The Best Ways To Teach Yourself To Code

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So you’ve decided to become a software engineer. I’m not surprised. Programming is one of the most sought out skills these days, after all. 

People have various reasons for wanting to learn how to code. Some people dream of working for one of the big tech companies and shaping the future. Some want to create websites or mobile apps. Others want to be game developers. Finally, there are those who have big ideas and want to make their own products, create startups. 

Whatever your reasons for learning to code, I’m sure the path to achieving your goals seems like a long and challenging one right now, when you are standing at its very beginning. But you are not the first to stand on that path. Other people have travelled it before you. This means there are tried and tested steps that will make your journey to becoming a developer that much easier. Let’s see those steps!

Choose a programming language that suits your purpose best

There are countless programming languages for every possible purpose. You can not learn them all. And even if you could, you need to start somewhere. 

The choice is not that hard to make. When you think of a programming language you want to learn, these are the questions you need to find the answers for first: 

  • Is it popular?
  • Is it beginner-friendly?
  • Is it easy to find a job for a developer specializing in this language?
  • Will it help you achieve the goals you set for yourself? 

I’d like to help you make a choice. So let’s look into the most popular modern programming languages. 


Java is a general-purpose, object-oriented language. It is widely used in a lot of areas, from mobile games to televisions. Here’s a brief list of the fields where Java is used the most:

  • Enterprise-level web server applications
  • GUI
  • Big data
  • Cloud Computing
  • Android applications
  • Banking apps
  • Embedded systems
  • Desktop applications

Is it popular? Very. Java is constantly named one of the three most popular languages worldwide.

Is it beginner-friendly? It is. Java is logical and well-structured. It is a bit wordy, and some of the words are not easy to comprehend immediately for a beginner. But Java basics will teach you a lot of general programming knowledge. So switching to other languages while knowing Java will be a walk in the park. 

Is it easy to find a job as a Java developer? The popularity of Java ensures that there are plenty of opportunities even for junior Java developers. 

Will it help you achieve your goals? Unfortunately, I can’t answer this one for you. But Java is very diverse. So if you have not decided yet what it is precisely you want to do, Java is a good choice. 


Python is another general-purpose language. Mainly used in back-end web development, it is widely applied in games, AI, and data analysis as well. 

Is it popular? Python is currently the #1 programming language in the TIOBE index.

Is it beginner-friendly? Python syntax is very simple; it is a highly readable language. So yes, it is very beginner-friendly. But switching to other languages if you know only Python will be tough.

Is it easy to find a job as a Python developer? It is a bit harder to find a job as a junior Python developer. But if you are into data science and have experience in the field, as well as  Python knowledge, getting a job will be easier. 

Will it help you achieve your goals? Again, you need to answer this one yourself. But if you want to be a back-end developer, it’s a good choice.


C++ is a general-purpose, case-sensitive language that supports procedural, object-oriented, and generic programming. It is very powerful, fast, and uses resources rationally. So its performance is very good. Due to the performance, C++ is mostly used in video games and other resource-intensive applications.

Is it popular? C++ is currently #4 in the TIOBE index.

Is it beginner-friendly? Not really. It is considered a tough one to learn on your own, especially as your first programming language.

Is it easy to find a job as a C++ developer? It is a lot harder than finding a job as a junior Java developer. But if you are persistent, nothing is impossible. 

Will it help you achieve your goals? It will if you dream of developing video games or creating tools for 3D animation, modeling, and simulation. 

Find courses for a more structured approach to learning

You do not need to enroll in Uni to become a good software engineer. There are numerous free and premium online courses created to provide structure, study materials, and plenty of practical exercises. 

Codegym Tutorial 

If Java is your language of choice, CodeGym online tutorial is the best resource to learn. The course consists of over 1200 practical Java problems with instant verification. There’s also a great community to help you learn and stay on track. 

Educative Courses 

Educative is a collection of text-based courses on a number of on-demand tech specialties. If you decide to learn Python, start by searching for beginner courses here. 


Just like Educative, Pluralsight is a collection of online courses on various subjects. You can find courses on pretty much every programming language here, both for beginners and advanced developers. But if you want to learn C++ as your first language, I recommend finding a mentor.

Practice coding every day

It doesn’t matter how much code you’ve learned. If you can’t apply the knowledge to solve practical problems, it’s basically useless. So you need to practice. And do it consistently. Make a commitment to code every day, and you’ll be amazed at how fast you improve and grow.

Study and analyze the professionally written code

It is a great learning technique – to “hack” someone else’s code. Look for open-source software, reverse engineer it, test each line. You will get a much clearer picture of how things work. Eventually, you will learn to implement the best practices you find in your own work.

Resources for looking for open-source code:

Google knows everything 

Got stuck in solving a problem? Google it! Made an error in the code and can’t figure it out? Google it! Remember – you are not the first on this path to becoming a software engineer. Many people made the same mistakes before you. And they have solved them as well. 

Community is one of the best things about being a software engineer. People share code, answers to tough questions, and a lot more. All you have to do is search for the answers. But don’t just copy them. Try to understand the provided answer and come up with your own. Who knows, you might create something unique. And if you do, don’t forget to share with the community!

Reward yourself

Learning to code is not a walk in the park. You are going to get frustrated and lose motivation. It’s inevitable. Rewarding yourself for successfully completing milestones will make the learning process much more enjoyable. And it is guaranteed to keep up the motivation. So treat yourself when you finish the first step, create a feature, finish a whole project. 

These were the steps you can take to teach yourself to code. The road you are on right now is sure to be challenging. But your hard work is guaranteed to pay off! 

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