Getting Started with Coding and Training

Now that we have discussed the fundamentals of coding, it’s time to dive in. There are hundreds of languages that we can choose from, but Web development is a good place to start. The benefits of programming are:

      1. No special tools are required
      2. The language is directly interpreted by a web browser
      3. There are myriad places to get training and advice on becoming a Web developer.

To begin Web development, we first have to choose a specific language. Of course, there is the root language of all Web pages, HTML. Without HTML, the browser doesn’t understand other languages that are inserted, such as JavaScript and PHP which are coded into the HTML page. A basic HTML page can be created simply by opening Notepad and writing the following code:

<H1>This is my first Web page</H1>

Save the file as webpage.html; then, using your browser, select File -> Open… and browse to your newly created page. You should see something like this in your browser window:

This is my first Web page!

Of course, this is just the beginning. By learning to code tags, you can add background images, create images in the foreground with the text, and even insert script such as JavaScript and PHP into the page to make it dynamic instead of a static HTML page.

Application Programming

application and API Prgoramming

Of course, Web programming isn’t the only type of programming available to you. Languages such as C, C++, Java, and Python allow you to create programs on the computer that perform specific tasks. These languages have their advantages as well:

      • Create fully featured desktop applications
      • Utilize open source code to add to your application
      • Most development environments, IDEs, and compilers are available for free

To begin programming in C or C++, one needs to have a place to write code and a compiler to create the finished application. Perhaps you’d also like a development environment so you can debug the code as you work. For basic programs, Notepad++ <link> is a good text editor for Windows that is free and color-codes your programming as you write it. The GNU compilers for C/C++ come as a free package, meaning that not only is the package free but you are free to distribute any program that you create as your own work.

First, we download GCC<link> from the Internet and install it. Then, we can use Notepad or Notepad++ to create our first C program:

#import <stdio.h> // this imports the standard input/output libraries 
int main(char[] args) {
printf(“This is my first C program!”);

Save your program as first.c in the directory Documents. Now, from the Start menu, type cmd in the box at the bottom and press Enter. A command shell will appear. Type cd Documents then gcc -o first.c to compile your program. Typing dir, you will notice that there is now a file called first.exe in the directory. Type first at the command line and the output should be

This is my first C program!


Further Resources

Coding Resources to look into

Beyond the basics, there are a myriad of tools, languages, and development kits available. Microsoft’s Visual Studio allows you to program everything from Virtual Basic to Arduino microcontroller boards. Eclipse Neon allows you to write Java in an IDE, and NetBeans allows you to build visual Java programs.

Swift and Objective C as well as the Android SDK (an offshoot of Java) allow you to build mobile apps. In our next pages, we will show how to get started with Web development, Web design, and Mobile Development. We will also show you where you can go to get further tutorials and training in each of the categories of coding and hone your skills in your area of interest.

Our Recommendations

Our students and readers are always recommended to signup for Treehouse. They offer a free trial and have a full comprehensive list of programming languages they offer in teaching for a very low ($30) per month subscription after a 30 day free trial!

1 Comment
  1. I’ve honestly come back to this page and referenced it a few times since I’ve started my vnetured on coding. Its given me the confidence to start some tutorials!

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Coders Eye - Web Dev Tutorials and How-To Guides for Beginners
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