How do I learn to code?

Written by Nanna Bach Munkholm

Founder & CTO Roccai

One question I’m asked often is, “How do I learn to code?“. Coding can be a black box to many of us. It’s something that you hear that only guys who sits in a basement and eats a lot of chips and drinks Coca Cola does. But that is not true! Coding is for everyone and I mean everyone. You doesn’t have to be raised with computers or being a guy for that matter. I never had anyone in my family or friends growing up that could code. But at the age of 23 I was introduced to the world of coding and a door to the black box opened. But you may be wondering, How do I start coding? and Is coding even for me?. 

Here I will give you my tips, to how you can open the door to the magic black box of coding. I can already tell you, that when you have first opened the door it isn’t that black inside. It is just about grabbing the right door handle. 

Where to start when learning to code?

You might be wondering which door handle I’m talking about. What I mean is that, there is a lot of different paths to starting to code. And it really depends on what you want to accomplish.

Do you want to built an app?
Do you want to automate processes?
Do you want to create a website?
…the list could go on.


 Why do you want to learn to code?

Which programming language should I start with?

When you have figured out why you want to code, it is much easier to figure out which programming language you should start with. Each programming language has a purpose, so when you know your WHY, you can ask Google for instance, “How do I learn to code an app?“. This is a much better search term than, “How do I learn to code?“. But it’s still a quite broad search term, so you should narrow it more down to “How do I learn to code an iOS app?“. So try to see how specific you can be in what you want to learn to code. 

To give you an example, my first introduction to the magic black box of coding, was when I started my company DecorRaid. I had an idea for an app that could help consumers finding interior products that match their style. I knew nothing about programming and had no prior technology experience. I told friends about my new business idea and they helped me narrow down what I needed. First of, I needed to learn how to code an app but secondly, they said the word Machine Learning. 

I was like..What is Machine Learning? They told me that it is what you can use to match the consumers with the right products. 

Now I had two search terms, How do I code an app? and secondly, How do I code a Machine Learning algorithm?. This is two very big projects and two very different doors handles into the black box of coding. After some searching and asking around, I figured out that it was best to outsource building the app as it was essential for testing out our business idea. Instead, I could start looking into what it took to code a Machine Learning algorithm. For Machine Learning, Python is the right language.

With my WHY in place, I opened to door with python written across. 

Nanna Bach Munkholm

My WHY, Creating a Machine Learning algorithm that can match DecorRaids consumers with interior products.

How do I learn to code?

Now that you know you why, it’s time to start learning how to code. We all learn differently, so this is just some inspiration to how you can tackle learning to code.

My first suggestion is find a book or a youtube video that explain the basic of the language you have choosen. I started with the book Python for absolute beginners. It took me through the basic terms and some cool small assignments.

You will soon learn that you need a specific place to write your code. You can do it in a terminal on your computer, but I will recommend that you install Anaconda Navigator. Here you will get Visuel Studio Code which you can use to code nearly all programming languages. Secondly, you get Jupyter Notebook which is used to code Python in.

When you have a place to write your code in and learned the basics of your new programmin language, it’s time to find yourself a small motivating project.

If you need some inspiration, you can go to my previous post Choosing a Flutter project, here I have gathered a few ideas for a good beginner app project.

When you have found your first project, write down in small steps what you want to accomplish. Then it is just about taking it one step of the time.

As a final tip – Coding is all about Googling. 

– The better you become at narrowing down your search term in Google the easier it gets to code. 

Happy coding and if you have any questions to how you get started learning to code, then please leave a comment below. 

How do I learn to code

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