Whether you want to make programming your career or you just want to build the best site with a premium Bootstrap theme, some level of programming knowledge is an absolute requirement. Programming, in general, is just a brilliant skill to have in this increasingly digital world, no matter your particular field. Whatever the case is, there are certain skills it is vital to have as a programmer to go along with actually understanding the ins and outs of whatever programming language you choose to learn.
The good news is that you can learn most of these skills online, and don’t necessarily need any past experience – though, obviously, past experience always helps. As long as you are comfortable with making mistakes along the way, because programming, by its very nature, requires a whole lot of trial and error, especially at the start, you can pretty easily become the programmer you never knew you could be.
Before even getting started, though, make sure that you’re keeping secure online if you don’t want all of your hard work to be, at best lost, and at worst, stolen by the last people you would want to have access to your work. Many of us think that because we’re good with computers and that we’re above making basic errors but it’s not really about how good you are but about how good hackers and malware programmers tend to be. You should always have security software, including an antivirus for iPhone or Android, along with your laptop and/ or PC.
With that in mind, these are the best skills to have as a programmer and where you can learn them:
Let’s start with the obvious. If you want to be a programmer, you’re going to need to start off by learning to code. Otherwise, you might as well try and write for a French newspaper without knowing any French or work as an interpreter without knowing anything but your home language. The big question isn’t whether you should learn a coding language but what coding language would be most beneficial to learn.
The basic consensus is that Java is the best place for everyone to start. Coding with Java is relatively easy to learn and has a huge range of uses. It’s especially crucial if you’re looking to build websites but the amount of apps and programs that are Java based would surprise you. It’s not the most powerful programming language that you can learn but you could hardly find a more important one. There’s a reason that there are so many lucrative jobs for programmers who code in Java and so many online opportunities to study it at your own pace.
Sorry right-brained thinkers, it’s true. Math is beyond crucial in programming. You don’t need to be great with mathematics to be a programmer, but you do need to have basic mathematical skills. Get familiar with the main principles of algebra and arithmetic to get ahead in programming and try throw in a logic course or two to give you a fully rounded education on the subject.
To balance things out with the math, this is where the traditionally right-brained thinkers excel but don’t be dispirited if you have more of an analytical or mathematical mind. People often think of creativity as something you either have or you don’t. But the reality is that everyone can learn to be more creative. The very first principle you need to learn is that play is good. Messing around, trying things you’ve always wanted to try, is the best way to increase your creativity. Then you can start incorporating it into more structured things like programming. If you already play an instrument, draw, write, or something similar, you can start practicing and creating more often.
There are some great resources for unblocking your creativity, but none better than The Artist’s Way. This book works as a twelve week course that provides you with exercises to do every day. These exercises can be done while going about life as normal.
Over the course of the twelve weeks, you will begin to learn more about yourself and become way more adept at accessing your creative power. People who have completed the course have gone on to make careers out of what was once seen as a naive dream.
Programming is a creative endeavor. Build your creativity, and along with finding out that there really is no more important programming skill than that, there are few life skills in general as precious as the ability to think creatively. Throw in the more analytical and mathematical sides of programming and you’re left with an education that far exceeds the task at hand.