Technology

How to Learn Basic Fundamentals of Programming

Written by Alisa Bronwen

Every beginner in the field of programming faces many questions. Regardless of whether it is about coding, methods or tools, without experience it is very difficult to have a general vision. Learning to program from scratch is a complex task, especially if you want to learn it by your own means. We have summarized everything you need to know to take your first steps in the world of code, commands and scripting language.

What do you need to learn to program?

Whoever wants to learn a programming language will have to read a lot. The first step in the right direction is to consult forums and books related to the subject. A careful reading sets the knowledge bases necessary for the following steps. The good thing is that there is a forum for every language and an answer to almost every imaginable question or, at least, a solution. In the remote case that you cannot find the information you are looking for, you can always ask your question in one of the online communities, where, in general, there will always be someone with the necessary knowledge to answer your questions. It is important that you take note of those important ideas already in this first phase of approach to the subject. Having some notes is very useful to solve questions systematically in the future, as well as being an instrument to work more effectively.

Is it necessary to learn a programming language?

An important part of the research and preparation is to find out what programming languages ​​exist and which is the one best suits the needs of your projects. The best known and used are:

  • Java
  • C
  • C ++
  • C #
  • Objective-C
  • Python
  • Visual Basic .NET
  • PHP
  • JavaScript

Each of these languages ​​has a different degree of complexity and, therefore, some will be easier to learn than others. This is why before learning to program it is necessary to define the intention: do you want to learn to program for, in the future, create web pages? Do you want to develop applications for tablets and smartphones? Or do you prefer to program micro controllers that are applicable to everyday life, for example, in cars?

Web programming

If you want to create web pages or customize your web applications, it is best to start with the basics. HTML and CSS are not programming languages. These are the basis of most web pages and are, therefore, the starting point for many beginners. With the help of HTML it is possible to design web elements and set the bases of a page. HTML5 allows us to take a step further, since it offers greater audiovisual possibilities.

The CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are responsible for the design. These facilitate the adjustment of all the properties of the elements, such as position and color. However, with HTML and CSS it is only possible to create static, simple and functional pages. Once you have the necessary material to start, you can go to the next step: programming. To start with the creation of dynamic pages, it is recommended to use JavaScript as a programming language. JavaScript facilitates the creation of dynamic web pages that include, for example, automatic resizing and image galleries. PHP and SQL complete the basic pack for programming web applications. PHP is an open source programming language that can be integrated into HTML. SQL is a database language that defines, manipulates and allows to control relational databases. Having basic knowledge in PHP and SQL considerably facilitates the process of designing complex web pages (eg, pages with a members section) and working with content management systems (CMS).

This is just a small sample of the large number of web languages ​​and scripts available. However, with the necessary knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL and PHP, it is possible to establish a solid foundation for the development of most web applications. The W3Schools.com website offers very valuable documentation and tutorials, also for beginners, for the aforementioned programming scripts and languages.

Learning to program on the Internet

Whether as a candidate for a job or as a founder of a startup, having programming skills represents a great advantage and is, very often, an essential requirement to work in the online sector. The Internet is a tool that facilitates a quick and straightforward start in the world of programming and, with the passage of time, the offer of online courses to learn to program is growing.

Code Academy

Code Academy offers interactive programming courses for HTML, JavaScript and PHP, among others. Its courses are not only focused on specific programming languages, but cover a wide range of topics, such as the programming of interactive web pages. Code Academy is the perfect example to demonstrate that it is possible to learn to program from scratch without investing large amounts of money.

  • Language: English
  • Requirements: basic knowledge
  • Price: free

Udemy

The Udemy educational platform offers a total of more than 40,000 online courses, from photography to design. For the subjects of IT, software and programming, the offer includes free and paid courses. For example, users will find free introductory courses in Java, HTML5 or PHP, while some courses on other programming languages, on e-commerce and mobile application development, are paid. In the case of entrepreneurs, Udemy offers a programming course for companies.

  • Language: English, some in Spanish
  • Requirements: depending on the course, basic knowledge
  • Price: free courses and paid courses from approx. € 12

Code.org

Code.org is an online portal for people without any programming knowledge and, therefore, the ideal option to learn to program from scratch. This platform offers a wide variety of playful tutorials with references to online games such as Angry Birds. Code.org aims to make users understand the basic logic of programming. It is an international website, also available in Spanish and, as a user, you will find small games and tasks where the generated code will always be available.

  • Language: English
  • Requirements: perfect for users without any programming knowledge
  • Price: free

Getting the necessary support to learn to program yes is possible

When it is already clear which programming languages ​​appear in the list of pending tasks, it is time to search online, where you will find a wide range of tutorials, courses and other help resources. To get down to work, you only need a computer, an editor and, of course, some patience.

The range of editors is very wide, to which belong Notepad ++ for Windows users, BBEdit for Mac users and TextMate, as well as the editor for both Sublime Text operating systems. For languages ​​such as Java or for members of the C family, it is normal to resort to an IDE that includes a compiler (eg, Eclipse, NetBeans, Visual Studie, XCode).

Mostly website development in London online courses are practical and very popular. However, do not discount the offer of universities or specialized institutes, where most courses are open to external participants in exchange for a fee.

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Alisa Bronwen

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