Chapter 16

Ten Tips for Novice Coders

Learning to code is more popular today than ever before. It seems like everyone has a website or an app idea, and as soon as your friends, family, or coworkers discover your new coding abilities, many will ask for advice and help. No matter whether you’re dabbling at it after work, or attending an intensive ten-week coding boot camp, learning to code can be a challenging journey. It can pay to pick up a few pointers from some of the people who crossed the finish line ahead of you. Keep the following tips in mind, especially when starting your coding journey.

Pick a Language, Any Language

As a novice coder, you may not be sure where to start. Should you learn C++, Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, JavaScript all at the same time, sequentially, or just pick a few? If you have never programmed before, I recommend learning a language used to create web pages, because with these languages it’s easy to get started and publish work for others to see. Within this set of languages, I recommend starting with HTML and CSS. Both are markup languages, which are the easiest to learn, and let you put content on a web page with HTML, and style that content with CSS. After you understand some of the basics of presenting content, you can then learn a programming language to manipulate that content. Keep in mind that you don’t need to learn every programming language — JavaScript, which adds interactivity to the web page, is a common starting point for beginners, along ...

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