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Likhitha Guntaka
Likhitha Guntaka

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Coding...What is it?. Where to START?!

Coding or computer programming is the process that allows computers to perform practical tasks. Skilled software developers write lines of code to tell machines how to accomplish a specific goal. A career in coding is perfect for technically minded individuals who have a passion for problem-solving.
Learn to Code with Thinkful-ness
Required Programming Skills
Programming languages instruct computers and machines to perform specific tasks. Each language has its strengths and weaknesses.
Some common programming languages include:
Java: Java is one of the most in-demand programming languages. Desktop applications, mobile applications, embedded systems, and processing of big data using Java. Java is used to develop native Android applications.
Ruby: Ruby is a general-purpose programming language. It's object-oriented, reflective, and dynamic. Ruby is used in front-end and back-end development. Its syntax is intuitive and easy to understand. Ruby is primarily used for building web applications. It's also used for other tasks like data analysis, proof of concepts, and prototyping. Ruby on Rails has a wide range of applications.
Python: Python is a general-purpose coding language. It's used for web development, fintech, and data science. Python is also a popular language for scientific research. It has multiple science-friendly libraries like Astropy for astronomy, Biopython for biology and bioinformatics, and Psychopy for neuroscience and experimental psychology.
JavaScript: JavaScript is a programming language mainly used for front-end web development. It's a scripting language that runs straight from the browser without being compiled by the computer; this makes it cross-platform compatible and perfect for web applications.
Write Clear, Understandable Code
Most coders work on existing software written by other programmers; this means it's essential to write clear and easy-to-understand code.
Commenting is one way to make code more understandable and involves writing short, single-line notes throughout your program. These notes explain in plain English what each section of code is trying to achieve. We can also report concerns or flag areas of code that might need updating. The compiler ignores comments, so they don't affect our program in any way.
Consistent formatting and indentation is another method we can use to help our code read better. Avoid writing Spaghetti code that is unstructured and hard to maintain. Don't repeat lines of similar code, instead try to build a separate function that we can call multiple times.
Develop Logical Thinking
Logic is one of the essential skills to have if we want to become a coder. It's used to conceptualize efficient solutions and fix bugs in code. Logic can be developed over time by training our minds.
Tools like Dcoder can help build our logic and reasoning skills by giving you problems to solve. You can also use the conditional thinking approach that uses the 'if this, then that' technique. This approach is used to test variables against values.
Consider spending time on creative hobbies and games. Chess and Sodoku are perfect for developing logical thinking. Don't worry too much, though; you'll naturally learn to think logically as we learn programming techniques and gain experience as a coder.
Other Technical Coding Skills
Together with core programming skills, a coder is also expected to understand the following principles:
Algorithms: An algorithm is a set of instructions given to a computer to solve a problem or reach a specific goal. An algorithm consists of a procedure, an input, and an output. Professional coders spend a lot of time writing algorithms, so you must understand the tools and techniques involved in the process.
Databases: Databases are data structures used to store information. Most software applications use data in one form, from customer details on an e-commerce site to a high score in a video game. Coders must read, write, update, organize, and analyze this data using database techniques. Structured Query Language (SQL) is the most popular language used to interact with databases.
Abstract Thinking: Abstract thinking is often called the foundation of coding. It refers to thinking that's done without the object we're thinking about. To become a successful coder, you have to develop abstract thinking because we can't physically measure or observe the written code.
Coders Also Require Soft Skills
Soft skills (also called interpersonal, essential, and non-cognitive skills) are concerned with how you work in a professional environment. As a coder, we'll interact with many different people. For requirement capture, we'll need regular client meetings. Chances are you'll be working as part of a team, so we'll also need to discuss development with other coders. The following soft skills are required to become a successful coder:
1)Communication
2)Time management
3)Analytical mindset
4)Problem-solving attitude
5)Collaboration/teamwork
6)Creativity
7)Patience
8)Research
9)Attention to detail
10)Good memory
How to Learn Coding Skills
The coding industry is highly dynamic and constantly evolving. To be a successful coder, we should keep on top of industry trends and stay relevant. There are multiple ways of gaining fundamental coding knowledge:
Online Bootcamps: Learn from the comfort of your own home with a laser-focused online coding boot camp. Leading experts from the coding world put together these intensive education programs. The course features a relevant and up-to-date curriculum to provide students with career-ready coding skills. Aspiring coders will benefit from one-on-one mentoring and full support as they grow from beginner to hired in less than a year.
Self-Learning: Teaching yourself to code is also an option. The internet provides plenty of learning resources. YouTube video tutorials and coding blog posts can go a long way in getting you started in this space. But beware, free online information is sometimes unstructured and out-of-date. It's essential to do your research and learn skills that are relevant in the coding industry. You also don't get any form of coding certificate or recognition after completing your study. Employers generally prefer candidates that an educational organization officially recognizes. Here are some things to think about when self-learning:
1)Stick to a timeline. Make a schedule, and allocate some hours to practice coding.
2)Try solving problems and challenges. This will help us implement our theoretical knowledge and hone our problem-solving skills.
3)Master an in-demand skill.
4)Avoid procrastinating. Since we are not learning in a structured environment, it is easy to lose time and deadlines.
5)Post specific coding problems on sites like Stack Overflow to learn from others.
How to Stay Relevant in the Coding World
Our learning doesn't stop once we land a job. We have to continue learning and upgrading our skills to stay in the field. Some tips for doing that include:
Never Stop Practicing: Take up new and challenging projects. This way, we can practice coding, get better at it, and add it to our portfolio. This, in turn, will impress our future employers.
Code in a Team: Working in a collaborative team will show employers how you fit into larger groups and higher positions.
Network with Others: Forming lasting business relationships can help us stay updated with the latest developments, learn new skills, and gain new opportunities.

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