Best Way To Learn Programming For Beginners – The idea of learning how to code can be intimidating. A codeword is secret by definition. It refers to a method of technical communication that computers, not humans, must understand.
One way that many people start learning to code is to pick up a popular programming language and start aimlessly. This could be an online coding course, a teaching project, or the occasional purchase of a book on a particular topic.
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In this article I propose such a route. I do this by illustrating 14 steps—each an important concept, language, or tool—that professional developers use to code, collaborate, and create professional projects.
I have carefully selected these 14 steps based on my personal journey over 20 years.
It took me a long time to feel comfortable as a developer because I was learning about specific topics outside of the broader context of the coding world.
Every step in this article deals with “coding issues” – I believe this is important to know as you begin your coding journey.
One final note before listing the steps in the roadmap: Of course, reading this article will not make you a professional programmer. no I dont. The purpose of this article is to make you aware of the existence of each of these topics and to give you a basic idea of how each of them works so you can move forward wisely.
One of the great things about modern programming languages is that they allow us to create beautiful applications without (mostly) having to worry about the hardware details behind the scenes.
This is called abstraction – the ability to work with high-level tools (in this case, a programming language) that simplifies and reduces the required understanding and knowledge.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s useless to know the fundamentals of the metal your code runs on. Of course, knowing a few tdbits can help you negotiate high CPU and memory usage at work.
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Microchips are powered by electrical components called transistors. Transistors are small electrical switches that are always on (0) or (1). A single microchip can contain millions or billions of tiny transistors.
Most modern computers have a microchip called a central processing unit (CPU). You can think of it as the brain of the computer. It deals with the numerical and logical processing operations performed by the computer.
Each CPU has something called an instruction set, which is a set of bits (zeroes and instructions) that the CPU understands. Luckily, we don’t have to worry about the software! This is the power of abstraction.
If the CPU is the logical center of the brain, it is useful to have memory, which stores information temporarily or permanently.
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Computers have random access memory (RAM) which is “working memory” (or short-term memory) to store data that is being actively used by programs.
RAM includes memory addresses used to store page data. In older languages like C, programmers could work directly with memory addresses using a function called a pointer, but this is not common in modern languages.
Finally, we’ll cover one component you’re probably familiar with – the hard drive. Similar to the brain, this represents long-term memory. A hard drive is an internal or external device that must continue to function even after the computer is turned off.
Before we get into the details of programming languages, let’s talk about data a second time. But what do we mean by information?
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At a higher level, we think about things like text documents, images, videos, emails, files, and folders. These are all high-level data structures that we store in our computers on a daily basis.
But internally, a computer chip (such as a CPU or RAM chip) doesn’t know what “picture” or “video” is.
From the chip’s point of view, all these structures are stored as long and zero strings. Those and zeros are called bits.
Bits are usually stored in octets, called bytes. A byte is a sequence of eight bits, for example:
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In the previous section, we mentioned that most computers rely on CPUs and that the CPU can understand certain instructions in the form of ones and zeros.
So we can write code that tells the CPU what to do by combining long strings and zeros in a way that the CPU can understand. Instructions written in such binary form are called machine code.
High-level programming languages provide human-readable keywords, expressions, and syntax rules, making them easy for anyone to learn, edit, and work with.
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Programming languages are a way to bridge the gap between our human mind’s understanding of the world and the computer brain’s (CPU) understanding of the world.
Finally, the code we write must be translated into binary instructions (machine code) that the CPU can understand.
That means your code is translated into machine code that the CPU can process based on the language you choose. Most programming languages have a program called a compiler or interpreter that performs the translation step.
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No matter what kind of programming you want to do, you will find yourself in situations where you need to learn how computers interact with each other. This is usually done on the Internet.
The Internet is a global collection of connected computers. In other words, it is a global network. Each computer on the network agrees on a set of rules that allow it to communicate with each other. “Talking” to a computer means transmitting information.
As mentioned in the previous section, all types of data – web pages, images, videos, emails, etc. – can be represented as all zeros.
So you can think of the Internet as a collection of computers that can pass numbers and zeros to each other to maintain the meaning of data. The Internet is not just for digital communication.
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First, the similarity: Most human conversations require at least two participants. Often one person initiates a conversation and the other responds, thinking the conversation is ongoing.
When communicating over the Internet, the computer that initiates the conversation is called a client. A computer that answers or responds is called a server.
For example, let’s say you open a web browser and go to “www.google.com”. In this case, your web browser is the client. By extension, you can also treat the running computer as a client.
Simply put, you are the customer because you are the conversation starter. By typing “www.google.com” in the search bar and pressing , your browser will prompt you to start a conversation with one of Google’s computers.
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It’s called Google Server. It responds by sending the information needed to display the Google website in your browser. That’s it! The Google website will appear in front of you. All Internet data transfers use a client/server connection.
At first glance, the command line can be intimidating. These movies often display confusing text, numbers, and symbols on a pitch-black screen. This is usually associated with a malicious hacker or a genius technology hacker.
In fact, it does not require an expert to use or understand the command line. In fact, it allows us to do many of the same things we do with pointers and mouse clicks.
The main difference is that it mostly accepts keyboard input, which can significantly speed up the input when you stop it.
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You can use the command line to view directories, list their contents, create new directories, move and move files, delete files, run programs, and more. The window where you enter commands at the command line is called the terminal.
Let’s go through a short tutorial on basic navigation commands that will give you an idea of how to do it