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What is Programming? A Handbook for Beginners

Last Updated : 22 Jan, 2024
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Diving into the world of coding might seem intimidating initially, but it is a very rewarding journey that allows an individual to solve problems creatively and potentially develop software.

Whether you are interested out of sheer curiosity, for a future career, or a school project, we are here to assist your learning endeavors. We will unravel the complex layers of programming languages, algorithms, and data structures into an approachable, easily digestible format. Let’s see the complete roadmap and a proper way to start coding from scratch if you are a beginner or learning programming for the first time.


Getting Started With Coding | A Beginner’s Guide to Programming

Complete RoadMap for a Beginner to Learn Coding from Scratch

1. Understand and Find Purpose Why you want to learn Coding

Before we directly start with Coding and start practicing problems, it is very important to understand and find your purpose in why you want to learn. There’s no universal answer to this, as everyone’s motivations are distinctive and deeply personal.

The information technology industry is consistently booming, with opportunities ranging from software development and cybersecurity to artificial intelligence and data analysis. And each of these domains heavily relies on coding. For others, motivation could be the desire to build something unique. Coding empowers you to transform ideas into reality, whether it is developing your own app, creating a website, or designing a video game. This process gives you the tools to bring your creative digital visions to life.

Regardless of the reason, identifying your purpose will not only make your learning journey more focused but also provide a source of motivation when you encounter challenges on your path to becoming a proficient coder. Read this article for more information Why Should I Learn Coding?

2. Install IDE’s for Programming Environment

An integrated development environment is a software suite that consolidates the basic tools developers need to write and test software. Developers use numerous tools throughout software code creation, building and testing. Development tools often include text editors, code libraries, compilers and test platforms. Without an IDE, a developer must select, deploy, integrate and manage all of these tools separately. And IDE brings all these resources into a single framework.

However, before installing an IDE, you must first decide which programming language you will be learning.

Each language has an IDE best suited for it, such as PyCharm for Python, IntelliJ IDEA for Java, or Visual Studio Code for C++.

these supports multiple languages. Installing an IDE involves various steps which differ based on the software itself. However, the general process typically involves the steps below:

  1. Research and select the IDE that best matches the language you aim to learn and your development needs.
  2. Visit the official website of the IDE software and navigate to the downloads section.
  3. Download the executable file for the IDE. Ensure you choose the right version according to your operating system (Windows, OSX, Linux).
  4. After the download is complete, run the installer and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation. This usually involves agreeing to terms and conditions, choosing the location where the IDE will be installed, and selecting any additional features.
  5. Once the installation is complete, you may need to configure your environment based on your preferences.
  6. After configuration, the IDE is ready for use. You can start by creating a new project or opening an existing one, and start coding.
  7. Take time to familiarize yourself with the IDE interface. This could include exploring menu options, understanding the code editor, learning shortcut keys, figuring out how to run code, etc.

3. Learn any Programming language

The next step in this journey is to learn a programming language. The programming language you choose to learn first depends on what you want to do with your coding skills.

First, Choose the Right Language if you’re interested in web development, start with HTML and CSS and then move to JavaScript. Python is also a widely recommended for beginners due to its readability and simplicity.

If you’re interested in system software, games or applications that require higher performance, you might want to opt for C++ or Java.

Then Finally, Understand the Basics, you need to understand the basic concepts of the language such as syntax, variables, types, expressions, control flows like loops and conditionals, arrays, and functions.

4. Practice Some Command line Basics

The command line, also known as terminal, shell, or console, is a tool that allows you to interact directly with your computer system. Many tasks can be done quicker by typing commands rather than using a GUI.

Here are some steps to help you understand and practice the basics:

1. Accessing the Command Line: On Windows, you can use Command Prompt or PowerShell, and for macOS or Linux, the terminal application is used.

2. Learning Basic Commands: Some of the most commonly used commands include:

  • ‘cd’: change directory
  • ‘ls’ on Linux/macOS or ‘dir’ on Windows: list the content of a directory
  • ‘pwd’: print working directory to see your current location in the file system
  • ‘mkdir’: make a new directory
  • ‘rm’: remove a file
  • ‘cp’: copy a file
  • ‘mv’: move or rename a file

3. Practice: The best way to learn the command line is by practice. Try navigating through your directories, creating and deleting files, and running simple scripts if your chosen language allows it.

5. Read Online Tutorials

Online tutorials are a great resource for beginners in programming. They offer a comprehensive breakdown of complex programming concepts and languages, examples, and interactive exercises that make learning engaging and practical.

To begin, identify your goals and the programming language you want to learn. Then, search for online tutorials specific to that language. Some popular websites for online tutorials include GeeksforGeeks, Mozilla Developer Network (MDN), W3Schools, and Codecademy.

6. Learn DSA in any Programming Language

First, pick a language that suits your needs and preferences. Python, Java, or C++ are commonly used for learning DSA because of their syntax and extensive library support.

1. Python: Known for its simplicity and readability, Python is a great language for beginners. It’s widely used in machine learning, AI, web development, and data analysis. For example, many companies like Google use Python for web scraping, data analysis, and machine learning.

2. JavaScript: It’s primarily used for enhancing web pages to provide for a more dynamic user experience. Example applications include creating games, adding interactive forms, or building web layouts responsive to the user’s activity.

3. Java: It’s a versatile language used for building applications that can run on any platform. It’s widely used in android app development. An example is the popular game Minecraft, which is written in Java.

4. C++: It is an extension of the C programming language and is often used in game development, real-time systems, and high-performance computing. For example, the entirety of the Adobe software suite is an application predominantly done in C++.

