How To Teach Yourself Programming

  • Reading time:8 mins read
  • Post category:Programming

These are the methods I used to become a self-taught developer for web applications, designed for beginners. This guide was made to be as efficient as possible with very little fluff. If you are serious about teaching yourself a highly sought after skill, then use this guide as a reference.

 

Learn HTML, CSS, then JavaScript

There is a reason why most people learn to code in this order. I believe it to be the fastest.

 

HTML

Html is where you learn how webpages are structured and is an easy way to get into the programming world. Learn things like the following.

  • Heading, body, footer, and div tags
  • Handling links
  • Images
  • Forms

It’s good to start simple here. It also helps to watch videos and read articles on why we use html. I spent days getting into computer science simply because I wanted to know how computers read html. It’s all very fascinating.

I recommend these resources:

 

CSS

CSS is how you style your html. I love messing around in these files to try out colors and patterns with my code. There are a lot of complex concepts and selector types here, but don’t get overwhelmed. You only need to know a few things to make your applications presentable.

I got lost a little here trying to learn too much, when I noticed that most backend developer’s designs where garbage. You really just need it to be functional, unless you’re looking to be a designer.

I recommend these resources:

 

JavaScript

97% of websites are using JavaScript and it’s the perfect language to learn all those slightly more complicated concepts like “For loops” and “object-oriented programming”. I would spend most of your time here. Once you dive into JavaScript enough, you will be able to alter your HTML and CSS files for a more dynamic experience. Some concepts you need to know:

  • Variables
  • Functions
  • Passing parameters
  • How to make a button click function
  • Objects
  • Arrays
  • JSON

There are TONS of free learning materials out there, so try not to resort to paying for stuff unless you absolutely have to.

I recommend these resources:

 

Build Your Portfolio

Start now. If you are trying for a specific job, go to the qualifications of that job and do more projects showcasing those specific concepts. It is a lot easier to make useful projects when you begin learning with little goals in mind. Each language or concept I learned I built a small project to go along with it. It reinforces the knowledge you just learned and gives you something to fill your portfolio with. Plus, if you are having trouble, it will force you to goggle and fix the problem yourself in order to have a working project. Which leads me to the next point.

 

Google Everything

I usually have google and Stack Overflow open on my second monitor at all times. Often I won’t remember how to show an image or style a button, but that’s okay. You have every reference you would ever need, one google search away.

 

Utilize Chrome’s Dev Tools

On a page using Chrome browser, right click anywhere and hit “inspect”, or alternatively, press F12. This is huge whether you want to learn a page’s layout, or test a page’s breakpoint response for different devices. I used this everyday when debugging JavaScript. I honestly don’t know anyone who doesn’t use it.

Resources for that:

 

Take Your Time!

I promise you if you try to rush it, you will get burnt out fast. It took me a long time before it started to click and even now I still see it as a never ending journey. If you get frustrated and it’s not making much sense, try taking some time off of it and work on something else. Sometimes I find that when I come back to something, it somehow clicks and starts to make more sense. It’s just like learning a new language. It takes time.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this post and it helps you in some way.

Happy Coding!

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