Guide to Coding

October 2016

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Maybe you want to build your own website or start building websites for other people. Or maybe you just want to understand how computers work.


WHY START?Maybe you want to build your own websites or start building websites for other people. Or maybe you just want to understand how computers work. SUMMARYIf you do any research into coding online, you’ll often read the advice that you should first figure out what it is you want to do, and then decide on which language you want to learn. While it’s true that different types of programme require different languages, it’s important that you don’t get hung up on this at the beginning. If you’re starting from scratch you’ll want some basic training in how ordinary websites work, and the best way to get that is to learn how to write HTML and CSS.
Although strictly speaking they’re not languages, they will teach you how to create simple web pages. Also, once you’ve learned the basics, you’ll have a much clearer idea of how coding works and learning further computer languages for specific applications will be much easier.

Other programming languages you might choose to specialise in include Java, C, C++, Python, Ruby, PHP and SQL. But start small and take it slowly, otherwise it’s very easy to become overwhelm

Why Start?

Not only does learning to code teach you how to make things — websites, apps, games, etc —it also teaches you valuable transferable problem-solving skills.

Who is it for?

Coding is for anyone with an interest in working with computers or in building websites, apps or games.

Are there any prerequisites?

The only prerequisite is the desire to learn, although having a fairly analytical mind with good attention to detail is also very handy. As is the ability to work on your own.

What are the benefits?

Aside from developing your brain and fine-tuning your troubleshooting and problem-solving skills, if you become fluent enough, you can also make good money from coding.

How much will it cost?

There are so many free courses online that it doesn’t actually have to cost anything. However, if you want something more structured and with real human teachers, classes range from around £75 to several thousand pounds.

Can I take it to another level?

If you enjoy it and find you have a knack for it, you could very easily start making money from it. You’d be surprised how many people you probably already know who’d be happy to pay you to build a website for them. You could even start a new career from it.

What Equipment do I need?

You need a computer and an internet connection. Further down the line, as you choose to specialise in various different languages, you will also need additional software, which you can download from the internet.

Where can I take part?

The easiest place is sitting at your computer at home, but there will also be lots of local classes available.

Top Tips
Facts & Stats
  • Really, code is no different and in theory no more complex than a recipe you’d use to cook something. Thinking of it as a recipe can help demystify the whole thing.
  • People who code are known by many different names, including the following: coders, developers, scripters, programmers and code monkeys.
Did you know…

The majority of electrical items in your life are powered by computers that are powered by code that someone has sat down at a computer and written. Phones, TVs, watches, printers, microwaves, cars — you name it. Just about everything electrical these days uses code.



How learning how to code changed the lives of these ordinary women:

How to get started
Links to related information

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