DEV Community

Cover image for The Best Ways to Teach Yourself to Code
John Selawsky
John Selawsky

Posted on

The Best Ways to Teach Yourself to Code

In today’s world, programming is among the most in-demand skills. The number of developers in the world is growing and will continue to grow: now there are about 24 million, and it is expected that by 2024 there will be 28.7 million.
Programmers are needed in almost any company that is somehow connected with technology, has an application, a website, or even any device controlled by a program. To become one of these in-demand professionals, you need to know how to learn to program.

Realize Your Dreams

Some of the budding programmers dream to be associated with a famous company and introduce their brilliant ideas while others plan to do something big on their own and have lots of ideas popping up in mind for this. Some of them believe that they can be the best web developers. Many programmers are passionate about developing new games or mobile apps.
You need to set milestones for this journey according to your areas of interest, and you’ll see the best outcomes.

Choose The Right Programming Language

Selecting the best programming language according to your goals is a significant step. Here are multiple options you can consider while making a decision.


Java is in one of the leading positions in the Tiobe Index 2021 — a statically-typed, object-oriented general purpose programming language with very user-friendly structures that are quite easy to grasp as a beginner. Its wide range of applications makes it a great choice to start with. Java code can ingrain all the basic ins and outs of programming in you, helping you develop a programmers’ thought process.
Many enterprise applications, web applications, and Android development use Java. We all know about Twitter and Spotify, but many of us do not know that they’re also designed using Java.


Python was ranked as the second most popular programming language according to the Tiobe Index 2021. It’s easy to learn because this dynamic-typed programming language has a high readability level.
It can be used for backend of websites, for business applications and artificial intelligence applications. Netflix, Instagram, and many other successful apps are “genetically” Python.


Ruby is still a good option in 2021 to start with as it is very flexible, and thus easier to code with. It’s now a mature language with a stable structure. And we love how it has been finding its way into programming. Ruby is most often used for creating backend websites, as well as for writing scripts.


There are tonnes of other options you can go for as you step into the programmers’ arena. You can go for Swift, which finds its maximum application in the development of iOS and macOS applications. You might also consider options like C#, C++, JavaScript, PHP, SQL, R, and others.

Seek Help From Effective Courses

Working smart wins over working hard. Working hard in the wrong direction will get you nowhere. And mostly, beginners lack proper guidelines. Some of them do not even consider seeking help. I would strongly recommend seeking help from effective programming courses out there. Some of the best ones are listed below:


At this course students learn Core Java. It consists of the basics of the language, OOP, multithreading and collections, and much more.
In the course, you’ll find more than 1200 practical tasks with different levels of complexity. By solving them, students will be able to create an interesting application, for example, a restaurant emulator or a simple video game. Moreover, students gain points for solving the tasks that help to unlock next lessons. There is a built-in validator that checks the results. If necessary, the validator sends help and advice.
If a student can’t solve the problem, even with tips, there is a “help” section — you click on a special button — and you get there, ask a question, and other students or someone from the CodeGym team will help a student.


It provides cutting-edge training developed in collaboration with pioneering industries like Google and Facebook, addressing a broad variety of topics from information technology to website design. This institution has programming courses specially launched for beginners that are precise and quite helpful to learn the basics and outs of programming. It has a comprehensive learning archive and the help of mentors for students.


It is a great platform for users who want to learn coding. It is an effective online resource with professional guidance to start off with programming. But make sure to practice the concepts yourself, as their course lacks the practical part to some extent. Although its significantly small and more limited orientation, many have noticed that the level of its content is fairly good throughout its educational offerings, sometimes outperforming most of the other learning platforms.


It is an online learning platform committed to helping beginners to learn through a community of programmers, with their tutorials and chat rooms. FreeCodeCamp is a non-profit organisation that provides coding tasks as well as programming concepts to those who want to learn how to code for free. The tool offers a number of lectures, articles, and engaging coding tutorials to the community.

The Regular Practice Is Key

Regular practice makes people professionals in any field. This is the case with programming. It takes a lot of practice to become a professional. But don’t worry, you don’t have to start with a few hours a day right away. Start with short coding problem solving sessions every day. Just make sure you don’t miss out on coding practice. It can be a 30 minute session. You’ve probably heard that the race wins slowly and surely. This is how learning to program works.
Take it easy and don’t tire yourself out. Give yourself some time and gradually increase your practice time each day. Many beginners, out of sheer enthusiasm, try to stretch out periods of study into tediously long ones. All you need to remember is that it takes time and you will immediately start enjoying programming and the clock will no longer feel like a clock.
Be open to failure in the first few trials. We all make mistakes when we learn new things in life. Keep practicing and figuring out your mistakes to avoid them next time.

Learn from Others’ Examples

You can consider seeking inspiration from other experts to create new innovative ideas. And for that very purpose, you can explore various open-source programming platforms to explore and experiment.


This is the largest web service for hosting IT projects and their joint development. The web service is based on the Git version control system. The service is free for open source projects and small private projects, providing them with all the possibilities, and various paid tariff plans are offered for large corporate projects


GitLab is known to be a robust open-source platform efficiently equipped with many features that can handle all your operations and software development.


Bitbucket is a fully scalable development platform with a free workspace for various projects and that too equipped with many features.


BeanStalk is Amazon’s high-performance open-source platform that can help you explore and improve your programming skills. Its features such as issue tracker, release notes, and code review help a lot with managing workflow.

Learn to Search Efficiently

As a beginner, it’s quite typical to come across confusion and various questions popping up in your mind. There are moments when you’re stuck with your codes.
First things first, mind that going through all this is something quite normal. And the good part is that Google has always got your back. You can find almost everything on Google. Just type your question and there you are!

Motivate Yourself with Rewards

We all need some motivation to keep going, and how about such an interesting motivation? Nothing motivates you more than a reward! Research shows that the excitement of rewards makes the harder parts of the journey interesting too. And that’s how you can keep every part of learning from getting bored. Celebrate all your achievements from ones as little as finishing the first step to bigger ones such as completing a new project.

Wrap Up

As you take off on this programming journey, you need to mind a few things. Remember that things might get difficult in the beginning, but all that matters is that you never stop and keep working hard. Working hard never goes unrewarded. Take the right steps to make this journey effectively successful.

First published here.

Top comments (1)

gemarpets profile image

Thanks John,
I love this article, actually I am currently working as a Junior Developer
and yet still reviewing this article every time I felt that I am in the wrong path of learning.