How do I get started with ‘Learning to Code’

It is best to just ask yourself the following questions and figure out the approach that works best for you.


Don Kaluarachchi

3 years ago | 4 min read

So you have decided to learn to code — perhaps, reading ‘why everyone needs to learn to code’ inspired you or you just to be a part of the Tech Industry. Either way, getting starting and figuring out where to begin can seem overwhelming.

It is best to just ask yourself the following questions and figure out the approach that works best for you.

Why are you trying to learn to code?
What exactly are you trying to achieve from this skill?
What type of development would you like to understand (web development/front-end development/back-end development/full-stack development)?
What programming languages would you like to learn?

It is alright if you don’t immediately have the answers to all fo the questions but it is important that you think about them before getting started.

If you want to simply learn a new skill and/or to make your job application stand out in an age of technology, you should start with a ‘modern’ language that might be somewhat easier to learn.

If you have a specific goal in mind — such as web development, it is best to learn languages that would help you achieve your goal — HTML, CSS, JavaScript in the case of web development.

Keep in mind though, that while you can learn more languages in time, stick to just one and focus on mastering that programming language — especially as a beginner to programming.

Lastly, just get started — the rest will follow. You don’t need to figure out your exact plan and how best to approach learning to code, simply get starting and you will learn along the way.

There are a few different approaches to learning that you can take, choose the one that works best for you.

1. Learning the Fundamentals of Computer Science

Before getting started with programming, it is important that you learn that fundamentals of Computer Science (which covers the basics of programming as well) since it will set a good foundation for everything you are going to learn in the future.

Knowing the fundamentals will also give you the understanding required to get from a real-world problem to a solution. Further, learning this will help you realise ‘why’ certain things work a certain way (how a loop works and why it works like that).

This knowledge will be essential even later in your career as well (for instance, to answer an interview question about how the internet works). A simple google search for the “Fundamentals of Computer Science” will give you a list of both free and paid courses to chose from.

One recommendation would be the ‘Introduction to Computer Programming’ offered by Coursera

2. Online Courses

Another approach would be to complete online courses. The style of learning with online courses should work for you if you prefer lecture-based courses and want to understand some theory before getting started.

If you decide to take this approach, figure out which programming language you want to take the course in. A few well-known websites that could be used to take the courses are: (Open Learn by the Open University, Udacity and Coursera).

3. Interactive Learning Courses

If a lecture-based learning approach is not for you, you might prefer to take a more interactive approach.

This is where the lesson would be structured in a way that you have to complete a small coding task and upon writing a piece of code passing a few tests, you would be able to progress onto the next lesson.

This will give you a more hands-on experience with coding and the ability to use all the concepts that you learnt. This will be self-paced so you would be able to take your own time learning without feeling rushed or like you have to wait around.

The other benefit of this style of learning is the feeling of satisfaction you get after successfully writing a piece of code that passes all tests. A few platforms that could be used to take these types of courses are: (Codecademy, freeCodeCamp and Udemy).

4. Cool Activities & Coding Games

If none of the previously mentioned learning styles fit you or you have completed them and still want a little more experienced, you can participate in hackathons or other coding challenges that would give you real hands-on experience with programming.

Treating learning like a game or a fun activity could motivate you to learn more.

Upon completing a few of/all of the different approaches mentioned and having gained some experience with coding, you can get started with a few techniques that require some understanding of programming to get started.

  • You can try to work on personal projects that you are excited about that would provide you with the ability to learn.
  • You can attend Coding Bootcamp — a few of the best ones available on
  • You can get yourself a mentor. If you can find someone to help you, it is very likely that they have been through the same learning curve that you are about to go through and having that person by your side to guide you could be beneficial.

Make sure that — no matter what stage you are at with your programming journey — you keep learning every day.

In conclusion, there are a number of methods to go about getting started with ‘learning to code’, however, you should choose the approach that works best for you and aligns with your learning style.

Lastly, enjoy the process of learning to code, celebrate the small achievements you make and you will become a master in no time.


Created by

Don Kaluarachchi







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