Article How to Learn Programming

How to Learn Programming - Digital Art by Matthias Zegveld

The Zen Teacher — Digital Art by Matthias Zegveld — from

Matthias Zegveld — the Netherlands





Tips from Matthias

Programming, these days, is essential if you want to build creative and awesome websites, apps for mobile, and desktop. This allows you to have full control over the functionality and the user interface.

That right there is exactly why I love programming, and why I learned it in the first place. Although I'm a designer with love for colors and abstract designs, coding is almost like writing a book to me.

Because it feels like I'm writing the story, of how I want my app to be, what I want it to do and how it will look and feel (that's the design part).

I started out writing my first HTML web page when I was about 15 years old, during a opening day on a high school we were visiting to see what different courses were available.

I remember this awesome sense of power, right there with my hands and the keyboard, using just notepad to write an HTML page that the browser could understand!

In the next five years, I learned all I could learn about design, colors, photography, 3D animation and video editing. But the real coding came after I had created a few of my first websites, and I was so tired of using other people's software and always wanted to have customization but couldn't.

Then came the date with server-side scripting and I was sold. Combined with an all-round experience of HTML writing and CSS styling I now had all the tools needed to create custom websites.

Start with Something Small and Fun and Go from There

When I first started learning PHP, I was amazed by the power of the dynamics that could be controlled by just changing a few parameters in a link.

This gave me so much fun and really showed me the strength of client-side scripting, and that helped me to grow into learning the rest.

I sure didn't start writing functions and classes right from the beginning! I didn't even know what they were, instead I just wrote the things like selecting text from a database, or including a header on every page.

After that, I just kept growing through my curiosity, and looking for small tutorials on YouTube, and answers and questions on code forums, I learned a lot through little bits and experiments.

Use Your Curiosity to Find the Next Little Challenge

I'm amazed at how much I've been able to learn in just a few years. Starting with the raw basics, over time all the little experiments and little challenges helped create the position I am in today — where not much seems impossible anymore.

And that's the beauty of coding, because after a while, you've created so much little bits of everything, that you become faster in building new features or additions.

Because now you've created some building blocks, which you now can combine into another brand new structure — a new page, content management system, or a cool new feature.

There Isn't a Way to Learn Everything at Once — So Relax and Have Fun Exploring the Little Steps

After PHP, I have started learning other programming languages, such as JavaScript, C++, C#, some Phyton, and other frameworks such as Ruby on Rails.

Not that I did it all at once though, I just tried a bit of everything, and then some time later — if I liked it — I tried a bit more, and created some little programs.

Then over time, I had accumulated so much knowledge, that much more became possible. For example, instead of just creating websites, I was know also able to create apps for Windows, Macintosh or even mobile devices.

This all together creates such a powerful skill set that you can use to enhance your online business and create new features and applications to reach your audience!

So I want you to think about it today, try to find a little tutorial on YouTube of your programming language of interest and see the little fun things you can build today!

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