The interesting thing is that programming is not as tasking as it is portrayed in some books and online materials. The challenge is that programming is presented as a tasks to be performed by nerds and real computer professionals. You see several lines of codes in different color that may even appear scary sometimes.
You will even be happy to know that you don’t need Computer Science degree or any other degree to become a computer programmer. In fact, spending years trying to acquire a degree would be counterproductive because its not necessary. Besides in some countries, this time would be spend learning theories with very little practical.
So how can you become a Computer Programmer? I will give you five steps to take.
Be sure that whatever, I would tell you here is from practical and personal experience as a Computer Programmer and Software Engineer for the past +20 years.
Step 1: Make Up Your Mind/Decide
This step is very important because a few hitches may appear along the line. If your mind is not made up, you may not attain to your objective. In fact, this is the reason why many enthusiasts end up not becoming a good computer programmer.
Step 2: Have a Time-Based Goal
You need to have a definite goal that helps you keep in mind your objective. This means that you tell yourself that between now and next xyx months, I would be a programmer. Although this time would depend on your schedule and how much time you devote each day to learn programming, but I would suggest that you have a goal ranging from 6 months to 1 year.
Step 3: Have a Chat With a Professional Programmer
I would let you know that if you skip this step, then the likelihood of reaching your objective would be very low.Why is this the case? The reason is because, a pro Computer Programmer would give you the needed motivation to follow this goal. He would let you know the benefits and the challenges and kind of help you see the path you want to take in advance.
Step 4: Avoid Spending Time on Online Learning
This may appear surprising at first but I could tell you from my personal experience that spending time on online learning could be a distraction.There a literally hundreds of websites, videos and other materials that claim to teach programming. The fact is that this could lead to so much confusion that the time you spend online could actually be wasted without achieving much.
A better option would be to get those materials or books into your hardware and continue from there.
Step 4: Choose a Programming Language
If you have passed through Step 3 (Have a chat with a Professional Programmer) then this step would fall into place. A guide would tell you where to start. The programming Language you choose should not depend on how popular the language is. It should depend on how much knowledge of programming you have.
For a beginner, I would recommend choosing programming languages that has the following feature:
1. Provides graphical interface
2. Easy to learn
3. You can find the application(Compiler) easily
4. Can install easily on your system
For a beginner, I would recommend Visual Basic (you will learn about the ‘dot net’ with time
Step 5: Own a Personal Computer(preferably a laptop)
If you really want to learn, then you should have access to a computer at every time. In programming, new ideas may come at unexpected times, and as such you need to get to the computer to practice it. So just buy a computer. It doesn’t need to be super fast. Just an average Pc, say 2GB ram and 250GB HDD (or more, of course!)
Step 6: Buy a Hardcopy Textbook
Now this is very important. Many internet sites would not advice you to do this. The reason is because they want you always spend time online possibly in their website. I could tell you from my own experience. The first textbook I bought was “C++ Programming Design” by Davidson and Cohoon and that made much difference.
I would like to stop here at this point and would like to thank you for reading. Do leave a comment to let me know how useful to you.
This article is actually how to become a programmer for beginners but if you would like a more advance one, let me know.
You can also reach me by my email.