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We live in a world where the internet has made it possible for anyone to self-learn pretty much anything. The stuffy classrooms of yesteryear are fast becoming irrelevant and now more than ever, coding has become a valuable skill which some say is on par with reading and writing.

Whether for career prospects, general knowledge or to level up your skills in order to embark on a personal/pet project, there are a variety of resources that you can find online which can help equip you with the material that you need to set you off in the right direction.

Broaden your horizons with a fun game development course, this Vue JS course or a PHP course. All you need is some discipline and a healthy dose of determination.

However, although determination is important, there are a few things to remember. Here are some tips that you should bear in mind on your journey towards becoming a self-taught coder.

Have a good reason

First of all, recognize how much time and effort you are going to devote to teaching yourself how to code and have a solid enough reason to keep yourself motivated.

This will determine your direction, ways you will embark on your self-education and the success that you will achieve.

If, for example, you hope to one day develop a mobile game, try out interactive tutorials, read up on game development and immerse yourself in the many resources out there.

Having a good enough reason to learn to code will also help you get you in the right frame of mind and remain psyched up throughout the learning process.

Pick a language

Before picking a coding language, you should follow up on your reason for learning by specifying and clarifying your goal. Your goal will influence the language that you will be using.

If, for example, you want to develop an iOS app, Swift will be the language to learn. Once you have clarified your goal and picked the language that you have to learn, don’t beat yourself up if you feel that you have made the wrong choice. Many programming languages are in theory very similar and there isn’t a best programming language.

Furthermore, it’s much easier to pick up on another language once you have already learned one. The most important thing is that you’re learning the fundamentals of coding and the pursuit of knowledge should be an end in itself.

Begin with baby steps

Don’t dive headfirst into the overwhelmingly complex topics. Start with the simpler, more easily understood subjects and climb your way up from there.

There are plenty of online courses and training sites that you can learn from. These will walk you through the basics of programming and help you progress forward.

There are many books on programming as well as e-books and even coding games that you can find online.

These can make otherwise boring subjects digestible and enable learners to experience them in an entertaining way.

You can also try experimenting with open source code first. Test out every line of code that you write and slowly refine how the program works.

Try getting involved with programming communities by joining forums and building your own network of programmers. These can come in useful if (or when) you ever encounter bugs or issues that you need help with.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.