Can you learn to code from scratch?

But then, few things are worth learning. Scratch is a free block-based coding platform that lets you create your own games, stories and animations. In Scratch, you can programme many different types of projects, such as a magic pen, a wizard tag game, a geometry board, a basketball game, a Pacman or a snake. Scratch is designed for students aged 8 to 16, but can be used by everyone.

These blocks can make sprites move, make sounds and change colour. And when connected together they form a series of actions to build your games, animations and other projects. These yellow blocks have a special shape, with the bulge at the top. These blocks are "start blocks, which means they should go at the beginning of any piece of code we create.

They tell us when the code will be executed. Given these facts, it is clear that bootcamp programmes offer one of the best ways to learn to code in relatively little time and at minimal cost. Perhaps the more traditional way to learn to code is to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree. The C language has a steep learning curve, but taking the time to learn it will do wonders for your career and set you apart from other developers.

While online coding classes on websites such as Harvard, MIT and EdX may be a useful resource, you won't be able to learn at your own pace, and the material may not align with your career goals. The best way to learn to code may involve reaching for some dead trees in an actual book that you can follow from start to finish. Instead of focusing on learning a specific programming language, you can also learn how to solve problems in a way that a computer understands. There is a certain mystique to the process, a suggestion that only rare and brilliant people can learn to code.

Whether you're learning to code or you're an old hand, experimentation is a fundamental part of the process. If you want to go pro and become a full-time developer, an intensive, in-person coding bootcamp might help, especially if you learn best in a structured environment with real people who motivate you. With so many free coding classes available online, finding material to learn HTML, CSS and Javascript is not the challenge, but determining which class or course is worthwhile. Your interest in coding may be more limited: you may just want to learn enough Python to make your Raspberry Pi do interesting projects, for example.

No matter how many coding certificates and workshops you complete, or how many programming languages you learn, the proof of your coding skills will be in your programming project.

William Sandoual
William Sandoual

Subtly charming travel evangelist. General coffee scholar. Avid zombie enthusiast. Hardcore travel fanatic. Infuriatingly humble internet fanatic.