- Determine what kind of programming you are interested in:
Today, there are a few more choices for the new programmer. Before you get too far down the path on learning your craft, take a step back and decide whether you want to develop software for the web, mobile devices, gaming consoles or televisions.
- Learn the fundamentals of programming:
Do not equate learning a language with learning the craft of programming. These are different skills. To be a good developer, there are at least two skills that you must master. You must learn how to program and you must learn how to use a programming language.
- Choose a Programming Language:
Take your time and explore some of the programming languages and determine if you like one more than the others. Solve a problem using one of these languages. You might also do a search on a job board or LinkedIn to determine which languages are most in demand.
- Determine the best way for you to learn the craft of programming:
There are multiple ways to learn the art of programming. No one way is better than the other; the key is to find what works for you. Choose the path that best fits your situation and figure out what works for you.
- Determine if you enjoy the work:
After completing steps 1 through 4, take a step back and evaluate what you have learned. Take a moment to reflect and determine if you are enjoying the work and knowledge you have obtained. There is nothing worse than being locked into a career or job that does not energize you. At this point, you should have some feel about whether or not you enjoy what programming is about. Do you see the kinds of opportunities you had envisioned before started out on the journey? Is the work as challenging as you thought? Are the problems you are solving interesting? If you have reached this point and you feel good about it, then you are well on your way. Now you just need to gain experience. Practice makes perfect. From this point you simply need to do what developers do and develop software!