7. Learn from other’s journey

It’s always to better to learn from others journey. They are two major topics that each coder needs to conquer. Instead of diving on our own, it would be advantageous to grasp them through insights from others’ journeys and experiences. Now you can understand better DSA understanding utilizing anecdotes, mistakes, advice, and solutions from individuals who have already walked this road.

This chapter delves into the experiences of seasoned coders, the challenges they faced and their victories. Their stories are filled with revelations about common pitfalls and effective strategies for mastering DSA. Through the lens of their experiences, you will see clearer paths to tackle and overcome your DSA challenges.

8. Start Practicing Web Developement

Web development refers to the creating, building, and maintaining of websites. It includes aspects such as web design, web publishing, web programming, and database management. It is the creation of an application that works over the internet i.e. websites.

To get a head start in web development, you can take the following steps:

  • Learn the basics: Learn the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which are the building blocks of web development. You can use online tutorials and resources, such as Codecademy, W3Schools, and FreeCodeCamp to start learning.
  • Get familiar with web development tools: Learn how to use developer tools such as Chrome DevTools, Firebug, and WebStorm to debug and inspect web pages.
  • Learn a web development framework: Learn a web development framework such as React, Angular, or Vue.js to structure and organize your code.
  • Learn a server-side programming language: Learn a server-side programming language such as Node.js, PHP, or Ruby to create dynamic web pages and web applications.
  • Learn a database technology: Learn a database technology such as MySQL, MongoDB or SQLite to store and retrieve data for your web applications.
  • Build a portfolio: Build a portfolio of web projects that showcases your skills and abilities as a web developer.
  • Join a community: Join a community of web developers to connect with like-minded individuals, get feedback on your work, and learn from others.

Complete Roadmap to learn web development from Scratch: Begin Web Development with a Head Start

9. Get some Interesting Projects

A web development project is an effort to create a website or web application, typically involving the use of programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This can include building websites for businesses or individuals, creating web applications that allow users to perform specific tasks, or developing online platforms for e-commerce, social networking, or other purposes.

Lets discuss the some Best Web Development Projects For Your Resume. So let’s get started.

1. E-Commerce

E-Commerce is something that most web developers must have tried.

  • The application comes with multiple features like login/sign in, product lists, order summary, discount offers, profile section, cart items, creating payment gateway, search bar, and many more which is possible with features of React like React hooks for state-driven conditions without writing a class, props for passing the variables, etc.
  • For the back end, use the event-driven architecture of NodeJS and callback function when an event is triggered such as an order is placed for an item.
  • The data of the products, ordered items and profile details should be stored in a structured way and must be encrypted. Any such updates to be made like adding a new feature must be done at the back end using NodeJS.
  • You can also use Express.js which is an open-source framework for NodeJS which implements web applications more quicker and easier.

2. Social Media

Social Media App catches the attention of almost every one of us as it has been an important part of our daily activity.

  • Implementing this app requires very well-connected ends for various reasons like security and management.
  • The UI part consists of chat options, feeds, notifications, and a friends list.
  • You can also use windows.alert() function to create a pop-up when a new update is seen or for various other purposes.
  • For developing a dynamic web app, Angular is the best choice. Angular works with TypeScript which makes it much easier to implement. We implement its back-end by setting up databases, servers, and APIs, and working out perfect storage solutions.

3. Job App

An application that gives employment to individuals as per their qualifications. The application filters the job as per the requirement and qualifications. While applying for the job, all the details of the company like role, salary provided, location, etc. should be visible to the individual.

  • Use of Context APIs to share data without passing it through props manually, React Redux to store, dispatch, and see the actions of the data.
  • What does this application do? Suppose, if a person is a BA graduate, he/she will be able to apply for a job (like banking sales, BPO, content writing) as soon as he enters the qualification details and then applies for it after having a clear understanding of the job.
  • A file Filter_Job can be made where code flows like checks the qualification and then describes companies and job roles.
  • In the back end, all the details entered like name, email, and contact no should be secured by disabling public network access to database servers and taking all the safety measures.

4. Resume Builder

Resume Builder is a website when created will help most aspiring individuals to make an attractive and ever-wanting resume within minutes.

  • Its feature includes personal details, educational background, skills achieved, projects undertaken, and a lot more about self. Each section has many sub-sections which could be implemented using components in React.
  • The back end will include everything related to a person’s bio-data and keep it secure by limiting the settings. For example, coming to the web server, restricting logins to certain users or IP addresses, using automated brute force detection systems (that automatically ban offending IP addresses), or using HTTP authentication in development areas helps a lot.

10. Find a mentor and Join a community

The importance of mentorship in learning DSA cannot be overstated. A mentor has walked the path you currently traverse and can offer guidance, portray alternate perspectives, and provide encouragement during your learning journey. Just as a lighthouse guides ships through treacherous waves, a mentor can guide you through the complexities of DSA. This chapter explores ways to identify suitable mentors and maximize the value gained from these relationships.

11. Practice coding problems with friend

Two heads are better than one, “they say – and this couldn’t be truer when addressing coding problems.”

The act of practicing and solving DSA problems with a friend, known as pair programming, can amplify your learning significantly. This offers you an opportunity to see problems from a different perspective, learn new methodologies, and make the process more engaging and enjoyable. Furthermore, it promotes healthy competition, advancing your problem-solving skills while developing essential soft skills like teamwork and communication.

A good amount of time is dedicated by now and you have also learned a lot. But have you reached your goal of mastering DSA – the reason behind your learning data structures and algorithms?

The only way to get the answer is by checking yourself out against other enthusiasts and original masters of DSA. There is hardly any other solution to this that is better than participating in some competitive coding challenges to gauge your ability. It will increase your coding speed and widen your view of how a problem can have so many varieties of approaches and also it helps you to be familiar with the interview environment because in interview you have time bound so by giving contests repeatedly to your on the path of boost your problem solving skills.

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