Hello world: How to start programming

On Friday, I left my job at a burgeoning startup, LearnSprout, to focus the next 3 months learning Javascript at Hack Reactor. As a business major, I get asked a lot about how I started programming. This is the start of a blog series where I will share my experiences on the road to becoming a developer, starting with everything I’ve done to get to this current point (disclaimer, you certainly don’t have to do it this way, this is just the condensed story of how I’ve done it minus all the things I wish I hadn’t wasted time on).

Code-Baby

Learn to code! Because apparently programming is now so cool that parents want it to be a their baby’s first language

Step 1: Fundamentals of CS

I started by jumping into lots of online tutorials that promised to be the easy, quick way to learn programming. It was a complete waste of time and none of it made sense until I took the time to learn some basics about CS. There are many MOOCs out there that from elite universities and many different languages that can help you do this. I personally took and recommend Stanford’s CS106a: Introduction to Computer Science because the professor is hilarious and keeps you engaged but any intro class from a university will serve this purpose. Don’t spend too much time picking the language to learn in (I made this mistake and let me tell you, it matters very very little), you just need to know universal principles – what is a method, what is a class, how do I use if loops?

Note: if you choose the class above, it is now available as a Udemy course but I recommend going through the link above, downloading all the handouts and assignments, and following the syllabus. I made myself finish this in 3 months and treated it like night school afterwork – otherwise I don’t think I would’ve ever gotten through it.

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