We usually think of programming as a skill that is reserved only for the most computer literate among us.
And that if you want to learn how to program, you need to be able to type 90 wpm (words per minute), while simultaneously scrolling through miles of text, and tons of images spread across multiple screens. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.
What skills do you need to be a computer programmer?
Here are some of the most important skills to have as a computer programmer:
- Proficiency with programming languages
- Learning concepts and applying them to other problems
- Mathematical skills
- Problem-solving capability
- Communication skills
- Writing skills
Enhance your career by adding this skill
Learning to program will help boost virtually anyone’s career by creating extra avenues for growth and opportunities for upward progression. There are several ways to gain programming skills, such as online courses, a mentoring program, or even a stint in an academic institution.
Increase your income
Many people strive for financial success, and learning how to write programs can help achieve this goal. Programming skills are useful no matter a person’s background, career, or profession. There are innumerable opportunities for improving careers — or even having a side hustle — to take advantage of increased financial opportunities.
Programming skills can also help those looking to go it alone
Many freelance web developers use their coding skills to start their own businesses and create websites for clients. Others turn their skills into a way to realize their business ideas. Many successful entrepreneurs have at least some programming skills.
Learn to think differently — and become smarter
Learning to program has been shown to lead to success in other subjects people study. Programming teaches people how to understand and break down a problem, and use structured language to communicate a solution (in this case, to a computer) in a coherent manner.
That skill — breaking down a problem and communicating a solution concisely and precisely to another — is transferable to all other walks of life.
Learning to program also teaches the individual that it is crucial to learn how to think before learning what to think. Learning how to program a computer is about more than just picking up a computer language. It’s also about a productive and effective mindset for solving problems efficiently.
Such mental attitudes and personal skills positively benefit anyone who acquires them. They understand concepts quickly, or ask the right questions to help make them clear, and don’t need to have everything written down in a specifications document.
Best (and easiest!) computer languages to learn
Programming computers is all about learning certain languages and coding skills. Just like learning any type of foreign language, it is not necessarily easy to master quickly, but it is not impossible to make major strides in a short time. So which language should you start learning?
HTML and CSS
HTML tells web browsers how to display a page, and CSS tells them what styles to use for visual formatting.
What makes both HTML and CSS simple programming languages is that the programmer receives instant feedback on code they have just written. To see their code take effect, all they have to do is refresh the web page they’re working on.
With its simple syntax, Python is often rated as the easiest programming language to learn. The language contains many English words; this lowers its complexity by limiting the number of new terms to understand.
However, the good news doesn’t stop there. Python is extremely useful professionally, being one of the most used programming languages in nearly all industries. To make things even better, learning Python is a cakewalk to learn, with a slew of truly excellent Python courses there for the asking.
Ruby was created to be easily understood by people with varying backgrounds and having different skill sets. The language doesn’t require prior theoretical knowledge and uses simple syntax, making it an excellent choice for beginners.
Learning this language has become even more accessible since the addition of the Ruby on Rails framework, often humorously called “the mother of all computer language tune-ups.”
Ruby on Rails brings many enhancements to the language, allowing developers to create web apps more quickly. With the Ruby on Rails framework, developers can also create software applications, something that some other web languages don’t allow.
Once you have determined which programming language you wish to tackle, follow the most efficient way to learn it. Spend time learning the basics of the language. Things quickly change when it comes to new technologies, trends, and frameworks. And this is why learning programming is important, so you can adapt and pivot according to the demands of the day.
As a developer, your best course of action is to invest your time wisely by mastering the core elements of your chosen language and building good habits like writing clean code.