What is coding?

Maybe you have read articles about it online, seen it on the news or overheard people discussing it – coding is everywhere. In its simplest form, code is language for computers and coding is the art of using this language to provide your computer with a set of instructions which it will follow. Code is comprised of words and numbers which when put in the correct order will tell your computer what to do. Much like DNA is the fundamental make-up of humans, code is the equivalent for computers.

Code is becoming more advanced as we understand more about the capabilities of technology. It is now the driver of the digital world and businesses are becoming ever more reliant upon it to keep pace with technology developments. It is the infrastructure behind every website, smartphone app and computer program. It even powers your microwave. Almost every electrical item contains a form of code.

But, just as humans can understand different languages, computers can understand different coding languages such as Java, .Net, C++, Python, R and PHP. As computers are run on binary code (written in 1s and 0s), these languages translate instructions into binary. Different programs also have different uses. C, for instance, is low-level but is very useful for creating anything graphically intensive, such as a game. Meanwhile, programs such as JavaScript are specifically designed specifically for website creation. It’s useful to research which coding language is best for what you will be using it for.

Learning a new code is much like learning a foreign language and requires practice. So, as well as traditional paid-for means such as night-school or coding camps, you can now find ways of learning to code for free. If you are looking to get into coding. we have included some useful tips for you to explore:

Make use of available apps

There are some great mobile apps which you can use to start learning how to code. The likes of Light-bot or Cargo-bot allow users to understand the principles behind coding. They introduce the basic concepts through directing a robot character through a course or by moving crates from one loading bay to another. There is a plethora of game-based coding apps which are fun and creative, so it is always best to check out the app store on your mobile device for more options.

Apps like  Khan Academy offer user-created courses on all major languages such as HTML, JavaScript and C++. If you have a specific goal in mind for coding, this app can be helpful. Elsewhere, Solo Learn is available across all devices and offers a comprehensive but measured learning experience with over 900 lessons.

Check out Codecademy

Codecademy is a free online tool which can be a great place to start for beginners. It offers low-level tutorials in most of the popular web languages. Whether you’re interested in Python, Ruby or PHP or would like to try out a few languages, this platform uses games, leaderboards and badges to help you learn whilst keeping you entertained.

National coding week

Wherever you are based, there are national coding weeks. These are a great opportunity to get involved with coding and learn more about it. In Europe, there is ‘CodeWeek’ which takes place every Autumn and is designed to help those interested in code understand how it facilitates bringing ideas to life.

Similarly, the US holds ‘National Coding Week’ which is aimed at introducing people to code and other digital skills. The week sees schools, businesses and libraries transformed into learning centers for all skill groups. These country-wide events with their support networks can be a great opportunity for beginners to get involved in coding.

Got any further questions or comments? Let us know below.