CODING

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Let’s explore the paths for the same. Here is my first question to you, what is programming/coding? I think the answer is clear to you, I will explain it to you if not.

It’s basically writing something, something which computer can understand and interpret. The process of writing all of those lines of codes/ programmes can be considered as programming. Yes, that can be anything from printing a normal “Hello World” to the console, terminal, IDE, or command prompt to writing complex AI/ Machine learning codes.
POINTS TO BE CONSIDERED

As now you have understood what programming really is so let’s have a look at:

The most popular languages in the market
Choosing the right programming language
How to write neatly
Ways of practicing
Some places to learn
Learning quickly
Important points to be considered
Competing against other programmers
Certification
Hands on to projects
Getting Internships

We will see each of the things one by one.

It must be clear to you by now that what is programming. Let’s now get to know about the programming languages.

So, what is a programming language? Some of you might be professional/ intermediate at programming and must be aware of at least ten programming languages. However, this question is for the absolute beginners.

Coming to the answer with the help of another question. How will you define a language? It’s generally a way to communicate or express, right? We understand the language we are comfortable with. In fact, a person comfortable with Hindi may be unable to understand Chinese or French which implies that although there are many languages but, its extent is limited and changes from person to person.

The same is the case for a programming language. Computers are comfortable with the programming languages. A programming language acts as a medium between the user and the computer. Computers can only understand binary language. It is basically 0 – 1 / ON – OFF / HIGH – LOW.

i.e., A programming language converts the code we write into the binary form so that computers may understand, interpret and give output.
SOME POPULAR PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES

Let’s have a look at some of the most popular programming languages in the market.

JAVA: Being redundant, old, and supported by nearly all of the platforms JAVA is still on the top. In fact, complete Android OS is just based on JAVA which also means that all of the Android applications are written in JAVA. JAVA applications/ programmes are basically written once and can be run on any of the platforms (Windows, DOS, Linux, iOS, Shell ) using the JAVA Virtual Machine. That’s the point where JAVA wins over other languages. It is used by millions of developers worldwide. I don’t know why but, JAVA is considered as the most difficult programming language when it comes to learning it and thus is not recommended for beginners in any way.

PYTHON: Python is basically a general-purpose programming language used for backend web development and as a support language for software developers.

Python grew popular in 2017. Now, it is being used extensively for Data-Science and Machine-Learning. You all might have heard about Instagram, that’s a social media platform for posting photos and short videos.

Instagram has nearly 1 billion active installations. You are among one of the installers, right?. In fact, I’m also one of the users of Instagram.

So, our favorite “Instagram ” is coded in Python (at the back-end). Remember, we are still using the “Android-application” for Instagram which is coded in none other than our top-ranked language, our favorite “JAVA”.

JAVASCRIPT: JavaScript is my favorite and, I bet you too will love it after getting used to it. JavaScript is generally considered as the father/ grandfather (It seems much interesting when “father” is replaced with what it is called in “Hindi”.) of programming languages. There is a reason behind it, nearly 85% of the web-apps and websites are directly written in JS. Rest 10% are written in the frameworks based on JS. No doubt JS is ruling the internet with over 95% of web apps and websites. The popularity of JavaScript is, however, decreasing with the introduction to its libraries and frameworks like ReactJS, AngularJS which has the capability/ potential to run IoT based web applications. NodeJS is another framework based on JavaScript with the power to build the back-end, mobile, and desktop applications.

C++: C++ is the extension to the old “C”, used for system/ application software, game development, drivers, back-end/ server-side programming language. Although it’s not, still is considered to be hard for beginners. You may start with “C” and then move to “C++” or the reverse.

C#: (C Sharp) is an Object-Oriented-Programming-Language from Microsoft. C# is designed and developed to run on Microsoft’s .NET platform. Like C++, C# is also used extensively for game development. It is much popular among video-game developers.

PHP: PHP abbreviated as (Hyper Text Pre-Processor), is a scripting language used on the back-end (server side). Besides the fact that many popular websites are/ were written in PHP, it’s popularity is decreasing, it’s becoming obsolete.

Some of the popular platforms written in PHP are Yahoo, Facebook, Wikipedia, Flickr, WordPress, SourceForge.
OTHER LANGUAGES TO CONSIDER

Besides this, there are other languages too. Some of them are listed below.

