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How to get started programming

Learn what language to start with & why

One of the questions we get most frequently here at Skillcrush is the BIG: “How do I get started??” question. How do I get started in tech, coding, web design? You name it, we get.

Now the question may be simple, but the answer rarely is.

Today we are going to tackle how to get started programming.

In this video you will learn:

  • What the different types of code are & what they do
  • What programming language is the best language to learn FIRST & why
  • What programming has to do with Toy Story (yep, the Disney movie)
  • And most importantly, how you can write your first program TODAY (even if you have never touched code before in your LIFE)

As a special bonus, we have made our practice file available for download, here.

Ready? Get programming!

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5 comments

  1. stephenbooth Replied

    I have a slightly different answer as to how to get started in programing/coding:

    “Find a problem/need you have that looks like it can be solved by writing a simple program. Work out how to write the program to solve it.”

    I got started in 1981 because of my disability, Dyspraxia (then called ‘Clumsy Child Syndrome’), I was 11. One symptom of this disability is problem with fine motor control which caused my handwriting to be totally illegible.

    My school had bought a computer (a Commodore CBM PET IIRC) and put it in a room in the math department (cos computers are all about maths so you need to be a math genius to use them, obviously :-) ). I was friends with one of the people who was allowed to use it and would join him when he used it to learn how to program. I was doing typing classes at the time (only boy out of 600 in the school) but was frustrated with the old manual typewriters we had and doubly frustrated that if I made a mistake that meant retyping the whole page (white out was banned from school following a ‘sniffing’ craze the previous year). It did mean I was already familiar with the keyboard.

    Watching my friend programming and reading the books that had come with the computer about the BASIC interpreter that came with it I had an idea. I managed to get permission to use the computer myself and set about writing a really, really, REALLY simple text editor. You could do two things with it, enter text and print text, but it meant I could write something and other people would be able to read it. Not a major achievement but learning to write that gave me a good introduction to programming which lead to me learning more and a career in IT.

    Yesterday I read an article about a 17 year old woman who got interested in codign at age 13 and has just released an expert system to aid in the diagnosis of breast cancer. The article didn’t say but I did wonder if that was the problem she set out to solve. If so, that’s way better than my text editor.

  2. ntitate Replied

    Um, is that a blackface minstrel show at 1:40? It kind of looks like it is.

    • stephenbooth Replied

      Possibly, though it’s a bit too grainy to tell if the performers are actually Black or white people in black face paint.

      The word ‘Cakewalk’ originates from a form of entertainment at parties on the old Southern estates. The owners would get their slaves to perform dances and funny walks for the entertainemnt of their guests, whichever slave performed the funniest walk or dance would be given a piece of cake, hence ‘Cakewalk’ and ‘A piece of cake’ to refer to an easy task.

      • ntitate Replied

        So, we have a woman talking about how to get started programming in a minstrel-show themed video? SMH.

      • stephenbooth Replied

        I wouldn’t decribe it as a minstrel themed video, various clips are used to illustrate various points. I supect this one was used to illustrte the term ‘Cakewalk’ but perhaps the producer wasn’t aware of the full history of the term (perhaps they just thought it was a type of dance, not knowing the origin).

        There’s a lot of terms used by many people every day which if you know the full history you may think are offensive (e.g. ‘Nitty Gritty’, ‘Bulldozer’ &c). Similarly there are terms now considered offensive that when they were first coined were utterly inoffensive.

        I think this has gotten rather off topic.

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