How Do I Learn the Basics of Computer Programming?

David Bishop
David Bishop
Computer programmers often gain experience working on independent projects outside of the classroom.
Computer programmers often gain experience working on independent projects outside of the classroom.

Many people seek to learn the basics of computer programming, whether for education, employment or to enhance their everyday lives. There are several ways to get an introduction to programming from schools, vocational programs and books. Many online sources also offer programming hints and tips for beginners. Utilizing some or all of these methods can provide a strong foundation for better understanding programming technology and continuing on to more advanced work.

Becoming a computer programmer involves learning how to write code.
Becoming a computer programmer involves learning how to write code.

Many people first encounter the basics of computer programming as an optional course in primary or secondary school. While these types of classes are sometimes a little out of date, they can offer a solid introduction to basic programming concepts and practices. High school students interested in a technology-related degree should avail themselves of these courses to prepare for more advanced college-level classwork.

Many colleges and universities offer courses in computer science and programming.
Many colleges and universities offer courses in computer science and programming.

Several educational options exist for learning the basics of computer programming at the post-secondary level. Many college and university programs offer introductory computing courses for students of all disciplines to provide for a more well-rounded education and allow students interested in computer programming to dip their toe in the water before committing to a major. Vocational and for-profit colleges also may offer coursework designed to qualify a student for a programming-related certificate or degree. Many adult students take advantage of these courses to improve their job skills and keep up with emerging technologies.

Learning to be an effective programmer takes many hours of practical training.
Learning to be an effective programmer takes many hours of practical training.

Some people interested in computer programming may look for cheaper options when starting out. For these people, computer programming books can be a useful resource as a learning and reference tool. These books are often available for lending from a local library or as a used copy from a student bookstore. A purchased book will sometimes include a copy of the programming language on disk for the buyer to install on his computer. People looking for a more structured experience may want to look for self-directed programming courses.

In areas without easy access to a school or library, online tutorials and resources may provide the best option for learning the basics of computer programming. The software needed to program in most computer languages can be downloaded free from the Internet, and the information provided is often the most up-to-date and relevant to real-world programming problems. Free electronic books also can offer a good introduction to programming by themselves or as an accompaniment to other resources. Learning to be an effective programmer takes many hours of study and practical training, so and it also may be a good idea to take advantage of multiple educational options when seeking an introduction to this challenging field.

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    • Computer programmers often gain experience working on independent projects outside of the classroom.
      Computer programmers often gain experience working on independent projects outside of the classroom.
    • Becoming a computer programmer involves learning how to write code.
      Becoming a computer programmer involves learning how to write code.
    • Many colleges and universities offer courses in computer science and programming.
      Many colleges and universities offer courses in computer science and programming.
    • Learning to be an effective programmer takes many hours of practical training.
      Learning to be an effective programmer takes many hours of practical training.