Once you learn one language, it becomes rather easy to pick up another language.
Coding is probably the most dreaded word by a recent engineering graduate who is not from a Computer Science engineering or IT background. However, there is no escape from it as it is the most coveted core skill for any fresher who wants a job in the IT sector.
What freshers need to understand is that coding is not rocket science, but a skill that can be easily picked up with regular practice. With the right approach, not only will coding be simple but will also be fun!
So, what is the right approach to learn coding? Remember you don't have to be a whiz kid but determined and persistent to learn coding. All you need to learn coding is a computer and an internet connection. If you are willing to challenge yourself, then there is nothing standing between you and coding.
Here is a simple four-step process that can help you not only learn coding but also master it. Remember, no one can become programming genius overnight.
Decide why you want to learn coding: There is no doubt in the fact that coding is one of the most valued skills today and there are a plethora of job opportunities that it offers. However, that should not be the only reason for you to learn coding,
because how you answer this question of why you want to learn coding will determine to a large extent on why you want to learn to code in the first place and how much time you are willing to devote to learning it.
Choose the right language: The next big challenge is to decide which programming language to start with. Once you learn one language, it becomes rather easy to pick up another language since coding is actually breaking down the problem and telling the computer how to solve it. That said, there are some languages like Java and Python that are friendlier for beginners. The language you choose to begin with may once again depend on the purpose for which you are learning programming.
Self-learn using free online tools: The Internet is flooded with websites that have tutorial videos and will introduce to coding for free. Codecademy, GitHub, HackeRank and Khan Academy are some of the free online training websites that can help you in writing your first code. Since these are free tools, you have to take the initiative and be keen learner to enhance your skills because the more you practice, the better you get.
Take up a course: Once you are confident of your basic coding skills, that is the ability to read code and write a few lines to code, it is time to take the last big step and enrol yourself in a programming course.
The difference between structured course and online training sites is that the former gives you a comprehensive idea and a well thought out approach to coding as a whole, irrespective of the language, whereas in the latter you focus only on one language.
Coding is continuously evolving and adapting while bringing with it limitless opportunities. It is also pushing the frontiers of where and how it can be used. Soon, coding will probably be used in ways we have probably never even imagined. So, start preparing for it from today.
(The author is chief digital officer, TalentSprint, Bengaluru)