ll the stars are aligned today for you to learn computer programming. New technologies have reduced the constraints of time, geographical location, and considerably reduced the costs associated with such training. It is even possible for you to graduate and get a job by training exclusively online from home. Many people have chosen to get a degree in information technology because of those reasons
But learning computer programming is no different from learning any other discipline. It will take persistence and curiosity from you to find the solutions to the problems you will encounter. It will also require a fair amount of autonomy. This quality will be required of you every day during your apprenticeship, the computer scientist having to follow the technological developments of his profession himself.
If you have a teenage son this might be a great time to introduce him/her to computer programming. Not only that they will benefit from it, it is also a welcome distraction in this day of social distancing. Even if they did not turn out to be programmers, you can get some me-time during this pandemic.
This article takes a look at what computer programming is before tackling the central question of which language to start with and the best way to start your learning of computer programming.
Computer programming, definition, and languages
How to choose your programming language?
Can we learn computer programming for free?
Computer programming: definition and languages
Computer programming can be boiled down to writing computer code called source code. This source code has only a goal: to allow you to communicate with the machine that should run it. This machine can be your computer or even your smartphone. This set of computer codes therefore constitutes a computer program.
Understanding what computer programming is is good. Knowing why we do computer programming is better. The primary use of your computer program will be to solve a problem. For example, you can try to identify all the restaurants in your town on a map or even create an online agenda.
This brings us to the point that before you write your computer program, your mission as a computer developer will be to break this problem down into several steps. These are the steps your machine will need to perform.
In the case of a map showing restaurants, your computer program will have to retrieve the map to display, display it on your computer screen, and retrieve the addresses of the restaurants to locate them on your map. You will also put conditions saying for example that if the restaurant is more than 5km from your city, to exclude it from your card etc. These actions and conditions constitute an algorithm. Creating this algorithm will therefore be the first step before you dive headlong into writing your computer program.
There are thousands of ways to communicate with your machine. These modes of communication are computer languages. It is therefore using these languages that you will write your computer program. Learning computer programming therefore also involves learning one or more computer programming languages.
What Language to Choose?
Your choice of computer language will depend on your proficiency in computer programming. Some languages have syntax and logic that can seem complex when you are just starting. On the forums dedicated to programming, everyone has their own opinion on the subject. The courses offered to real beginners on online course sites such as ours can also give you a good indication of the programming language (s) considered to be accessible. All you have to do is try and that is of course the heavy lifting.
After the simplicity of computer language comes the usefulness of the latter. If you want to create a website, you will not choose the same programming language as the person wishing to develop a video game.
Take the case where you want to launch a website. Your starting point will probably be learning HTML5 and CSS3. These 2 languages are the basis of any website and have a simple syntax. The first will allow you to create the structure of your web page, insert and display your text and multimedia content. CSS will format all your content (text color, borders, shadows,…).
Can we learn computer programming for free?
Now that you have hammered out the problem you want to solve and identified the right programming language (s), it is time to get started. Learning computer programming necessarily comes at a cost. This cost is not only measured in money but also in time. If your schedule is already busy or your constraints do not allow you to take classes from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm, then online training such as those delivered by our site is a very good option.
You will necessarily have to invest a minimum number of hours to start seeing the fruits of your learning. Take the example of our course to learn how to create your website with HTML5 and CSS3 mentioned above. To master these 2 languages sufficiently and to create your web pages will require you to spend about twenty hours there. So don’t underestimate the time needed.
What is the cost of Programming Training?
Now we come to the question of the cost of computer programming training. Let’s put aside learning to program as part of a traditional engineering school training, which can be long and expensive. Once again, learning computer programming through online courses remains a good way to train yourself inexpensively or even for free.
Youtube and social media is your best friend. You can also search for free training in your cities, chances are a lot of them will come up. You should only consider paying for the degree if you are absolutely sure you have the time and budget to make it work for you in the long run.