The “no bullshit” guide to start coding

I recently gave a talk to some of the amazing women geeks at Indore, based on this short and simple guide I use to direct the new team members at Skcript.

When we sat down to write a quick no bull-shit guide to get people started with coding, we clearly wanted a guide that will NOT allow them to touch code, unless and until they can completely visualize what they want to do. Here are some pointers from our internal getting started guide.

Where do I start?

  1. There’s no such thing called as a good and a bad programming language.

  2. You will know which language to use, when you have a finite goal for creating something new.

  3. Have a deep passion for writing code. That happens only when you want the best from yourself.

  4. Care about the code you write. Design the code, make it look beautiful.

  5. Spend a lot of time coding out simple brain teasers. Make each version better than the version before it.

  6. Learn to ask someone who’s already been there and done that. Never be shy to ask for help.

  7. Make something for yourself. Create a small tool that could solve a problem you have.

  8. Give it back. Learn from the open source community, and give back as much as you can to help the community grow.

  9. Make the code as modular as possible. Take a leaf out of CS101, in this case OOP.

  10. Never settle for ‘OK’. A good product never finishes and a great product is never complete.

  11. Refactor. You know it can be better.

  12. It’s okay to spend hours getting your code more efficient that it was before.

  13. Be curious to learn something new every hour of every day. It could be implementing the future in a new and efficient way.

  14. Learning code is a never ending process.

  15. Finish what you started. Never leave it hanging in the middle.