Ruby (Twitter is written in Ruby-on-rails.)
Pearl (Popular for System and Structure )
Swift (The programming language for iOS and macOS.)
R (Statistical Computing and Graphics)
Rust (Influenced by C++, sponsored by Mozilla Foundations.)
SQL (Standard Query Language, Database for Web applications)
.NET ( Basically a framework for languages)
Node (Based on JavaScript, capable of running Server-Side applications.)
MEAN (Combination of MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, NodeJS)

So, when it comes to choosing the right programming language, I would recommend C if you are thinking to make a career in software engineering, Python in case of data science, JavaScript and PHP in case of Web-Development. You may choose C# if you are thinking to go to Game Development.
WRITING NEATLY

How to write neatly?

This is one of the most important points which most of the beginners forget to follow. I guess you are not among those, right? If yes, you will no more be among those who do the same after the below mentioned tricks.

Proper Indentation: Leave spaces when nesting statements/ loops. It looks good and helps understand the code in a better way.
Comments: Don’t forget to leave comments about the line of codes. Write two to three words about the line and comment it. It will help you understand the code in the future. It will also help others for the same.
Variable/ Function-Names: Use a variable/ function which best describes the work of the same. For g., if you are using a variable/ function for the calculation of sum, name the variable/ function “sum”.
Camel-Casing: For naming variables/ functions use camel-casing. For e.g., if a function/ variable sums three numbers, give it a name “sumThree”. Camel-casing basically means capitalizing one the alphabet of successive words.

HOW TO PRACTICE?

Ways of practicing

Read Books: Believe it or not, but, the old way of reading books is most helpful and profitable when it comes to learning to code. Choose any of the books in the market. Yes, any of the books since no book can be considered bad. Each of the books wins over the other in some respect.

I will recommend you buying:

C – The Complete Reference (Mc-Graw Hill Education)

C++ – Bjarne Stroutstrup

PHP – The Complete Reference (Mc-Graw Hill Education)

JavaScript – The Complete Reference (Mc-Graw Hill Education)

Python – Learning Python (O Reilly)

MOOCS: If comfortable, you can choose any of the e-learning platforms for the same. Choosing MOOCS over normal classes are really beneficial as apart from saving time it provides reading flexibility which means you can access the materials anywhere and at anytime. Also, you can watch the videos as many times you want, if provided.

There are numerous of platforms. Some of them are listed for your reference.

DataCamp
Udemy
Udacity
EdX
Khan Academy
CoursEra
LinkedIn Learning

Stick to it: Focus on a single programming language. Don’t over-think that the language you chose is not good. Don’t run after multiple programming languages. I have often seen my friends complaining about the same. Being confident and good at a single programming language is far better than running behind multiple languages and not getting anything at the end.

It is a well known fact that

“Little knowledge is dangerous”.

Choose a topic and stick to it unless you get most out of it. Or, keep practicing, solving until the topic is fully understood.

“Practice until you are proved wrong”
FACING THE REAL WORLD

Competing against the world!

After mastering a particular language go for Competitive Programming. It’s a way to expose and test the knowledge you gained throughout your learning process.

Basically you will get some problem statement and will be asked to solve it in the way mentioned.

Some of the most popular platforms are:

Hacker-Earth
Hacker-Rank
Code-Chef
Coder-Byte
Top-Coder
Project-Euler
Code-Wars
Leet-Code

You might be disheartened at the beginning practicing at the platforms but you will get to the top with continued practice.

Remember:

“Try is a small word that can make a big difference!”
OTHER POINTS
Getting Certified

Start by choosing any University providing distance learning courses. Watch the video lectures if you still have doubts on the concepts. In fact, it is always good watching the videos and going through the provided study materials as, along with acting as a source for revision it may also introduce some new concepts that you might have skipped hurriedly.
Hands on to projects

It is considered as the most important part/ phase of a programmer’s carrier. Choose any topic you are interested in and start working on it. The topics may be AI, Machine Learning, Robotics, E-Commerce portals, small Social-Networking site or anything like that. Find some trusted and knowledgeable friends from the same field and ask them to join.

Projects will not only test your knowledge and understanding but will also help you getting placed in some good companies. So, start with projects once finished with a particular programming language. You may even start as a newbie and add/ change the things as you step up.
Internship

Internship can be defined as the training during regular studies. Find a good and popular company in your area and ask them if they can provide you internship and the certificate for the same. You may even choose joining Microsoft’s internship programme. This will be a source to showcase your knowledge and experience to other developers and coders across the globe which in turn will contribute to your position in a company and indirectly enhance career opportunities.

There are numerous of ways apart from this but all of those cannot be mentioned here with the limitations of words.

I end up here with the most popular quote:

“Practice makes a man perfect”

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by Partik tiwari
Lovely Professional University

 

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