How I would learn to code if I started over

Oh hey there! If you’ve stumbled upon this post, you’re either curious about how to start coding or maybe you’re just here for a fun read - either way, come in, come in! As someone currently maneuvering through the tech field, let’s take a hypothetical trip down the memory lane. What if I had a chance to shake hands with Chronos, the Greek god of time, and spin the wheel all the way back to the beginning - how would I navigate the vast ocean of computer programming?

Before we set sail, here’s a quick overview of what to expect in this journey:

  1. Focal Point - Identifying My Interest
  2. Foundation - Understanding the Basics
  3. Specialization - Mastering The Preferred Language
  4. Building - Working on Projects
  5. Collaboration - Contributing to Open Source

Focal Point - Identifying My Interest

All trees have roots, right? And in the case of coding, interests are the roots that really anchor you down. If I were to go back in time, I would put some serious thought into what I want to accomplish with programming. Do I want to build websites? Or create video games? Maybe solve complex problems or automate boring stuff? Having a clear vision would inform what programming languages or aspects of programming I should focus on.

Foundation - Understanding the Basics

Once I’ve set my heart at a specific interest, I would get down to the basics. Here, I’d make understanding key concepts my primary goal - variables, data types, loops, conditionals, functions, etc. No matter what the language is, these are the pillars. And hey, I realize that this might not be the most exciting part. But it is similar to learning grammar before writing a novel. We want to ensure that our novel, I mean, codes look good, right?

Specialization - Mastering The Preferred Language

As a beginner, I remember being overwhelmed by the sheer number of programming languages out there. Please don’t be! Once I understood the basics, specializing seems like the obvious next step. Based on the focal point I chose, I’ll pick a language that goes well with it. Python for general purpose, JavaScript for web development, C# for game development - you get the gist. And then, it’s all about learning the ins and outs of this language.

Building - Working on Projects

Now that I’ve got some skills and a toolbox (read: my chosen programming language), it’s time I started building. I mean, all that knowledge needs to be put to some good use! Projects can range from a simple calculator, a todo list, a blog site, to a more complex eCommerce site. It’s through these projects I would truly understand problem-solving, debugging, and gain practical programming skills. Trust me, this is where I have fun!

Collaboration - Contribiting to Open Source

The final step, the cherry on top, would be to work with others. I mean, who said coding always has to be a lonely endeavor? Participating in open source projects not only refines programming skills, but also teaches about collaboration, feedback, and real-world practicalities.

And voila! That’s how I would approach learning to code if I got to turn back time. Remember, the voyage through this ocean comes with its own highs and lows, but trust me, every wave, every breeze is worth experiencing. So ready to set sail? The horizon is waiting!