Beginner Guide to learn Coding (part 1)

guide, beginner

In general, people tend to start learning code by taking popular online coding courses (like courses in Udemy, edX…), or getting a programming book to read and follow the book\’s instructions, or participating in a tutorial project. Each method has its own advantages. However, a potential developer rarely starts with a clear roadmap or plan.

Learning to code can be very interesting. But…what does the word \’Code\’ mean? By definition, in the world of computing, it means program instructions that people use to tell computers what to do, what to execute, what actions to perform, etc.

In this article, I will suggest a roadmap, a collection of steps, which is used by many professional developers. Each step will have a critical point that all readers should take into account when pursuing a career in coding. And of course, checking those steps will not bring you to expert level of programmers. They will give base ideas to move forward in your coding career.

Now, we can jump into step 1, cool!

Step 1: Get to know about computer and its structure, data

Modern programming languages allow developers to create applications without worrying about the computer hardware and its behavior behind the scenes. This is called abstraction. It involves filtering out – essentially, ignoring the characteristics that we don\’t need in order to concentrate on those that we do.

However, you should know a bit about computer itself when dealing with it in every working day. It\’s like… in real life, before you try out new food, you should know what it is first 🙂

A computer has its heart living in microchips (integrated circuits). Microchip is required to have a transitor to function properly. Transistors are tiny electrical switches that are either off (0) or on (1) at any given time. A single microchip can contains a lot of transitors embedded on it (millions or billions of transitors).

Most modern computers have a microchip call Central Processing Unit (CPU). It\’s like a brain of a computer, which handles and processes a lot of tasks in a very fast way. Each CPU contains a set of instructions, a collection of binary (0 and 1) commands that a computer understands.

Another important part of a computer is a memory/working-memory, Random Access Memory (RAM). This part store information which is actively being used by running programs. RAM is made up of a collection of memory addresses, which can be used to store bits of data.

Next important part is a hard drive (internal or external device). We can call it long term memory since it can store data that should persist even after the computer is turned off.

Some basics about data:

  • For human: images, videos, folders, emails, files,…
  • For computer: a sequence of 0 and 1, which are bits. Bits are commonly stored in a set of 8, known as byte. A binary representation of a byte can be 00000001, 01100110 or 00001111, etc.

That is the end of step 1! Hope you get the basics of a computer!

Stay tuned for step 2!

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