In CodeBerry Programming School’s “Basics of Programming” series, we discuss programming-related topics and everything you need to know to get started. Stay tuned for new articles and find the answer to every “what”, “why”, and “how”, you may have had about coding!

Would you like to learn how to code, online? Come and try our first 25 lessons for free at the CodeBerry Programming School.

Basics of Programming

 

Before you begin—Step 0

If you’ve been considering getting to know the world of coding, you may want to get an idea of the available options for learning the basics first. To be able to choose from the various courses in the market, you have to know what you can expect from different introductory, junior programmer, and developer courses. That is what we were trying to help you with by compiling this summary.

 

Changing career, returning to the labor market with kids, or finding programming courses for kids?

There is a course for you, whatever your situation may be

The structure of the training courses mostly depends on the target group they are designed for. Programs aimed at children, high school students, people wanting to change careers or mothers trying to return to the labor market are paced differently and use different methodologies. 

Younger students can practice the basics of analytical thinking and programming in a fun way. Mothers can join training programs that accommodate their lifestyle while they have small children: these programs organize child care services next to the classroom and adjust the schedule so that it supports family life, helping them develop a new routine allowing mothers to learn a new profession.

Those wanting to study while also working or in university can choose from part-time courses. Others might want to get the skills necessary to start building their career in IT sooner, in a matter of months or even weeks. For them, bootcamps will be the perfect option: although these require 8–10 hours spent on studying daily, which is the equivalent of a full-time job, they offer a super fast-paced learning experience.  

However, the structure of a course does not necessarily depend on the target audience entirely. Some technologies simply cannot be learned with a few months’ intensive training. The next part of the article will talk about technologies and some other factors affecting the available selection of courses.

Some of the courses available for various target groups

  • Programming courses for parents with small kids:

 

What would you like to do in the future; what job can you see yourself doing?

Your choice of technology should depend on this

Various fields and positions in IT require knowledge of different technologies. In order to choose the right programming language to learn, you should figure out what you want to do exactly in the early stages of planning your new career. Full-stack web developers need an entirely different set of skills than what is required for developing games or working with artificial intelligence. Different career paths come with different working conditions and different salary ranges, and the programming languages you need to learn will always depend on which direction you want to take. As a programmer, you can be a freelancer, launch your own project, or work as an employee of a small start-up or a multinational company.

If you’d like to work at a big company with a secure background, you might need more complex programming knowledge. Completing a Java programming course will give you valuable skills that can be used in countless areas, while learning the highly complex C++ programming language (which is definitely not recommended for beginners) will make you a very valuable employee.

There are android programming courses especially designed for creating mobile applications, and you can get into various areas of web development through front-end and back-end technologies. A solid grasp and application of the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript languages alone can be enough for building sophisticated and substantial web pages, but for delving into data science, you will want to opt for languages such as R or Python. 

We could go on, but the point has been made: start in the direction that will take you to your chosen destination. 

 

Course length, schedule, pace and mentoring

As we have mentioned at the beginning of the article, programming schools offer courses of various lengths: a few weeks, months, or even a couple of years. The length of a course depends on the volume of the learning material and the course schedule.

Courses that can be completed within a few weeks mostly function as an introduction to the world of coding; they help you decide whether this path is right for you and which direction to take. Super intensive courses, or bootcamps, usually take up your whole day, and they give you the capabilities necessary for starting a new career, a complex set of web development skills for example, within a few months. Other programming courses take up only a couple of hours of your time every week, but they will last for many months and you will probably have to do homework too.  

Another significant factor to consider is whether it is an online course, or one held offline, in a real classroom. The benefit of on-campus training is that you can work together with the student community in real time and space, it can give you external motivation and reassurance, and you can use the professional equipment and technology installed there.

 Online courses vary in their schedule, which can be set as remote teaching with a fixed class schedule and group work, or it could let students progress at their own pace entirely. Choosing this option has the benefit of being able to study anywhere, usually with a partially or fully flexible schedule, at your own pace. Having the option to set your own schedule is great, but it needs serious perseverance and some self-discipline to make the most of it. Of course, these are also important if you progress together with a school or community. 

Your progress will be guided by a mentor most often, but various schools have different solutions in this regard. There could be a single mentor for a whole group of students, or mentors could be assigned to each student individually. A rather common approach is to let the students progress on their own, with the option of asking questions and getting answers from a mentor anytime. 

If mentoring is not part of the given course, you might still be able to ask questions and support each other in a virtual student community. Of course, there are also curriculums that you will have to learn all by yourself. 

 

The role of practice in the learning process

Like any new skill you learn, programming needs a lot of practice before you can use it confidently. Not every course incorporates the same amount of theory and practical exercises in its curriculum. Some schools focus on creating a project together, where you can learn your new skills by working through each stage of the project. Others let you code on your own to create a website, application, game, etc. There are even courses using agile methods, coaching, and teamwork to simulate a corporate environment. 

Certain programming schools arrange apprenticeships for their graduated students at partner companies, so that they can deepen their knowledge as paid interns.

 

Programming schools with job guarantee? Prepaid or postpaid options?

A short note on payment structures

Many programming schools now offer to support you in finding a job, and some provide a full job guarantee. That means that if you cannot find a suitable job within a certain time period after completing the course, you get a refund, or in case of postpaid courses, you don’t have to pay the tuition fee. If your job hunt is successful, you can pay the course fees from the salary you earn as a programmer in the postpaid system. There is a wide range of coding courses in terms of fees and payment options, including free programming courses, state-funded education, and various scholarships.

As you can see, there are many options to choose from—you just need to find the one that’s best for you. The multitude of available courses might seem a little overwhelming now, but don’t panic: all you need is a little planning, self-awareness and research to get one step closer to making the right decision about where you should start learning to code. 

 

In CodeBerry Programming School’s “Basics of Programming” series, we discuss programming-related topics and everything you need to know to get started. Stay tuned for new articles and find the answer to every “what”, “why”, and “how”, you may have had about coding!

Basics of Programming

Would you like to learn how to code, online? Come and try our first 25 lessons for free at the CodeBerry Programming School.