How to learn to code and become a great coder : getting started
This is a great place to start regardless of what language you’d like to specialise in. While it is often used to get kids started on coding, it is equally fun and rewarding for anyone to use. It also offers the potential to create useful, interesting and complex projects very quickly. A quick search on youtube will yield many interesting projects created using Scratch.
Learn by MOOCs (massive open online courses)
Online discussion groups
Then, once you become confident in your chosen language it is important to start making contacts with the wider community in that language, both online and offline. Online is a natural starting point because you may have already googled something you were stuck on and found an online forum dedicated specifically to language and even the problem you are dealing with. As a coder Github is a great resource you should be aware of, and to also share a recruiter’s tip with you https://softwareplacements.ie/blog/software-developer-tips-from-michael-diver/ – being active there will do no harm to your future recruitment prospects!
You will find a forum and user for every coding language, and often subgroups specifically dealing with the projects you are working on. They are a great resource and one you will quickly find yourself using all the time!
Stack overflow is one of our favourites and is well worth checking out, both to answer particular problems and also just to read the explanations and comments posted by other users.
Offline you will find that there is invariably some sort of local meetups taking place somewhere near you. If you can’t find something specific to your chosen language then cast the net a little wider and look for something like CoderDojo (https://coderdojo.com/) or a similar coding meetup initiative. We’re a big supporter (https://softwareplacements.ie/blog/meet-coder-dojo-a-great-initiative-in-promoting-coding-to-kids/) of CoderDojo in particular but anything like this will help you to meet like minded people. These meetups are great for sharing ideas, finding out how other people solved problems you have encountered and generally finding out what’s going on locally.
Hackathons are also a great way to get to meet fellow coders, designers and entrepreneurs all in one place. Generally taking place over a weekend, with food and many resources supplied. The challenge is to take a concept from a sketch to a working MVP (minimum viable product) from meeting and forming teams on the Friday evening to pitching the concept on the Sunday afternoon. This is a really good way to see just what your coding skills are like, and by learning from others you work with.
Thanks and more to follow
We hope you find this high-level introduction useful and we look forward to going into more detail over the coming articles about specific languages in big demand for companies in Ireland and globally.
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