Learning Coding Online Where To Start

Oftentimes, it’s hard to figure out where to start. Taking classes to learn about technology can be a daunting task.

Every four years, thousands of thousands of students across the country hop on a bus and go to the United States Conference of Mayors in Miami Beach, Florida. I am among them every other year. In the days before the conference—running from April 11th to 13th—students from high schools, colleges, and university have their classes, projects, and presentations organized around the theme of “Coding,” and walk up and down the halls of the Beaches Convention Center, competing for various awards and accolades and looking for to whom it is their job to greet and help guide them. While there, I meet more than a hundred other teenage coders who are working hard to graduate and enter the workforce, many of them full-time, forays into entrepreneurship, and to work with nonprofits, giving back to their communities.

I have been a part of the conference every year since its beginning, and I have often thought about what I would have done differently as a student if I were able to take the classes and programming assignments I am fortunate enough to get. This question still excites me, and today I want to share my experience as a codemaster in four weeks at my local college, and offer some advice to today’s students. This is your opportunity to learn the basics of coding, which I have spent the last six years impressing upon other codemasters how to do with a great coding job and limitless time and resources.

The essential class I took for my conversion from non-computing student to computer programming graduate was Foundations: Web Design & Development. This subject was something I did not know much about, so from fall of my junior year at Cornell, the group I joined to study with me taught and guided me in my conversion. We went through a variety of professional tips and standards, and I acquired many of my currently loved courses from the Big Red, which includes SQL, HTML, CSS, Java, Python, Eclipse, and GA. For the time I was exposed to this education, it was the perfect challenge and gave me a solid base from which to build upon.

So if you’re considering this as a part of your conversion journey, here are the steps I took:

Step One: On your way into the decision-making process you need to figure out what you’re looking for. Maybe you’re looking for a general tech education, maybe you are looking for something specifically around entrepreneurship or programming—or maybe you are looking for something that will be a unique fit within your discipline. It is no surprise that your research is crucial to your choice. It goes without saying, but do not just check the BUCS industry, and don’t just find a school in your area. Spend some time with schools that make you interesting.

Step Two: The first question to consider is: what are you going to ask them? Making connections is crucial in the college process. This is a great opportunity to go online and watch what others are saying about their experiences, and get some great advice. Keep in mind, though, that no school is going to have a perfectly-matched experience for every single student, so try to be open minded, because it will come out of practice as you proceed. If you need guidance, look at what others say about their schools, but don’t be afraid to set your own goals for yourself; there is no guarantee what a school will feel like for your particular desire and goals for your education.

Step Three: Once you know what you want, start looking at the courses themselves. As a general rule, unless you are a passionate aficionado of the particular language or programming language you’re going to use, you will most likely need a more advanced course to make the biggest strides. Also, make sure that the class provides true instruction and that it shows you where you’re going.

Step Four: Trust your instinct, and once you have decided on the course, read and listen to the syllabus, and study it extensively. Keep in mind, the real work starts once you set up a period to study this class. You may feel nervous at first, because to think about coding is hard enough, but you should do it anyway, and be mindful of not rushing through it. I recommend working on it from four o’clock until seven at night, and then come back to it for the remaining two nights in your commitment.

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