Getting Started in Coding!

Joshua Singleton
5 min readSep 24, 2020


Congratulations! You have decided to embark on a journey that can change your life and the lives of the people around you. Prominent companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. could not be possible or here today without coders such as yourself forming and executing these ideas. What would the world look like without these apps? What ideas will you bring to life? What would the world look like with your ideas implemented? The possibilities are endless but attainable.

But you are saying to yourself: “How do I get started?” Well you took the first step of coding. You searched for the answer! I am here to help you with your next steps.

Step 1: Prepare Yourself for the Journey

If you are going on a road trip, you may need several items: a map or a GPS for those who have no idea what a map is, snacks, a travel buddy, good music, a full tank of gas and most importantly a car to put your gas in… Let’s talk about what you need on this coding road trip.

Computer: You want to have your own personal computer. This will enable you to work on coding when you want and save your progress along the way. This can be a laptop or desktop but you need some type of device on which you can code. There are several options out there. You may already have your computer of preference but if you need some suggestions check out this blog on recommended computers for coding:

Computer Recommendations

Text Editor: What is a text editor? “A text editor is a type of program used for editing plain text files” — Laurence Bradford.

You use a text editor to write your code for your website, app or other programming files. Text editors can write in many different coding languages such as HTML(building a website), CSS(creating a website layout or display), JavaScript(developing user interaction), Ruby(creating apps)and so forth. Personally I have used Notepad++, BBedit and Visual Studio Code but here are some more recommendations:

Text-Editor Recommendations

Access to the Internet: You will need access to the internet to see your coding creation come to life!!!

Step 2: Let’s Learn

You have what you need to start coding. Only problem now is… you don’t know how. There are several ways to learn. I will point out a few and include the benefits and drawbacks on each one.

Free for all: Coding resources and material are available for anyone. You may know what you want to code and choose to just use resources at your disposal.

  • Advantages: You operate on your own time by your rules at your pace.
  • Disadvantages: Do you have the discipline and the know-how so that learning on your own is beneficial? If not seek out other ways to learn.

Books: In today’s age and time I am not sure many people would choose this option, but it is one nevertheless. There are several books on the subject of coding. Some with examples and step by step tutorials. This may be for you if you don’t know where to start and would like something you can have physically touch.

  • Advantages: Can reference and refer back to key subjects with book-tabs, highlighters and other bookmarks. Good read for going to sleep or when you are on a throne…
  • Disadvantages: It’s a book… (Yea… you are thinking of all the disadvantages on your own)

Online Courses: You can check community colleges and universities that offer courses in coding. Many if not all are available online.

  • Advantages: A structured learning experience. Teachers available to assist. Grading to give you concrete feedback on your learning. The ability to focus on topic of learning. You receive credit for completing a course that you can show to others to convey that you know this particular concept.
  • Disadvantages: Cost… Can you afford to take online courses? Online course schedule may conflict with your own schedule. You may only learn one or a few coding topics per course.

Immersion: There is a high demand for coders. Because of this demand there are several programs such as Flatiron School that will teach how to code in a relatively short period of time.

  • Advantages: Structured learning environment. Learn the basics and advance topics of coding. Create actual coding projects and use these skills to create your own. Instructors, coaches and other students available to assist you. Different cost plans available.
  • Disadvantages: Fast paced. Will require majority of your time and focus. Cost

Step 3: Gather Your Resources

“You are not alone… I am here with you …” Excuse me. There are resources at your disposable to help you on your coding journey.

  • Online Communities: There are many communities with people who are learning, sharing and connecting with coding in mind. Such communities such as Reddit coding subreddits and Overstack are great places to start.
  • Blogs: There are several blogs such as the one you are on now that can give you direction and insight on coding. These are created by coders who are well skilled in what they do or people who are discovering their coding powers just like you.
  • Google: A common statement in the coding world is “Google is your friend!” That may be an understatement. Google is your best friend, your favorite relative, your mentor, your sensei, your Jedi Master… What I am trying to say is: Use Google!

Tips for the Road…

  • Don’t give up: This journey may be long and frustrating at times but the benefits of having coding as a skill is just as long or longer.
  • Make an outline: Write down what you want to learn and when you want to learn it. Keep yourself on a tight schedule and find the answer to your inquiry.
  • Test your skills: Build your own personal website or app or build one for someone else. Add more functions, change the layout and presentation. See if you are able to create what you have in mind. Learn by doing!
  • Collaborate: Reach out to other coders. You will be surprised who is willing to lend a hand or embark on this journey with you.
  • Be comfortable not knowing, but Don’t be comfortable in not figuring it out…

If you can’t fly, then run.

if you can’t run, then walk.

if you can’t walk, then crawl.

but by all means keep moving.

— Martin Luther King Jr.



Joshua Singleton

Student of Code in the hopes of creating a new social network to enhance the community!