Coding for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide with Salary Info

Updated 30 June 2023

Coding, also known as programming, is the act of creating computer scripts that execute programmes, applications, websites and other computer processes. It is an incredibly varied field that uses different programming languages to create new software and applications. Many industries depend on coders or programmers to create innovative software solutions for their businesses. In this article, we outline what coding is, its uses and how to learn coding for beginners.

Coding for beginners

Before looking at coding for beginners in more detail, it's important to understand what coding is. Coding is the act of creating software and applications with a programming language. All of the software and applications that you use come from code made using a programming language. The people responsible for creating code for software are programmers, coders or developers.

Coding requires you to know and understand a new type of language, programming language. This comes in many different forms and dialects, but ultimately, it is a type of language that computers can understand. For example, when a programmer writes a piece of code, a computer translates the code into an actionable task, visual element or operation within a piece of software. In short, coding is a way to create, implement and develop concepts into an application, website or piece of software.

Related: 6 Essential Software Engineer Skills.

What does a coder do?

There are lots of different programming languages available, all with their own key strengths and weaknesses. Some languages are better suited to creating software that is visual, while others focus on creating programmes for complex mathematical equations. The most popular programming languages of today include:

  • C++

  • C

  • Python

  • JavaScript

  • Ruby

  • Kotlin

  • HTML

Programmers tend to specialise in one or two languages at the start of their career before picking up new languages relevant to their job. Generally speaking, HTML, JavaScript and Python are the three most popular programming languages for coders.


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Thankfully, learning one programming language well makes it much easier to pick up another language quickly, which makes career progression much more attainable for programmers. Beginner coding usually involves learning a basic programming language such as HTML or CSS before advancing into more rigorous languages such as C or Python. Over time, programmers learn how to create more advanced programmes. These can offer more functionality, efficiency or innovation.

Related: How Much Does a Computer Programmer Make on Average?

What are the benefits of learning to code?

Programming is foundational to many of the business processes and operations that companies rely on today. From automating inventory lists to clocking in and out of work, programmers are a vital part of digitising the modern world of business. As a result of this need, programmers are in incredibly high demand across almost all sectors of industry.

Related: Common Programmer Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Increased earning potential

It's no secret that programmers are in high demand across many industries. As a result of this, programmers can command quite high salaries early in their careers. The national average salary for a programmer is £36,235 per year. Learning programming is a useful skill even if you aren't intending to work as a programmer. Sales teams, marketing departments and graphic design groups can all benefit from having someone that understands coding working with them. From automating repetitive tasks to creating dynamic presentations, programmers can help improve working practices across many departments.

Lets you take the initiative

Companies rely on computers and software for many aspects of their daily operations. If you understand programming, you can use your initiative to fix bugs, optimise programmes and make the workflow much easier. Moreover, you can skip the long waiting times when calling IT support for a fix, as you can just do it yourself.

You can switch careers more easily

Learning to code can help prepare you for a transition into a number of different roles. Even a basic understanding of programming is beneficial in many lines of work, and this is going to become more true as businesses adapt to a digital world. Even if you are intent on working in a field that isn't programming, the ability to understand programming languages can help you switch careers by using coding as a way in. A good understanding of coding can offer you a lot of flexibility in terms of career progression, so it is an excellent thing to have.

You can discover a passion

For many people, programming goes beyond the duties of work. It can be incredibly rewarding and fun - so much so that many people code on their days off. From creating your own applications and games to showing others how to program, there are lots of opportunities to have fun and grow while learning to program.

Discovering a passion for programming can help you find a career that you enjoy, too. If you spend your time experimenting with a programming language, you may learn that you really enjoy software development. From here, you might want to look into switching careers into some form, of software development or operations.

Related: How To Become a Mobile App Developer (Plus Salary Info)

How to learn coding languages

Coding can seem daunting at first, but there are many resources and learning pathways available that make it much easier. There is no specific way to learn to program. You can go to school, teach yourself, take an internship, apply to a boot camp or sign up for an intensive training program. Even with all the different approaches available, bear the following points in mind when learning to code.

1. Apply self-learning practices

There is no better way to get started with coding than to educate yourself on the basics first. There are lots of free resources and tutorials online that cover the fundamentals of programming. You can go at your own pace, take the time to learn about specific areas of coding that interests you and gain a better understanding of what goes into programming.

2. Consider the best learning pathway for you

As mentioned above, there are many different routes that you can take to learn how to code. Take the time to consider what learning pathway works best for you to give yourself the best opportunity to excel at coding. The most comprehensive way to learn to code is through an undergraduate degree course, but this takes up to four years and costs a lot of money. You could try to find an internship to learn while you work which takes less time and won't cost you anything. So try to think about what option might suit your circumstances best.

3. Consider the best programming languages

There are a few fundamental programming languages that almost every developer and coder are expected to know, such as HTML or CSS. Apart from these fundamentals, there is a lot more variance in terms of what programming language you choose to learn, depending on the sector you work in and the nature of your job. FORTRAN, for example, is an excellent programming language if you want to work in finance. Other languages, such as JavaScript, are more suited to mobile applications.

4. Be a diligent, patient learner

Learning to code, just like many other skills, is not a consistent learning experience. There might be stumbling blocks and difficulties that can take you quite a while to overcome when learning a new programming language. The key is to remain diligent with your studies and to be patient with yourself. Programming languages get more complex as you learn more about them. It is only natural that plateaus might develop in your learning, but try to remain resilient and you can overcome any challenges.

5. Never stop learning

Programming languages are always developing, which means that you need to constantly educate yourself on new implementations and innovations. There is no endpoint to learning how to code, and the more you learn the better you can get at coding. From learning a new programming language to keeping afloat with the latest updates on your primary programming language, there is always something new to learn with coding. Be prepared to remain focused and never stop educating yourself about programming.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


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