Anyone can learn to code these days. Here’s 4 pieces of advice beginners need to know



Most of the world’s top billionaires will tell you that learning how to code is a skill that will only help you. In fact, Bill Gates has said that truly everyone can benefit from learning the basics of computer science.

If you’re one of those who thought it would be fun—and useful—to learn how to code, you’re in luck. Now more than ever before, it’s easier for those of every age to learn coding.

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In fact, there’s almost too many different ways to learn. For instance, instead of having to decipher through a boring textbook, you can learn to code alongside your favorite Disney character or as you explore Mars. These are just some of the gamified ways through platforms like Hour of Code.

Ori Bendet, vice president of product management at Checkmarx, says learning coding languages is just as important as students learning a second spoken language. He started learning when he was in elementary school, and now he’s helping his 8-year-old son do the same.

“What matters is how you can think about problem solving in a logical way,” he says. “And this is why I believe it’s so important to teach that to kids at a young age.”

Start out simple—and fun

The best way to get started with coding is to jump right in. On YouTube, there are an endless number of videos focused on coding tutorials. Start by exploring and find a content creator who sparks your interest. Follow alongside their work in your own code editor. (W3Schools has a free online frontend and backend editor for you to play around with.)

You should also check out Hour of Code’s hundreds of free coding games (yes, some are even fun for adults). They partnered with popular companies and characters to make learning coding basics enjoyable. For example, you can code snowflakes with Anna and Elsa from Frozen, create a Mars exploration game with NASA, or even program a new Star Wars droid. 

And some of the biggest video games on the market like Roblox, Fortnite, and Minecraft all have created ways to learn coding while playing. 

Keep it up; practice makes perfect

Just like any foreign language, you can only get better with practice and immersion. So, if you’re serious about learning, dedicate a set amount of time each day or week to exploring videos, playing games, and building out your own projects. 

Persistence and a growth mindset are ultimately the keys to learning the basics of coding, says Pat Yongpradit, chief academic officer, at Code.org.

“…unlike other skills, coding is marked by constant feedback where you never get what you want the first—or seventeenth time—and you will have never-ending opportunities to revise your work,” he tells Fortune

As you improve, you can also see camaraderie with others who are in your same boat. The subReddit r/learnprogramming is one of the biggest communities on Reddit. It can be a great place to hear others’ ideas and frustrations—and to voice your own.

Build a portfolio showcasing your skills

If you want to be able to prove to others—and to yourself—that you know your stuff, you need something to show for it. As you begin to explore the creation of new projects—whether it’s as simple as a tic-tac-toe game, random number generator, or responsive website feature—make sure you save them on a repository like GitHub. 

This is a good practice to develop because down the line when the time comes to explore internships or even jobs, you are able to easily show off your skills.

Two other added benefits are that you can go back and see how much progress you’ve made over the years as well as be able to share your projects with others, so they can learn, too.

Recognize the evolving coding ecosystem

There’s no question that the world of coding is changing. Artificial intelligence (AI) is completely changing the game when it comes to workflow. Already, the technology is able to program basic projects by itself and help identify bugs. In fact, you can ask ChatGPT for code for a certain project, such as a Chess game, and it will provide it in Python or another language.

While AI is still not perfect, it is only getting better—and rapidly. However, some experts still place doubt that it will replace programmers any time soon.

Benedet compares the evolution of AI with coding to the shift from manual to automatic cars—while the automatic car does more of the work, you still have to learn how to drive. Similarly, tech experts still need to learn how to code.

“Developers will spend less time on the logistics of code or software, and allowing them more time to code and solve business problems using code,” he says. “And this is, I think, what AI will bring to the table.” 

Others, like Kevin Kelly, director of the AWS Cloud Institute, thinks AI and prompt engineering will replace some of the higher level programming languages like Java, Python, and C# in as little as 2–5 years.

“Prompt engineering and the use of large language conversational models is going to democratize the ability for lots more people to become prompt writers,” he says.

This is why AWS’s cloud developer program—which trains individuals with little to no experience to be job ready in as little as one year—focuses so heavily on teaching learners how to be effective prompt coders.

“I think if you’re not paying attention to gen AI at the moment, you do yourself a disservice,” Kelly adds.

Can I teach myself to code?

Absolutely. A lot of people are teaching themselves how to code every single day. Coding is a lot of trial and error, so after watching some self-paced videos or lessons, start experimenting with what you learn.

Otherwise, there is certainly a growing emphasis on computer science education in K-12 settings. And there are a number of opportunities in community college and beyond.

Which coding program is best for beginners?

You might get a different answer for every person you ask. There are dozens of coding learning platforms like Codecademy and Scratch that offer basic walkthroughs. 

In terms of languages, if you like web development, then you can’t go wrong with understanding HTML and CSS. Otherwise Python, JavaScript, and Scratch are three of the best programming languages to learn. Above all, no matter where you start, you’re learning the soft skills of problem solving and critical thinking—which can be translated through the world of computer science.

Is coding easy to learn?

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither will be your coding skills. But, if you put in the proper time and dedication—as well as have realistic expectations—you can be on track to be a master coder within years. 

Certainly, it is easier to learn how to code than a decade ago, and ultimately, the sky’s the limit. You can just as easily build the next big product or game.

Is coding easy to learn?

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither will be your coding skills. But, if you put in the proper time and dedication—as well as have realistic expectations—you can be on track to be a master coder within years. 

Certainly, it is easier to learn how to code than a decade ago, and ultimately, the sky’s the limit. You can just as easily build the next big product or game.



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