, you will type more common words, such as «the,» «that,» «with,» and so on. And soon you will learn how to type the «th» combo really fast.
Want more one-on-one coaching and career prep without doing a full-time bootcamp? Try signing up for the subscription-model certification courses from Udacity or Treehouse, where you have the opportunity to ask a tutor for help instead of suffering your coding mistakes or questions alone. You can’t do much better than the $19 coding classes from Udemy (even less, when there’s a sale)—even full-time bootcamp and computer science students sign up for these classes to supplement their learning.
The typing lessons of TypeLift are not just static content. Every time you start a typing practice the lessons are assembled dynamically to increase your learning effect and to avoid memorizing frequently practiced exercises. On top of that our smart error analysis repeats frequent mistakes while you practice to make your individual training even more efficient.
Codeasy is probably the newest one from the whole list. It is quite interesting educational course because it drives a new concept to computer science studying. You start learning there by reading an adventure story about fighting machines in the future. On your way, you’ll meet challenges that require real coding to solve. The final goal is to save the world from machine invasion. And as a very important side effect – become a software developer.
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?