Simon Sunde

"Fail early and fail often."

Get started on programming

Ever wanted to create something, but didn’t knew how to or maybe you didn’t had the tools for it? That’s how I felt before I learned programming. It’s no secret that I’m yet still a grasshopper in this field. Nevertheless I still feel a slight obligation to help others, like myself, getting started.
In the previous post How I learned to think I introduced you to two different sites, Codecademy and Team Treehouse, which had the same objective: Teach the world how to code!

Codecademy is free and based on learn-by-doing with simple instructions. You work at their terminal environment, so you don’t have to install anything – which is ideal for newbies! Should you get stuck on a task, fear not, they have a great Q&A forum, which is categorized by tasks.

Team Treehouse costs 25$/m (for the basic package) but have some different specializations than Codecademy. Treehouse is based on video tutorials. Which means that you have to install the required software, in order to participate (which mostly is very easy and straight forward).

Personally I recommend Codecademy for beginners, due to its cool work environment and understandable projects (and its free of course!). But it really comes down to what you want to be able to do. Do you want to create web and home pages, iOS, apps or something complete different? My advice is, that you sit down and try to determine what you specifically want to do. This will help you narrow down what programming languages you should look into.
Due to the sites offer different lectures in different languages, this might help you determine which site is right for you.
eg. Team Treehouse offeres lectures in iOS development – Codecademy doesn’t.

I wish you all good luck and happy coding!

How I learned to think

NB: I’ve divided this post into two sections: the first is this one where I tell the story of how I got into programming and the second one is “Get started on programming” where I’ve made my best version of a guide to get you guys coding.

I typed my first lines of code, little less than a year ago. However, a series of events went on before hand, in order for this to become a reality.

As a 90’s kid I grew up with the Gameboy, PlayStation and the internet (as we know it). All of these objects where yet to shape, not only a childhood, but a whole generation and their objective from which they perceived the world.
I was mesmerized by these machines. How could you fit so much, into so little? And I was told it all was based on 1’s and 0’s – unbelievable.
Growing up I wasn’t very fund of sports. My mind was (and partly still is…) deeply buried in the wondrous world of my imagination. Back then I was already developing – but only in mind. Nevertheless this strong urge of creating kept me going until I found my way into programming.
It started with a little HTML/CSS and BASIC, but it was not until i took the Computer Science course at my first semester at the university, things really took of.

“Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer… because it teaches you how to think” – Steve Jobs

We were introduced to a programming language called Python. To those of you who are not familiar with Python, its a high-level programming language. Soon we were creating our own little applications – and I was hooked.
However, the course was coming to and end, but I needed more. That’s when I discovered awesome sites like Codecademy and Team Treehouse. Both devoted startups with the objective of learning the world how to code.
I believe these services are a great resource as a starting point, for those aspiring to get started with programming. I completed Codecademy’s Python exercises and found them quite alright. And I certainly see no reason for you to pay your hard-earned money, on private teachers or seminars, when the information is only a couple clicks away.
Therefore, my last words to you is this: Start programming today! Make the world a better place to live, ‘cause the power of creation lies with the many, not the few.

See how to get started on programming in my next post here!