codepancake

your daily code for breakfast

How to get started: What is your goal?

So, you’re a total newbie to coding and don’t know where to start? Before you dive into coding, it’s useful to keep some things in mind.

What is your goal?

Before you dive right into programming, I think it’s important to ask yourself why you want to learn how to code and what you want to achieve. The best way to get started is to have a good reason to learn: what would you really like to be able to do? Maybe you want to figure out how to add more content to your WordPress site and how to customize it the way you like, or maybe you’re a travel blogger who’d really like to build her/his own website. Perhaps you want to be able to build your own iOS app, game or web-application. Whatever it is, having an ‘end-goal’ keeps you motivated and can really help you to get through the harder parts.  It will be hard sometimes and it will be frustrating, but having a goal gives you and end-vision and will drive you forward. If not, it’s possible that every little frustration will be an excuse to give up. So ask yourself, why do I want to get coding and what do I want to get out of it? Are you dreaming of a job in IT? Or are you just curious? Whatever it is, having a goal can help you with deciding what path you should choose (front-end, back-end, design, UX etc) and which language you should start with.

My goal

I have to admit. When I first started programming, I didn’t have a specific goal in mind. I was finishing my master thesis in history and was curious about coding. But most important: I really wanted to learn and I wanted to make things. At that time, my then-boyfriend was a developer, and I thought it was nice to have a better understanding of what he was doing. Later on, when I learned about the joy of coding, I wanted to build small games. And I did.  After that, I fell in love with Ruby on Rails, I got the opportunity to work on some amazing projects and I’m currently working on building my own web application from scratch (more on that soon.. ;)). 

Question
So why did you started coding? Did you have a specific goal in mind? 

  • Nanda de Vries

    I’m looking forward to the next parts! :)

    • Thank you! Next part will probably be published next week :)

  • Nick Kanellopoulos

    Really waiting for the next parts ! These articles are very interesting !
    Keep up the good work ! Cheers !

    • Thank you so much Nick! Inspires me to continue writing about these topics. I’m currently working on the next part, planning to publish it in the upcoming weeks. :)

  • Pia

    Hi Lieke :)
    I just stumbled across your site last night and being an absolute newbie to this entire coding things (I just completed HTML & CSS introduction course on Codecacademy) I’m really interested in the whole “where to start” thing. So naturally, I’d be more than interested in further explanation of what languages are used for what etc., which I’m guessing would be part 2 and 3 you mention in this post…Thing is, did you ever end up writing those or is it just me who cannot find them?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Pia, thank you! :-) Great that you started coding! As there are a lot of websites & posts on where to start already, I decided to focus more on beginner resources & tutorials. So it’s not you, it’s me ;-) I’m still planning on writing them, but I’m not sure when. Although it’s good to know that there’s a demand for these posts :) For now, you can find some great information here: http://lifehacker.com/which-programming-language-should-i-learn-first-1477153665 Enjoy coding! :)

      • Pia

        Oh okay, thanks for explaining, and thank you so much for the link -I’ll check it out immediately! Of course, however, I am looking forward to that potentially upcoming post (whenever that may be) :) Ps: Seems like you’re a fan of smiley faces and probably emojis, too, and well, if that is the case: YAY!

        • Haha that’s true :) And thank you for letting me know that you’d like to read more about this. It’s a good reminder for me to start writing :)