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How Do You Become a Programmer in 2024? A Step-by-Step Guide

6 minute read | May 19, 2023
Sakshi Gupta

Written by:
Sakshi Gupta

Ready to launch your career?

Programmers are revered in the technical world with programming being a respected profession. Are you one of those who have wondered how to become a programmer? With the world of data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence offering lucrative and fulfilling programming jobs, many young folks are pondering over this question. This blog shows you how to make a career in programming and the skills are yours if you follow some simple steps—consistently.

How To Become a Programmer?

The best way to learning programming is to play around with small code snippets like “Hello World.” This particular code snippet, in many coding languages, has been many a programmer’s first coding experience. When you run this code, Hello World gets printed on your computer screen. How long would writing such a small code snippet take—probably 15 minutes. Such code snippets may not do much for humanity. However, the question “ how to become a computer programmer?” is not so scary any more when you start writing these simple code blocks. On the other hand, writing larger sets of code for practical applications could take about a month. Nevertheless, here’s the good news! Larger sets of code are usually built with small snippets of code that communicate with each other.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woJey9dTry0&t=448s

In the above video, Deep Sukhwani, Senior Software Engineer at Springboard (see here what software engineers do) explains how to become a computer programmer along with the required prerequisites and skills.

Let’s dive into the stepwise guide to becoming a programmer-

1. Complete a course

Starting with a basic prep course in software engineering is the best way to kickstart your career. You’ll not only get a firm grip on the fundamentals of programming; you’ll also get insight into working in the field from experienced mentors.

2. The right mindset

While mastering a language to get a job is important, this thinking may not be a strong motivation for you to gain programming proficiency. Think of what coding skills can do for you. “It’s the closest thing we have to a superpower,” says Drew Hudson, Dropbox CEO. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, shares his programming experience as follows:

To have a set of people who haven’t built a company before come together and build something that a billion people use.

Think of programming skills as your personal superpower to change the world in some constructive way.

3. What would you like to do

Determine the type of work you would like to engage in—build websites, become a data scientist, automate business processes, become an artificial intelligence expert?

4. Choose a language

Once you hone in on the type of work you want to do, choosing a language to learn becomes easy. Each programming language has a typical set of applications. This will help you stay focused on learning one language that really matters in your chosen field. As a result, you won’t be bogged down by having to learn several languages. Please read the section “Which language do I choose” of this blog for more information.

5. Start small

Gabe Newell, the founder of the gaming company Valve, says, “The first time I actually had something come up and say ‘Hello World’ …made a computer do that, was astonishing.” Small achievements can motivate you to continue learning.

6. Use the Internet

Websites like Code.org have experience in designing coding courses for beginners. Online sites, such as Springboard.com, emphasize both ease of learning and skills proficiency. Such sites offer mentors who solve every learning problem and coach you towards success.

7. Stay on the Course

When the going gets tough, the wise get going. Are you not getting your code right? Is it throwing up errors that you are clueless about? Take a step back. Are you biting off more than you can chew? Choose a program complexity you can handle. Research the Internet for similar problems and how fellow learners handled them. Importantly, being a part of a community of learners goes a long way in staying the course and mastering a programming language.

“To master a new technology, you have to play with it,” says Jordan Peterson, the well-known Canadian Psychiatrist.

Coding vs Programming: Are coding and programming different terms for the same activity?

Although a professional may smile at this question, and professionals use these terms interchangeably, coding refers to the literal act of writing code whereas programming includes several other computer inputs. For instance, if your inputs to a mobile device are through gestures, you are programming, not coding. Voice inputs to devices like Alexa, Siri, and google assistant are instances of programming. But don’t sweat over the small stuff. You can use one term for the other in most situations.

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Which Programming Language to Choose?

With so many languages to learn out there, this is a valid question. However, the first question to answer has to do with where you would like to use your programming skills eventually—the Web, telecom, electronic devices, data analytics, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, or banking?

Python is becoming an increasingly popular programming language for data science. Another programming language for data science is R, given its features for quantitative analysis and statistics. Python can also be used for web applications because it supports Django as a web development framework. Moreover, Python is used extensively in artificial intelligence and machine learning. R is also used extensively in data analytics.

C and C++ are very popular in the telecom industry; these languages are used for embedding code in electronic and electromechanical devices to control their behavior. These techniques are called embedded programming.

Java is a highly sort after language as well. It has wide applications because it has evolved over a much longer time. Spring, Struts, and Java Server Faces are only a few of the several web frameworks that Java supports. Java is used for mobile applications, embedded systems, and digitizing large enterprises. It’s used in some scientific applications, too.

Ruby on rails is another popular programming for the Web. Ruby works on Rails, which is a web development framework. Therefore, your end goals define your coding requirements. How to become a computer programmer need not be an unnerving question

Top 5 myths around how to become a programmer

Myth 1: You have to be good at mathematics. Not true. Those with average math skills have done exceedingly well as programmers.

Myth 2: Programming is for geniuses. Again, false. You can become good at programming, as at other skills, with the required amount of study and practice. Programming is not an innate talent; it’s learnable.

Myth 3: Women don’t make good programmers. Also a rumor. Some of the top managers in the industry driving large programming teams are women. Women can program as well as men do, or better.

Myth 4: You need a degree and prior experience to become a programmer. Not essential. There are numerous resources and courses available on the Web to simplify programming for everyone. The designers of these resources and courses have seen struggling programmers before. At Springboard, our courses are not only comprehensive but easy to learn as well. The course offers 14+ real-life projects to help you acquire practical experience and demonstrate your skills.

Myth 5: Programming is boring. Not at all. When you see the results of your work, especially when it benefits people’s lives, you will find yourself motivated to learn and program more.

How to Become a Computer Programmer Doesn’t Need to be Complicated

To sum up, as with other skills, take many baby steps to familiarise yourself with the basic programming concepts. Then, move on to real-life programming examples with some hand-holding. A well-crafted course that is designed taking into account the challenges of first-time programmers will be a great advantage as you learn to program.

Learning programming and upskilling is even better in the long run and we have just the solution for you – one that you can access from the comfort of your home! Right from mentorship programmes, specially curated material to receiving the right feedback – Springboard has a wide variety of digital learning certified courses on Data AnalyticsData ScienceArtificial Intelligence, Machine Learning that come with a 1:1 mentoring-led, project-driven approach along with career services and a job guarantee. These courses are designed to help you succeed. Ultimately, everyone’s in it together to drive innovative solutions worldwide.

Since you’re here…
Were you one of the tens of thousands of workers impacted by this year’s tech layoffs? Springboard wants to help. Our new Career Reboot Scholarship is intended to assist job seekers from tech looking to upskill, reskill and stand out in a competitive hiring environment. Get $1,000 off any Springboard bootcamp in software engineering, data analytics, UX design, cybersecurity, tech sales, and more. Visit this page for eligibility requirements and to apply.

About Sakshi Gupta

Sakshi is a Managing Editor at Springboard. She is a technology enthusiast who loves to read and write about emerging tech. She is a content marketer with experience in the Indian and US markets.