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So you want to teach yourself how to code in 2018? Here’s what to do

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Today, programming languages are everywhere: in the websites you browse, the apps you use, the companies you’d like to work for and the video games you play.

If you’re like me – constantly interested in improving yourself – you’ve probably already thought about learning how to code. And if you have an entrepreneurial idea, you definitely need to. So I have done some research and compiled the most interesting links and resources available online. If you are planning to learn software development in 2018, here’s what you should know.

Why learn to code in the first place?

It’s 2018, and you might be feeling that you’ve missed the boat. The web has been there for a couple of decades. More and more people are becoming web developers every day. Is there still a spot for you?

And the answer is: yes, definitely. The recruitment company Indeed classified full stack developers as number 2 of the best jobs in 2018 in the United States, with an average salary of $111,640 and 198% growth of postings between 2014 and 2017. Programming careers are still in high demand, if that’s what you are looking for.

If you are not interested in becoming a professional developer, learning to code can have great benefits anyway. First, technical skills will improve your productivity, which can result in getting a raise or promotion at work.

Most important, it can allow you to bring your start-up idea to life. Ever thought of launching a website, a blog, an app? In my career working at start-up accelerators, I have met countless founders with brilliant solutions for real-life issues, but without the skill to make it happen. Ultimately, having an idea isn’t enough. You need to know how to build it.

Think about what you want to do with it

There are a lot of programming languages nowadays: you might have seen this great infographic made by Carl Cheo a couple of years ago. Before starting your code-learning journey, it’s important to ask yourself why you want to learn web development. What will you do with your programming skills?

– If you just want to implement small changes in your website/newsletter/blog: learn HTML and CSS. They are the foundational markup languages of the web, the most basic computer skills you can have. It’s really easy to learn, and with this knowledge, you can move onto actual programming languages. Best tool to learn HTML and CSS: Codecademy 

– If you consider a career in web development: learn Javascript. It’s the most popular, and relatively easy to learn, coding language in the world. Because it’s so trendy at the moment, many companies are looking for Javascript developers. If you want to switch career towards a programming job, this is the best place to start. Best tool to learn Javascript: Free Code Camp

– If you want to learn a language used in big enterprises: learn Java. It’s a very powerful, yet daunting, programming language used by companies like Amazon, LinkedIn, Spotify and Netflix. Java is highly demanding, but accessible: there are a lot of resources available online. Best tool to learn Java: Udemy’s Java Course

– If you want to make mobile applications on iOS: learn Swift. If you are an inspiring entrepreneur with the perfect app concept, the best way to create it is Apple’s own programming language. Best tool to learn Swift: We heart Swift

– If you want to use your programming skills in research: learn Python. The language is highly popular for artificial intelligence or machine learning research, which explains its growth in popularity in recent years. It’s perfect for beginners, as well, as the language isn’t too demanding. Best tool to learn Python: Google’s Python Class

Why should you listen to me?

You shouldn’t. I am not a web developer. Believe them: Malala Yousafzai, Stephen Hawking, Marissa Mayer and Bill Gates. They all agree on one thing – learning how to code is like a super power. It allows you to understand the world of today, and hopefully the world of tomorrow. We are now facing a new future. “The life-changing forces of technology, globalization, climate change, the stunning advances in medicine and science, are reinventing what it means to be human. Three-person babies. Technology altering our brains. A cure for loneliness. Extreme biohacking. Outposts on Mars. Emerging diseases. Sex robots. The union of man and machine. Even the end of death itself. The once-immutable facts about what it means to be alive are up for grabs” (from Siobhan O’Connor on Medium).

In the end, it’s really up to you. The most important thing is to start. Do not read countless articles and blog posts on why you should learn how to code, which programming language is the best to learn… The point isn’t to know a language specifically, but to switch your mindset towards understanding computer science and technology as a whole. The power is in your hands.

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