Getting starting with programming

Covid-19 is keeping most of the world’s population indoors and some people have been using the free time to explore new things. Several folks close to me have reached out for assistance in getting started with programming; that’s the inspiration behind what you’re about to read.

This article will cover some basic tips and tools needed for the journey but before I dive in, and since this is my very first article on this platform here’s a bit about me.

I’m a front-end developer from Georgetown, Guyana with a specialty in user experience. I’m also an active volunteer and Project Periwinkle ambassador.

If you want to know more about me and what I do head over to my website. Let’s dive in!

Tip #1: Start with a goal in mind

When venturing into uncharted territory it’s always a good idea to ask yourself “why am I here?” or “what do I hope to accomplish?”

This is especially important because there are hundreds of programming languages and some are better suited for the job that others. Having an idea of what you want to build will help narrow your research and accelerate learning.

Tip #2: Get the right tools for the job

Got your idea? Great! Now let’s go shopping for tools — no credit card required.

As stated earlier there are hundreds of programming languages each designed to work better in difference scenarios. If your idea is:

  • web based (website or web app) — focus on learning javascript, html and CSS.
  • mobile application — understanding java (for Android) and swift (for IOS) would be good places to start.
  • desktop applicationpython is the way to go.

After gaining a solid understanding of the fundamentals you have my blessing to cheat!

Tip #2.1: Use a framework

Frameworks provide building blocks for software development. They may include classes and functions that can be used to process input, manage hardware devices, and interact with system software.

Some common ones are:

  • Angular, React, Vuejs — javascript frameworks
  • Reat Native, Ionic, Flutter — mobile frameworks
  • Django — python framework

Tip #2.2: Use an IDE or text editor

Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) combine multiple development tools into a single program. A typical one would include a code editor, debugger and compiler.

Text editors take a broader approach by allowing you edit different type of files rather than specializing in a particular language. Some of them can also be extended via plugins to perform the functions of an IDE.

My editor of choice is VS Code.

Tip #3: Google is your best friend

You will get stuck at some point but remember, you’re probably not the first person to have the issue that’s why google is your best friend!