Self-Taught Programmer Roadmap
In today’s world, learning programming is a great path to take. However, not everyone can afford to go back to school and take classes. Self-teaching programming is now becoming one of the most popular ways to learn this important skill.
Luckily, being a self-taught programmer is not impossible. There will be some obstacles, but they are all easily overcome with a little dedication. Read on to discover your self-taught programmer roadmap as you begin this journey.
Begin Thinking Analytically
It does not matter what discipline you come from because anyone can be a programmer. However, there are ways of thinking that you may not be used to.
Moreover, there may be skills you once used in the past but have not been keeping up on. This can lead to having to start from scratch.
So, regardless of whether you have never programmed before or you are trying to relearn, you must begin to think analytically. Remember, coding and programming are all about logic. To think logically means you must think analytically. How do you do this?
- Basic math can help sharpen your analytical skills, especially when you understand how each math problem logically works out.
- Practice creating search queries online, which will help you solve problems as you program.
- Learn how to deconstruct issues without being bogged down by technical terms because this will help you later on.
When you can think analytically, you can approach programming with a much better mindset, which will allow you to learn the skills and techniques required for good programming.
Start with HTML
HTML is one of the most basic coding techniques you can learn, and it is also the most important one. Every website you visit uses HTML, so you must learn it.
Luckily, there are a lot of free online resources to learn how to write HTML. If you dedicate enough time, you can learn HTML rather quickly.
Why is it so important? Consider what HTML allows you to do:
- Give structure to a website you are building.
- Creates the content you want to include in a website.
- Allows you to insert images into a website or app.
- Allows you to insert other forms of media into a website or app.
HTML may be basic, but it is the foundation of every project you will likely encounter. Take the time to learn HTML,, and you will be heading in the right direction early on.
Create a Schedule and Be Consistent
So, you have learned the basics of HTML and are ready to move on to the more complex parts of programming. Before you move ahead any further, you need to create a schedule.
Your schedule should include the following elements:
- The programming languages you will learn.
- Goals you want to achieve.
- A resource list for quick reference.
Moreover, your schedule should be divided across each week. For example, if you can dedicate 90 minutes a day to teaching yourself programming, then schedule that time out each day. It is much easier to meet your goals if you are consistent when you are learning.
You must think of self-teaching yourself programming as if it were an in-person school. If you do not show up to school, you will not learn what you need to and, therefore, fall behind.
Use All Resources Available
Make sure to use all resources that are available to you. Online, there are numerous free resources, from free courses to YouTube videos and free e-books.
However, if you need to, do not be afraid to spend some money on high-quality books and materials. These are invaluable resources that can aid your learning.
The best way to teach yourself is to surround yourself with as many resources as possible. This way, when you have a question, you can refer to these materials in place of a professor.
Avoid Common Mistakes
A detailed schedule will help you avoid some common mistakes that self-taught programmers usually face. For example, trying to learn everything at once. Many self-taught programmers want to learn quickly, so they try to learn multiple languages at once.
This will not work. It is too much information and will confuse you. It will slow you down more than if you take them one at a time. A schedule will keep you on this path by showing you what you are learning and when you should finish it.
Moreover, a schedule will show you when you need to learn algorithms and theory. Many self-taught programmers get stuck because they did not take the time to properly learn these elements.
Learn to Use Python
If you want to be a programmer, you need to choose your first programming language to learn. While you will have learned the basics of HTML, HTML is not a programming language in the strictest sense.
Once you have learned the basics of HTML, which programming language should you choose to learn? For many, Python is the best choice. There are a few reasons for this.
- Python is easy to learn.
- Python is forgiving if you are completely familiar with technical terms.
- Python is completely free to learn online.
- Python has many real-world applications.
Python is considered a high-level programming language, but it is not nearly as complex as some of the other languages you will encounter.
Learning Python will help you create projects revolving around machine learning, web apps, data mining, and more. Python is one of the most versatile languages out there and, most importantly, is great for beginners.
Know the Languages You Will Need to Learn
Python may be the first programming language you will learn, but it will not be the last. There are several programming languages you can learn, but there are some that are more popular and in-demand than others.
Four of the most popular (and important) programming languages you can learn are:
- CSS. CSS is not a language, per se, but it is incredibly important to learn if you want to build websites. CSS is what makes the HTML look good on a website. It gives design to a website, and you will need to learn it.
- C++. C++ is considered a complex language to learn, but it is important when coding computer software, games, and other applications. It will take longer than other languages to learn, however.
- Java. Java is similar to C++, but it is far easier to learn. It is also quite popular and is perfect for Android apps.
If you want to be a programmer, you will need to have a working knowledge of these languages. They are important if you want to progress in your career as a programmer.
As with Python, however, there are many resources online that can help you learn them. Remember to learn one at a time as you move forward in your studies.
Use Newly Acquired Skills in Projects
When you learn new skills, you need to use them often if you want to retain the information. Moreover, using your new skills will sharpen them and allow you to learn even more over time.
The best way to use your newly acquired skills is to use them in projects. These projects can be anything you choose, from simple websites to phone apps.
You should consider the benefits of creating your own projects. If you are looking to get a job, it may seem like a waste of time to work on projects you are not getting paid for, but that is not true.
- Projects will sharpen your skills.
- Projects will present challenges you need to overcome, which will allow you to learn new solutions.
- Projects add up and can create an excellent portfolio to land your first job.
Using your newly acquired skills is crucial to progressing as a self-taught programmer. As you learn a new skill, be sure to revisit your old skills often. This will create the best learning experience as you teach yourself programming.