How to start coding

Start coding today

Throw down $20K for 10 weeks at a coding bootcamp and then work at Amazon making $250K a year as a senior engineer.


Ehhh not so fast. That might be the vision bootcamps are selling you, and maybe for small percent of people who are “naturals” cough cough (experience coding before attending the bootcamp), that is their path. It wasn’t mine. I did some coding on the side and then a bootcamp and then a lot more coding. It became a part of my every day. And even after years of working, I still spend time every day learning new skills. There isn’t a magic bullet. You will get out what you put in, energy & time & money to an extent.

That said, there is no better time than today to get started. When is the best time to plant a tree? 10 years ago, when’s the next best time? Today. There are many free and paid resources to help you get started and level up.

And if you are working towards/looking at a bootcamp, start coding now, before you get to the camp. These habits are going to become part of your routine.

Coding is using a language for problem solving. Learning a language takes most people some time, you need to work on your vocabulary and your verb conjugations :-), and problem solving well, you need to hit problems and learn to debug and get past the frustrations of dead ends. “This should work!”

Suggested path:

  • Start coding every day.
  • Use free resources first(see below). There are hundreds if not thousands. You can dip your whole leg in before paying for courses or workshops or a bootcamp.
  • Join your local community code meetup groups. They will have monthly presentations and probably a forum or slack workspace to join and chat with others.
  • Finish lessons. This will require discipline, if a concept or lesson is dragging come back to it, but finish them. Research the why and how of unknowns you encounter. The “Devil”opment is in the details. As you overcome the dead ends and blockers you are leveling up. Debugging is a massive part of coding.
  • Block time on your calendar. I suggest mornings before you start your day/start work etc. Set up a M-F 8-9 am block of time maybe. Coding is now part of your routine.
  • HTML + CSS - foundational and often overlooked. Any framework React, etc generate HTML & CSS for the browser to parse. Understanding HTML & CSS is core to building for the web.
  • Debugging and searching for answers is a % of every coder’s workflow, create a stack overflow account, search search search, create an account and search github for relevant code examples. Don’t delete your embarassing or old github projects, you will 100% refer back to them.
  • Then evaluate Bootcamps and paid Courses and you’ll have a clearer idea of what you want to pursue.

Which language?

Check your local region. Search the web, you will find a few languages standout and a popular one is JavaScript. Hard to go wrong here as this is and will be very much in demand when you enter the market. JS is “eating the web” is a common sentiment you will come across. Popular for front end and more and more for backend as well.

Check out bootcamps in your area/remote camps and see what their curriculum consists of. Take a page out of their book, they are teaching the language most in demand in the region more than likely. I would assume you will find React and Node and MongoDB, but check your region. Markets are different. You might want to study the most in demand language for your area to increase your odds of finding work.

Maybe checkout a few languages and try a few hello world youtubes and do some comparing and see what you like and the suggst to stick with one and go deep on that one. Tempting to learn a few, but at first maybe keep focus on and work to ultimately understand one language more completely. And knowing one well, will also enable you to more easily pick up another language in the future.

Free Resources:


Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

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