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How to Learn Coding: Ten-Step Process to Become A Professional Coder

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Do you want to learn to code, but don’t know where to start, which coding language to learn, and how to proceed?

Well, you’re not alone.

These questions are faced by everyone who wants to learn coding, and it’s important to make the right choices here if you want to save a lot of time.

That’s why we decided to put together this tutorial — so you can make the right choices while beginning your coding journey and learn faster than we did.

Without taking any more time, let’s jump straight into it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Coding Easy to Learn?

It depends on your approach and commitment.

If you want to learn anything specific (i.e. how to build a certain function, or how to code in a certain programming language) then it can be quite easy as long as you’re committed to learning.

However, if you want to master multiple programming languages then it can take time.

Can a Normal Person Learn Coding?

Who said that people who know how to code are not normal? We guess that’s enough to answer this question. 🙂

What You’ll Need To Learn Coding

You’ll need the following five things to learn coding:

  1. Understanding of how programming languages work
  2. Understanding of the World Wide Web and its terminology
  3. A course or other learning material
  4. Coding and debugging tools
  5. Passion and commitment.

How to Learn Coding: Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Figure Out Why You Want To Learn Coding

If there’s a specific goal you want to achieve, like completing a particular project or fixing something in any of your existing projects, it’ll be better if you learn only as much coding as you need to achieve that specific goal.

In most cases that can be done by Googling about the specific thing that you want to achieve and going through the answers that come up in search results.

On the other hand, if you want to learn how to code to become a professional web developer or programmer, then follow the rest of the steps explained below to acquire as much coding expertise as possible.

2. Learn How Programming Languages Work

A CPU is capable of understanding only those instructions which are expressed in ones and zeros.

Now, it is theoretically possible to create code that instructs the CPU in only ones and zeros.

These kinds of binary instructions are known as machine code.

All the web pages, applications, and programs that you see and use are represented in your computer’s CPU as strings of zeros and ones only.

However, if you write a long string of code in only ones and zeros, you’ll quickly run into 10s or even 100s of thousands of lines of code even for the simplest of applications.

Sounds horrifying, doesn’t it?

That’s the problem programming languages solve.

They work as a bridge between your CPU and you and provide a way of writing code that can be easily understood and written by a programmer and also compiled into machine code for the interpretation of a computer.

It’s far easier to understand, debug, and work with a higher-level programming language than it is to work with machine code because it offers a set of understandable terms, statements, and rules.

The difference between how our human brains and computer brains (CPUs) see the world may be closed by using programming languages.

3. Understand the Web and its Terminologies

You don’t need to understand every technical bit of how the internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) work in order to learn to start coding.

However, knowing a couple of terminologies can really give you a headstart on your coding journey. Here they are:

  1. The client: This is, in most cases, your web browser. A client is a machine that requests a certain resource (i.e. a file or a web page) over the web.
  2. The Server: This is the computer where your requested resource resides. It’s called a server because it ‘serves’ the web page or file requested by you (the client) over the web.
  3. World Wide Web (WWW) Protocol: The protocol lays down the rules that are followed for the development and displaying of web pages using HTML and CSS. Simply put, it determines how your web browser interprets a certain HTML function and displays it.

This is the bare minimum you should know about the internet and the web before starting to learn coding.

4. Choose the Language You Want To Learn

Now that you understand how programming languages work, and how the Web that we use works, you can decide on a coding language that you want to learn.

The most popular ones include HTML, CSS, Javascript, and PHP. Each of these languages has its own pros and cons, which we’re explaining in brief below:

4.1. HTML

This is the de-facto language of the internet. It’s the only language that our web browsers understand, so knowing it can be really helpful if you want to become a web designer.

4.2. CSS

This is the language used to add colors and styling elements to our web pages.

HTML gives you a very plain and boring webpage, and CSS adds all the colors, styles, and other visual elements to it.

Another language you should learn if looking to be a web designer.

4.3. PHP:

This is a server-side language that’s used to develop the backend scripts of web applications.

