Tips for Becoming a Professional Computer Programmer
Computer programming is a constantly growing field, and it’s a crucial skill to have in a world that runs on technology. Whether you’re looking to expand your professional horizons or looking into programming as a hobby, there are plenty of great reasons to take an interest. Programming is about more than writing lines of code; it’s also a way of thinking. It can teach you how to solve problems more effectively by breaking them down into parts of the whole, it teaches you to be persistent when looking for solutions, and it gives you power over technology.
Programmers are needed for basically anything related to technology including app development, testing, bug fixes, web development, video game design, and more. It’s a wide-open field that provides a diverse range of opportunities. Here are some things you should consider before getting started.
Build Your PC
If you’ve never built a PC before, or even if you’re looking into computer programming with little computer knowledge, doing your own PC build is a great exercise to both help you with computer fundamentals and to ensure you can customize your PC to the specifications you’ll need. There are build guides all over the internet that can help you out, and you generally won’t need a high powered graphics card like you would for a gaming PC.
A custom PC builder will typically recommend that you start the process by choosing your CPU. Your other major components including the motherboard, RAM, and graphics card will all need to be compatible with your CPU. It’s recommended to start with at least an 8th gen Intel i7 CPU since older ones can strain to handle modern programs. You’ll also need at least 16GB of RAM to handle any advanced applications, and some programmers even recommend going as high as 32GB if your motherboard can handle it.
Research Your Training Options
There are many different ways you can learn to code, and you’ll need to think about how you learn best and what you can afford. You can always attend a technical institute where you can likely finish your training in two years. If you’d rather work from home, you can earn an online degree, but you’ll need to make sure it’s from an accredited school for employment purposes. You can even decide to teach yourself at your own pace if you want. This is generally considered the most difficult approach since you won’t have any guidance, but there are many free resources to help you out.
Pick a Language
There are several major programming languages out there that are designed for specific tasks. C++ is mainly used for videogame development, for example, whereas HTML (technically a markup language) is used in web development. You’ll want to pick on to focus on in the beginning, although eventually learning multiple never hurts.
Python is a high-level general-purpose language that’s considered easy to learn and great for beginners. This is because its syntax is relatively simple compared to many other languages, and its use of white space ensures code is easy to read. The Python zip function also makes it easy to merge multiple iterables into new objects called tuples.
The zip function transforms complicated code into greatly simplified lines for easy readability. An iterator of tuples can also perform complicated functions repeatedly. Python can also recall values from dictionaries used to store key values. Ultimately, zip serves to pair elements from different data structures to use them in program loops (repeated performance of instructions until a specified condition is met).
Programming is certainly complicated, but you actually don’t need to be a math wiz to get to grips with it as many people fear. In fact, the tools you’ll use can do most of the math for you. It’s just a matter of learning how to use them.