Guide for Aspiring Programmers

Currently, there are more than 700 coding languages used by programmers, developers, scientists, and more all over the world. So, when trying to learn a language, it can be a little overwhelming. As a high school student who is passionate about programming, I want to provide my tips to you, an aspiring programmer, so that you can start your path into programming as a confident and excited student.

What materials do I need?

Personally, the only things I use whenever practicing or working with my programs and projects are my laptop, a notebook, and a pen. On top of that, whenever I work on a project or class for a long time, I always bring a drink and/or a snack so that I won’t get hungry and/or thirsty when doing the work!

Also, its best to work in a quiet, relaxing environment– whether it be in front of a desk with your desk and lamp or a comfy couch with a coffee table — whatever allows you to distance yourself away from distractions is the best environment when working on anything.

What language(s) should I start with?

Remember when I mentioned that there were more than 700 languages? Well, that part is still true but nobody has the time to figure out and understand 700 languages. So, I personally started with one language and jumped from that one to another. A thing to note about these languages is how connected they are and how similar it can be when you understand one coding language. I found that learning one computer language allows you to visually understand many others because they all are there to complete a task.

So, I started by researching the 3 more popular coding languages — Java, Python, and C# or the C Language.

Java is very similar to C# or the C Language if you have had experience in this type of coding language before. All in all, the Java programming language can be used on almost any code developing program whenever you wish to start as a beginner and is currently the prime language for AP Computer Science A. In my opinion, I would start with Java considering that its language is very similar to the syntax of the C Language so that if you do start learning C#, you’ll find that it’s not so difficult.

C# / C Language
If you wish to start Game Development early or you wish to become a Game Developer, then I recommend that you start with the C language. Currently, this specific coding language are used in many game developing tools and software, such as Unity, for many popular games used today on the desktop. These games include Counter Strike, World of Warcraft, and Doom (these games were ONLY made on C#). So, if you wish to pursue in game development or otherwise, then I recommend the C# language.

When considering Python, its language is mostly used for developing web applications, websites, and many more programs and projects relating to common tasks used on a computer. Python is a powerful software engine and its coding is considered easier, simpler, and cleaner than the Java and C# languages. So, if your wish is to create more websites, applications, and anything along those lines — I highly recommend for you to learn the Python language.

Websites that can help you learn these languages

With today’s technology and availability of information, it is very easy for any beginning programmer to learn these coding languages with ease. These tools can be your laptop, phone, tablet, library, school, and more! Look in your own community for resources that can help you learn these languages whether it be a book or a computer.

These are some helpful websites that has helped me learn how to program:

Codecademy is a well known free-to-start website that uses interactive tools for students to learn coding languages. The website is free for those who want to learn the basics of these programming languages but its more premium tools has a fee. Though, if you do have the time, I do recommend that you start here and start building up the basics of these programming languages.

Coursera is a very unique website for those who want to seriously educate themselves in many professions such as IT, Mechanical Engineering, and more. This website offers classes which are in the charge of renowned college professors so that you may get the best teachings while also earning a certificate, showing that you completed the course for your internships and careers to see. You don’t have to be an experienced programmer to participate in these classes. While there are fees to participate in these classes, if you have the time and the money, I recommend this website and their courses.

Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a well-known academic resource for students all over the world, so naturally I put this in a very good resource for learning not only the programming languages — but the whole concept of it! This website has helped me learn a lot of academic areas and understand the ‘why’ aspect of the areas. In my opinion, Khan Academy is a very good resource for learning ‘how to’s’ when making a project while learning the concept of the language and its academic area — Computer Science. It’s free to use for all students!

Well, I do hope this blog has helped you get started on your journey as a programmer but I’ll say this — Stay diligent but remember to balance your work with your personal life!

Your mental, physical, and social health is always important and should take priority — So remember to take breaks often, relax, and reflect on yourself so that you may stay healthy and happy!

Good luck!

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