It’s server-side because only the server can understand what’s written in it — the client applications (i.e. web browsers) receive the output as per backend scripts in HTML and CSS only and therefore require to be coded separately.

Bonus tip: PHP is also one of the skills used for WordPress development. While you can easily create a website with WordPress without any coding knowledge, you’ll be better off if you know PHP because that’s what powers the WordPress platform.

4.4. Javascript:

Javascript is very special because it’s the only language that can be used to develop both the front-end as well as the backend of a web application.

No other programming language can be understood by both the client and the server, so you’re required to first develop a backend in any other server-side language (i.e. PHP) and then build a front-end for it in HTML and CSS.

Javascript saves you from this hassle.

5. Start Learning

Take online courses

Courses streamline the learning process by organizing everything you need to learn.

And thanks to technology, now you don’t necessarily need to go to a university to take them.

There are many online courses available on websites like Udemy and Coursera for every single coding language, and you can start your learning journey by signing up for one of them.

Watch video tutorials

Do you watch YouTube videos? Who doesn’t!

How about doing the same thing to learn some coding?

There’s a lot that can be learned about coding from watching video tutorials on YouTube, so you should consider that.

5.3. Read books and ebooks

Besides video tutorials, books and ebooks can also help you learn a lot more about any programming language.

If you prefer learning that way, you can buy some good books and ebooks on Amazon about the programming language that you want to learn.

6. Use Tools That Teach You While Coding

Code Editor

Many modern code editors nowadays include features that make coding easier and also help you learn more as you code.

These include Notepad++, Sublime Text, and Emacs.

With features like color-coding, syntax highlighting, suggestions, and a built-in terminal they make your life much easier and a learning experience.  


Debugging tools like GNU debugger, Chrome Developer Tools, and Fusion Reactor help you debug your code faster, and also help you learn why your code may generate errors.

So they too should be part of your arsenal.

7. Learn About Databases And DBMS

When you’re building web applications, coding is just one part of the development process.

Another is a database, which stores all the user data that is generated by an application and organizes it into tables for easier retrieval upon request.

Therefore, once you’ve learned a coding or programming language you should also learn about any of the popular databases and database management systems (DBMSes) like MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, or Oracle.

Because you can start building useful web applications only when you understand both coding and database.

8. Check Out How Other People Code

Following the steps explained above will make you competent enough to understand and write the code.

The next step you should take is to analyze how other people code.

That’s right — analyzing and debugging the code of other people can give you new perspectives and ideas about how to develop certain functions, and how not to.

So if you can find the job of a debugger, get it and spend some time analyzing the code written by other people.

9. Complete Coding Projects

Now you’ll be ready to start working on your own coding projects.

You can start working either as a freelance coder, or you can get employed full-time with any company.

As you code more, your expertise will grow and you’ll eventually build your own creative methods of writing code that is minimalist yet fully functional.

10. Find A Community And Keep Learning

Finally, sign up on communities and forums like StackOverflow or Github where others share their code and seek help.

This will ensure that you keep growing and become a member of the coding community, thus making coding a lifelong learning experience for you.

Similar Tutorials to Check Out

  • How to Learn HTML: HTML is the mother of all web development languages. If you want to be a web developer it’s a must to learn it, and this tutorial can guide you on how to go about learning it.
  • How to Learn Python: Python is a highly popular programming language that can be used for building any kind of software. This tutorial explains how can you learn it to start building any kind of application.
  • How to Learn PHP: Finally, this tutorial explains how can you learn PHP, which is still the dominant language among web developers for building the backend scripts and systems of web apps.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, becoming a professional coder requires time, patience, and commitment, so if you need only a specific issue to be fixed then you’ll be better off learning only as much coding as needed to fix that issue.

Rest of the design and coding you can do with alternative methods (i.e. no-code platforms are an alternative to manual coding).

However, if you want to be a professional then you’ll need to follow all the steps explained above.

Whatever your goal, let us know in the comments if this tutorial helped you navigate your coding journey.

Also, don’t forget to share it on your social media handles if it helped you.

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