Is Learning to Code Hard? A Guide for Those Searching for a New Start

Published on 03 September 2021

Reading time 8 minutes

If you’re thinking of switching to a career in software development, you’re probably wondering:

Is learning to code hard?


Well, the short answer is no.


But it does require time, patience, and the right guidance. 


In this post, we’ll explore why coding is a great skill to learn, how to get started, and the easiest programming languages to master. 


Let’s get started.

Why You Should Learn to Code


Software developers earn impressive salaries and get to work on an exciting range of projects.


According to a report by Gartner, 63% of senior executives cite a shortage of software developers as an area of great concern


If you know how to code, you have a skill that is in high demand, and you can command a high salary. 


Aside from the financial benefits, there are several reasons why you should consider learning to code. 

Advantage #1: Anyone Can Do It


You don’t need a university degree, you don’t need to spend years training, and you don’t need any super-expensive equipment. Anyone with a laptop can learn how to code.


Advantage #2: It Teaches You How To Solve Problems


Steve Jobs said, “I think everyone should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.Learning to code teaches you how to process information and solve problems - rather than just recalling what you read in a textbook.


Advantage #3: You’ll Learn Transferable Skills and Capabilities


From digital content and animation to data analysis and programming, the transferable skills you acquire by learning to code set you up for a range of careers.


Tips and Tricks for Learning to Code

When you’re just starting out, it can feel like there’s a huge mountain you need to climb. The best way to speed up your progress is to break the journey down into smaller chunks.


  1. Be Goal-Oriented

Set achievable milestones that work towards your overall goals. Think about what you want to do with your newly acquired skills, and work out the steps you need to get there. 


This will help you stay focused on the things that matter and help you choose a suitable programming language.


  1. It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Like any new skill, it takes time and persistence to learn how to code. However, it’s much easier when you have the right guidance and learning structure. 


Taking part in a coding school course is a great way to speed up the learning process. You’ll be part of a cohort of beginner coders, benefit from industry connections, and learn the additional soft skills you need to get job offers. 


Here at Wild Code School, you’ll get a placement with a real-world company and be mentored on how to get a web developer job when you graduate.


What To Look For in a Coding School

A good coding bootcamp can equip you with the skills you need to succeed in a career in tech. But with so many options, the choice can be overwhelming. 


Here are the two most important factors to consider when choosing a coding school.



It Should Serve the Students

Some coding schools are focused more on their revenue streams than their students. An excellent way to see if a coding school prioritizes its students over its bottom line is to look at how it helps its students find programming jobs. 


For example, does the school provide career training and help its students get work placements?


At Wild Code School, our focus has and always will be our students. We offer multiple financing options for different courses and help our students with company placements and career development modules to prepare them for their first job in the exciting tech sphere.


Frequently Updated Curriculum 


Technology advances at a break-neck speed, so it’s a challenge for every coding school to keep its curriculum relevant and up to date. You need to avoid the coding schools that fail to keep up with the pace. 


Review the course curriculum and make sure it covers relevant languages you want to learn. 


Different Ways To Learn to Code


Now that we’ve covered what to look for in a coding school and tips to help you learn to code, it’s time to look at the best approaches to the learning process. 


If we go back to basics, there are three core elements that help you to learn a programming language successfully:


1. Learn Syntax


This should be the first step and serve as an intro to learning a programming language. Syntax is the set of rules that define the structure of a programming language. If your code doesn’t follow the language’s syntax, it won’t be understood by the computer. 


Learning syntax is about understanding the rules. Once you’ve nailed the syntax of a language, you can start to write code and create functional programs.


2. Solve Problems


Beginner coders often struggle to apply the knowledge they have learned. They go from learning syntax to immediately trying to create something. It’s like trying to ride a bike without ever having used training wheels. 


Problem-solving is a great way to test your knowledge with achievable goals. 


Here at Wild Code School, our courses are filled with exercises that challenge our students to solve problems with their newly learned skills.


3. Create Stuff


Once you understand syntax and can solve basic coding problems independently, it’s time to either contribute to open source projects or work on an original project. This is when students experience creating something for the first time and see what they can achieve with their newly learned skills.


Is Coding Hard To Learn?

The simple answer is no. It’s not hard to learn how to code. But like learning any new skill, it requires:

  • Persistence
  • Time
  • Practice

Some languages are also harder to learn than others. 

Which Coding Languages Are Easiest To Learn?

The best coding languages for beginners are also some of the most in-demand.


According to a 2020 survey, 67.7% of software developers use JavaScript most often, with HTML the second most used. These are also two of the easiest coding languages to learn. 


Here’s a rundown of the best three coding languages for beginners:

HTML

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the language used for most web pages on the internet. It’s a great introduction to coding with a simple structure and the use of tags to control how web pages are displayed. 

Python

Python is a general-purpose coding language used for AI, web development, data analysis, and other applications. It’s an in-demand coding language that’s seen a huge growth in popularity over the last decade. According to data from Stack Overflow, Python is the most asked about programming language on their platform:


Image Source


Python is also one of the easiest languages to learn. 

JavaScript

Front-end developers often combine JavaScript with HTML and CSS to add functionality to web pages. It can be a little more challenging to learn than HTML, but it’s a great programming language to learn the basics of coding.


Which Coding Languages Are the Hardest To Learn?

Some languages are best avoided until you’ve gained some knowledge and practical experience with more accessible languages. 

C++

C++ is a powerful general-purpose programming language used for game development, applications, and even financial modeling at Morgan Stanley. It’s a flexible programming language that gives the coder lots of control. But it’s overwhelming for most beginners and has a very steep learning curve. 

Prolog

Prolog is one of the first logic programming languages that ever existed. It’s used for natural language processing and in artificial intelligence applications. While there are opportunities for high-paying jobs, this programming language has an unconventional approach different from most other programming languages. 

Assembly

Assembly is a low-level programming language that is one of the most complex languages for beginners to learn. While HTML, Python, and JavaScript don’t require you to know computer science to become proficient, Assembly is as close as you can get to the CPU.  Different CPUs also have different Assembly languages. It’s not a widely used language, and it’s hard to learn. 


Conclusion - The Best Way To Start Learning to Code


Now you know more about learning to code and the best languages to familiarize yourself with as a beginner.


Learning to code is a great way to get a career in tech. You can learn in-demand skills that are sought-after by companies worldwide. 


If you want to get a closer look at what learning to code involves, check out our free Introduction to Web Development course. You’ll learn the basics of coding and get to see if a career in web development is right for you.