No matter why you want to learn how to code, you probably have something in common with every beginner; you may be wondering how to start coding, and what the best methods are for learning to code.
Watching videos to learn to code
Watching videos on YouTube or elsewhere can give you an elementary introduction to a coding language. Perhaps a presenter may explain the benefits of learning a particular language, or, a video might be the first place you see how code is written and formatted.
There are, however, significant limitations to learning to code by watching videos.
If you are writing code following someone else, it is difficult to understand the basics of a coding language. Copying code also makes it difficult to retain information.
If you try to write your own code using what you have learnt from watching a video, unless there is an experienced coder who can give you feedback on your work, you can quickly get stuck. If some part of the code is not working, you may struggle to find out why each coding error is happening without advice.
Using free websites to learn how to code
Using free websites to learn how to code can help you progress further than just watching videos – because you can learn more of the basics of a coding language through interactive website lessons. At CodeYourFuture, we encourage people to use free websites to learn the basics of coding – even if you try one only to see if you like coding.
Some of the best websites for learning to code for free are the following:
- Freecode camp
- Khan Academy
There are limitations to learning to code using websites alone. Learning to code from a website doesn’t test your understanding in a meaningful way. If you do not correctly test your knowledge as you learn, you will struggle to progress.
The best way to learn the fundamentals of coding is with support from experienced coders.
Learning with support from other coders:
There are many ways to receive support from experienced coders while you learn to code.
You can learn in informal groups and meetups: One of the most fun parts of joining a coding group is meeting people who might share your interests. In addition to meeting people, you can spend time working on your projects, and most importantly, get help and advice, share ideas and experiences.
There are communities of people coming together all over the world. Mostly, they are free to join or attend – there is probably one near you!
Some groups may cater to specific groups too. For example, CodeBar, who help minority group members to learn programming in a safe and collaborative environment.
Coding groups and meetups are not vocational. That means if you want to do coding for your job, participating in a coding group or a coding meetup probably won’t help you develop your understanding of coding enough to find work as a professional developer.
Learning to code at university: Some people think you need a degree to get a good job in tech – this is not true! You can learn a high-level theory of computer science at a university, but you do not need a degree to get enough skills to find a good job in tech. In addition, a computer science degree can cost a significant amount of money and take several years to complete.
Free Full-time Bootcamps are a popular way of learning to code to find a job.
One of the main benefits of free full-time boot camps is they are free! These boot camps usually make money from government funding, hiring fees, or sponsorships. One of the main downsides to any full-time boot camp is that you need to support yourself financially for several months while you study.
Besides offering support during the program, another main benefit of any good boot camp, free or paid – is that they will be designed to teach you enough coding and employability skills to get you a job in tech.
Examples of good free full-time boot camps in the UK are the School of Code and Founders and Coders. In South Africa, WeThinkCode is a well-known 24-month free full-time boot camp.
Paid boot camps. Attending a paid boot camp that offers good support is probably the most common method to get the skills needed to gain an interview at a tech company.
There are many paid boot camps – too many to list in this article. If you can attend a paid boot camp, remember to do your research before you make a financial commitment to them – so you find a boot camp that suits your learning style and your career ambitions.
If you cannot afford a paid boot camp or attend a full-time boot camp, you may be eligible for a CodeYourFuture program. CodeYourFuture has trained many people to code and helped them get good jobs in tech. 96% of our graduates had never coded or had basic coding experience before applying to CodeYourFuture.
CodeYourFuture collects the best tutorials, exercises and mini-projects for learning to code into a program called the Intro to Coding course – to help you understand the coding basics.
We offer our students personal support from experienced tech professionals from the start.
If you succeed in the self-paced Intro to Coding course, you may progress with our Fundamentals course and vocational Full Stack course. CodeYourFuture made the Full Stack course to give you the technical and employability skills you need to find and succeed in a tech job.
“Do not hesitate just join, you will love the community and the support.” – Davinder
Our students often say the support they receive from the community is critical to maintaining their learning from the beginning of the program until they get a job.
“The support we got during Intro To Coding was the reason I knew CodeYourFuture was the right place for me,” said one CodeYourFuture student. Another student says, “When I went to a workshop, it was such a warm, welcoming environment that I forgot about getting a job – I just wanted to be part of it!“
Whatever your reason for wanting to code, the best way to learn is to make a start!
“Don’t doubt yourself; CYF will guide you every step of the way, every day,” says Shawn
You can find out more about CodeYourFuture Courses and register here!