How To Start Coding: The Ultimate Guide

In a culture where computers have largely touched every part of our lives, learning their language has become the need of our time. Programming is about solving problems, logical processes, and rational thought. Coding, the primary step of programming, deals with converting data into binary commands that the computer can understand.
If you’re determined, motivated, and creative, then coding is for you. The thinking and problem-solving skills you’ll develop will not only prepare you to tackle technical challenges, but also impact how you approach problems in general. Read on for a comprehensive guide on how to start coding.

Why Learn to Code?

There are so many benefits to being a good coder/programmer. These include:

Career Advantages

Learning to code will give you in-demand skills in computing that’ll make you immediately employable. Once you’ve acquired skills and training in tech, you can start your own business, land a high-income job, or go freelance.

Coding is Fun and Creative

It’s very rewarding to solve problems and create things. After you get past the problem-solving stage, you’ll start enjoying yourself and reap the benefits of your efforts. It also changes the way you view the internet and your role within it.

You Build Great Things

If you dream up an idea, you can create it exactly as you visualize it. Most software is free to download and the hosting free of charge, so creating a family website, games for your friends, or a mobile app, will be an easy thing to do.

Types of Coding Languages

There are so many coding languages that serve the main goal of coding: creating on screen what you visualize. It’s not one-size-fits-all, so consider which field you want to focus on before choosing an introductory language.
If you’re interested in web development, start with HTML5 then move on to CSS, JavaScript, and PHP. If you’re into app or software development, JavaScript and C are great choices. If you want to work on desktop applications and games, focus on C++ and JavaScript.
According to expert advice, aim to master one or two coding languages, familiarize yourself with the rest, and be ready to use them. Start learning your language from its core, and don’t skip its basics to ensure smooth sailing when you reach its more advanced areas.
Below are some of the most popular coding languages you’ll want to consider.


The starting point for any beginner, HTML is one of the easiest languages since it’s very readable. HTML code formats the text, images, and other media that constitute a webpage.


CSS goes hand in hand with HTML. It’ll apply things like colors, fonts, icons, videos, and other media to your webpage.


One of the most diverse languages today, JavaScript is all about functionality. It can be used for both mobile and desktop apps, and to code anything from video games to websites.


Simple enough to grasp in a few days, Python can be used for almost anything. It was used to build popular sites like Google, Pinterest, and Instagram.

C, C++

C is a general-purpose coding language. It’s highly efficient in developing video games, graphics, and performing calculations. C++ is similar but more advanced and supports a wider range of coding styles. These languages are more difficult to learn.

7 Important Tips on How to Start Coding

Being a good coder is all about hard work, and acquiring the know-how of coding. Below are some major tips to help you along your coding journey. 1: Know Your Tools
Familiarize yourself with your coding tools. For example, you’ll require a text editor to write your code, like WordPad, Notepad, Sublime Text, and Emacs. They have features to make coding easier like color coding, auto-complete, and dark mode.

2: Understand the Basics

Familiarize yourself with the coding essentials. You might choose to start with learning binary, data types, and printing to the console. Then you could proceed to topics like variables, functions, arrays, and objects. Make sure you grasp each coding concept before advancing to the next.

3: Write Good Code

Always write clean code in the clearest and most concise way possible, following best practices and correct indentation. Other people have to be able to read your code, possibly alter and update it.
Comment all your code. Comments are sections of code that aren’t processed by the computer. Write whatever you want inside them to help clarify the purpose of your code to yourself and others.

4: Find a Mentor

It’s invaluable to have an experienced programmer you can ask for tips when you get stuck. Learning to code with a mentor will:
  • Make the process easier, quicker, and more enjoyable
  • Keep you engaged, motivated and accountable
  • Improve the quality of your code by teaching you best practices
Learn more about using a mentor on Sidetrain to help you learn how to code.

5: Take Classes

There’s a wealth of online resources available, including free tutorials, classes, and videos. Popular sites include:
  • YouTube
  • Sidetrain
  • CodeAcademy
  • JetBrains Academy
  • Udacity
  • Udemy
  • W3Schools
  • Code School
You may choose to enroll in programs through community colleges or tech schools, like Coding Blocks or Coding Ninjas, or coding bootcamps like General Assembly and CareerFoundry. Although more expensive, they’ll give you one-on-one time with a tutor, offer you certification, and may help you get a job.

6: Read Up and Join a Coding Community

Read many books and coding/tech blogs. Educate yourself on data structures and algorithms, which are the heart and soul of programming. Techcrunch, Techmeme, Linkedin are sites filled with the newest info on the tech industry.
Talking to people and asking questions will inspire and support you, plus widen your horizon and network. Chances are someone faced the same struggle as yours and has been helped out on a coding forum or online community, like StackOverflow, often by professional programmers.

7: Practice a Lot and Build a Coding Project

Spend time coding every day, stick to a schedule, and code in your free time. The more you practice, the easier it gets and the better you get at it.
Once you’ve learned the basics, build something someone could use, like an application, website or game. This will enable you to apply the coding techniques and problem-solving skills you’re learning. It’ll also be the fastest route towards getting your tech career launched.


While anyone can learn to code, coding isn’t easy. How to start coding is to start learning to think as computers do. You’ll have to deconstruct problems into their components, and think outside the box to analyze and solve them using the given tools.
Be patient and persistent, and don’t get daunted or discouraged. If you progress slowly yet surely, and stick to your goals, you’re halfway there. Today there’s a variety of resources available, whatever your chosen mode of learning.
Although the science of coding will take you about two years to master, it’s well worth the time, effort, and cost.