How to learn coding? Master the basics of programming and kickstart your career in IT.

Information technology is the future and the demand for top software developers in the job market is constantly growing. If you want to become a developer, first of all you are probably interested in how to start programming and how long it takes to learn programming. Is programming really that difficult and do you need a degree in it? Find out all about it in our article.

Programming forms the basis of many everyday technological activities. The programs are written in a specific language, and the language is designed to make it easier for people to read and write. The code is then compiled and turned into a file that the computer can run. There are many different programming languages, but the most popular ones include Java, C++, PHP and Python.

Although the job of a developer is extremely interesting and attractively rewarding, unfortunately, you don’t become a software developer overnight. You will need enough motivation, patience and time to gain the necessary knowledge and experience to be able to apply it in practice. Think about the fact that as a software developer you will be able to participate in interesting projects that contribute to positive changes in society or directly improve and enhance people’s lives. Learning how to code and mastering the basics of programming is an investment in your future that is guaranteed to pay off.

A good motivation is also the demand for software developers and above-standard salary. Salary valuation in the field of information technology ranges from 1503 to 3346 € with jobs as a developer in Slovakia. Java developer’s salary depends on the experience of the developer and the position he/she holds in the company. However, it should also be noted that becoming a good developer is not at all easy and the basics of programming will probably not be enough for you.

What skills do you need as a developer?

Success is always hidden behind a lot of hard work, and it is no different in the case of programming. The best personal qualities needed to become a software developer are determination, patience and a willingness to learn. In addition, it is also important to have a sense of purpose that will make you not give up at the first obstacle. There are several skills that can make your programming journey easier and shorter:

  • analytical thinking
  • ability to think in context
  • good abstract imagination

 

Knowledge of English as the international language of developers is a necessity in development jobs. If you are employed by a company such as msg life Slovakia, you will become part of an international team where you will communicate with colleagues in a foreign language. If you have most of these skills, or think you can work on them, you have all the ingredients for a job as a developer, and that means you can learn to code.

How long does it take to learn to program?

There are several ways to get the education you need to become a software developer. One of them is to study at a university with a focus on information technology. It will take you between three and five years, depending on whether you want to get a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. During your studies, you should already focus on gaining experience during which you will put your theoretical knowledge into practice.

If you don’t want to go the college route, an online programming course or a programming bootcamp, which is the shortest way to start programming, will also give you the basics of programming. Courses last between 3 and 6 months, depending on whether you are studying intensively or on the side. The advantage of paid courses is the motivating community and the possibility to contact the teacher with questions. If you want to learn coding as a self-taught programmer, you can find free programming courses on the Internet that are essential for employment as a software developer.

On the popular online learning platform Udemy.com you can find courses for beginner developers for free or for a nominal fee. Another well-known site where you can learn the basics of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Python or Ruby is Codecademy.com. However, if you know the basics of programming, you can expand your knowledge on paid courses, where an experienced programmer will guide you through the entire lecture. IT Academy Green Fox Academy offers intensive evening and weekend courses, so you can learn IT alongside work or school.

You can also learn in a fun way. Mobile app Outside for example, teaches you the basics of HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Python and SQL through interactive exercises. The app also includes a community forum where you can ask for help with more challenging tasks. The basic version of the app is completely free, so you have nothing to lose.

A developer with coffee in his hand reflects on the code
Patience and a willingness to learn are the most important qualities for a beginning developer.

Practical tips on how to learn programming

1. Create your own website and put your knowledge into practice

There is nothing better than combining theory with practice in programming. To become a good developer in future jobs, it will help if you apply all the information you learn to your own project.

Start by creating your own CV, photo gallery or blog and improve it as you go along. This way you can improve your programming skills and if you are looking for a job in IT and you don’t have experience as a developer, you can use your own blog as a portfolio.

2. Learn a simpler programming language first

The key is to learn gradually and start with a simple programming language. Just as you don’t start learning German, Spanish and French at the same time, don’t combine multiple programming languages. HTML, CSS and JavaScript are the building blocks of the web. If you learn how to use them effectively, you’ll be able to create beautiful and responsive websites. PHP is another simple language for beginners, and the best part of PHP is its robustness. Even though there are errors in the code, the command still runs. Facebook, for example, used PHP during its early days, and today WordPress is one of the most popular users of PHP.

For several years now, the IT world has been dominated by programming language Java and many jobs require developers to have experience with Java programming. Java is a high-level programming language and is mainly used by Android and cloud applications. It is important to say that all programming languages work on a similar principle, so if you learn one basic one, the others will be easier.

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Reading a few classic books on programming can be a nice change of pace to learning. You can read at any time, without an internet connection, and you can also reduce your time in the waiting room, on the train or during a break at school. For example, we recommend the book Java All-in-One For Dummies, written by Doug Lowe.

3. You also need real experience and projects

There is no doubt that working in IT also requires practical skills and real programming experience. If you’re still studying, there’s nothing easier than finding an internship at an IT company. In addition to valuable experience, many of the companies offer you a symbolic reward. The great advantage is that if you show your skills and prove yourself, you can be offered a long-term contract and stay on after your internship.

If you’re a graduate or looking to change your career path, there are Internship and Trainee opportunities for aspiring developers on the job market. In these positions, you’ll get the training you need and more time to do the job. Although the positions are lower paid, they can help you move up to the next level as a software developer.

4. Don’t be afraid to fail and turn to the more experienced

Don’t get discouraged when learning if you don’t understand something at the beginning. It is important to realise that programming is a long haul, and often you may not understand some things immediately. Beginnings are hard and believe that every developer started the same way. With each new topic you learn, think about whether you can apply the information in practice and if not, work on it some more.

There are several places on the Internet where a community of developers will selflessly help you with a particular problem you may not be able to solve. Join one of the groups. In addition to valuable advice and tips, such a community of developers can give you a great boost and encouragement when you need it.

If you pass all the steps and know the basics of programming, don’t hesitate to send your CV for a junior developer position, for example. Job position Java developer junior at msg life does not even require previous experience in a similar position. For a developer job, you need basic experience with Java programming, a willingness to learn and good communication skills in English.

In addition to interesting financial compensation, a job as a developer also brings job security and the opportunity to continuously advance in your career. See current job offers at msg life Slovakia and become a member of the development team in a thriving international IT company.

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