Start writing code
I often get asked by my students, why should they even learn how programming works. The general opinion is that they will never use it in “real life”. Seeing how programming is seen as “too hard” and an “only geeks understand it” thing, I would like to tell you my programming story and how it changed my life for the better.
Benefits of programming
So let’s start by pointing out the benefits of programming:
- You will understand how stuff all around you works,
- It will boost your logical thinking,
- It might be a great opportunity for a career change,
- You will be able to create apps that help you with your life,
- You will meet new people that share your interests,
- It’s a great and modern hobby,
- With enough commitment you will change the world,
- and many more!
Don’t know what to do?
Like most people that finish high school, I didn’t really know what I want to do in life. While I went to a private school, the teachers there didn’t kindle a fire in me for a specific path to take. Two things I liked back then was dribbling in Photoshop and playing video games (especially World of Warcraft), so I decided to go to Information Technology studies (like if playing games was the same as IT). I wasn’t a fan of programming at start – it seemed too hard to understand. At one point I went through the local job market (and being rejected by at least 20 companies as a junior graphic designer), I decided it was time to act. I told myself I will learn to code.
As the idea was great, it was a couple of years ago and the online courses weren’t as widely spread as now. I had to learn from books, which was a pain. I tried understanding various programming languages like C++, C#, Java, Python… but everything was described in such a way, that didn’t feel adequate. I was getting straight facts, without showing how it would be useful (writing hello world is a start, but that won’t land you a job).
Again, I started a wave of CV letters, sending them all around – this time to Software Houses. The response was much better. I got my first project at a company that I worked for the next 4 years.
Making it easy
You don’t have to take the hard way tho, like me. I’ll give you a couple of great (and free!) sources to start your journey from the very basics:
- Microsoft Virtual Academy – great place to learn about programming languages, creating games, mobile apps, working with the cloud, databases and more,
- Udacity – programming, machine learning, AI, mobile or web is what you will get,
- Coursera – free courses for everyone, doesn’t matter what you want to do.
But, don’t limit yourself to online content, check your local community for programming groups. This is where I got most of my experience, when I was a Microsoft Student Partner here at our university.
- Join student groups,
- Find local enthusiast groups,
- Go to various events!
- And last but not the least… you might want to read my blog from time to time 😁.