Learning to code and program your own website is a skill that is becoming more and more desirable not just for business owners and employees alike, but for job-seekers as well.  It’s recognized as a valuable asset to up the skill-set of any worker, and it’s easier and more accessible than ever with so many resources out there online for you to get started.

The first step is to decide what you want to learn to code, whether it be a website or app.  This is key because while a lot of your coding that you learn for general websites can be transferred over to app development, you may just be interested in developing Android and iOS and as thus focus solely on that ever-growing industry.  For website development alone, CSS and HTML are the core languages to build the foundation of your site and PHP and Javascript to add interaction between your user and yourself.  Java is also the launch-point for coding Android apps and Objective-C for iOS apps.

Once you’ve decided on what you want to focus on, you can dive right in.  The key to learning coding is to give yourself a foundation of general understanding of how the process works, by practicing and trial-and-error.  Once you have an idea of what does what, you can really begin to experiment, whether it be taking a tool or existing script and tweaking it to personalize it to meet your needs or playing around with the basic structure you have to enhance and push its limits.  That’s really the best way, learning what commands execute what processes, the key characters and combinations that are required in every successful code and then twisting it and personalizing it.  Web-browsers allow you to look at the code of the websites you visit every day, allowing you to see how they get the results you see and giving you an idea of what is required to do something similar.

If you want a more formal setting of learning how to code, there are plenty of websites and online courses that you can search for and enrol in.  Harvard, for example, has a free Introduction to Computer Programming course  you can enrol in or if you pay for it, offers you access to their faculty for one-on-one help.  The University of Toronto also has a course  which is considered a bit easier and designed for those with no experience at all.  You can also find a mobile development  and Java programming course  at Udacity, but really, there are countless tutorials and courses at your fingertips and in your local community if you look around.

Like any skill or hobby, the best way to learn is to network and build a group of contacts that you trust and can go to in times of frustration and when you need advice.  Join one of the many communities out there of coders, programmers and web development companies.  Social media can allow you to connect with and learn from some of the best programmers out there, as you can get first-hand accounts from them and learn things that work best for them.  By joining an active discussion board, you can participate in threads that problem-solve and discuss the most complex and diverse subjects when it comes to coding and not only pick up on things that others have found to work and not work, but contribute your own questions and share the results of your own endeavours.

Coding can be stressful and you may feel overwhelmed at times but as businesses look to cut corners, having that extra skill that your fellow business doesn’t or when applying for a job can really come in handy.  Our website has various resources, tools and tips that you can use and we’re available anytime to help with any problems you’re having along the way.

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