How to Learn Programming in 2024

How to Learn Programming in 2024

It has never been easier to learn programming than it is in 2024. However, it’s also never been harder. With AI and technology in general continuing to improve, programming tutorials and courses have flooded the internet, making accessing this information easier than ever. At the same time, however, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the massive amount of information and to have no idea where to start. In this article, I will share my advice based on my personal experience on how to learn programming in 2024.

Getting started:

No matter what you are trying to do, the first step is always the hardest; this applies to programming as well. First of all, finding a programming language to learn is already a difficult choice as there are countless languages with uses. Some of the more beginner-friendly languages are Python or Javascript, but the initial language choice doesn’t matter much because all of the popular languages share the same concepts like variables, loops, and functions. The important thing is to fully understand the concepts and be able to utilize them in problem-solving.

If you have a teacher, tutor, or mentor, that is perfect as they can help you understand the concepts and give you advice for learning. However, it is also totally fine to use the internet, which has countless courses, videos, and websites available. But, take it from me: No matter which course you end up choosing, stick to the end so that you don’t miss anything because a solid foundation is integral. Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to ask for help on places like Stack Overflow or other programming communities as they can provide valuable insights on your programming journey.

The initial process of learning can be boring or confusing, and that is where a peer can become invaluable. Having someone at a similar skill level to bounce ideas off, share resources with, and work through challenges with can make the learning journey much smoother and more enjoyable.

Project-based learning

The best way to learn programming is through projects. With the basic programming concepts under your belt, diving into projects can significantly increase your problem-solving skills and satisfaction. Rather than simply memorizing syntax and algorithms, programming projects provide hands-on experience for applying the knowledge.

After learning the basics, it’s always a good idea to start with simple projects like a mini-game, a simple website, or any program that interests you. Personally, I find solving math problems with programming to be fascinating as sometimes Olympiad math problems can be trivial with the power of computers.

It is very convenient to watch tutorials on YouTube or other places to guide us through a project as they can help us learn and understand new concepts. However, they are useless if you don’t implement them yourself. “Tutorial Hell” refers to a state where one keeps consuming tutorials without putting the acquired knowledge into practice. True learning happens when you apply all the knowledge you learned from the tutorial and make a similar, but not the same project. Usually, after one or two large projects with the help of tutorials, Google, Stack Overflow, and also generative AI, I begin to fully understand the languages, frameworks, and concepts.

Interest is key

Interest is the biggest driving force in learning. In programming, finding an area that interests you is essential. In the programming field, there are countless related fields like web, backend, mobile, AI, etc. Maybe you find the web to be confusing but resonate strongly with AI, maybe you find mobile app development to be tedious but are fascinated by backend systems. Whatever it may be, finding your niche within the vast programming landscape can make the learning process more enjoyable and sustainable. Once you find your passion, follow a developer roadmap or simply pick a passion project and keep putting work into it.

Moreover, recording your work can be a massive motivating factor. Post your progress online or put it into your diary or planner can help you track your growth and accomplishments over time. Day by day you will begin to realize your accomplishments and growth. Additionally, sharing your work with others, whether through programming communities, open-source contributions, or collaboration on projects, can yield valuable feedback.

In a rapidly evolving industry like programming, learning is not just beneficial — it’s essential. Languages, frameworks, and tools will always become obsolete one day, but the concepts, experiences, friends, and ways to learn will preserve and help you forever in your life, so start early, and learn continuously!

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