How To Start Learning To Code

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@lmaldonadochLuis Angel Maldonado

Have you decided that you wanted to start coding, but you have no idea where to begin? Well, neither did I, and there's no shame in it. After some months of studying, I've realized the hardest part of coding is just starting (that phrase came too naturally to me, so I think I might have heard it somewhere else).
If that is the case, I apologize if I am butchering your saying or not giving the appropriate credit.
Even when you decide to go somewhere specialized in teaching coding (Like a Bootcamp), you come to realize that for you to learn to code, you have to know how to code! I am proud to say that I am currently a student at Microverse Remote School for International Students, and I am writing this article inspired by one of my team-mates and also my own experience (Yin and Yang). 
I will start with my story. I was fortunate enough to have a job until I joined Microverse that allowed me some spare time to study on my own, so I used The Odin Project, and I completed some lessons. The first project I had to complete was the homepage clone. Now that I have a few more months of experience, I look back at that project, and I laugh at it, but when I was building it, it took me ages to get the very first element in place. Now that I have a little bit more idea on how to move stuff around, I think I did not take the best approach. 
One of my biggest flaws was overlooking essential material. When I started coding, I can remember the very first time I reached the part where I was going to play around with some lines of code; I was jumping around like a little kid on Christmas. I was so excited I overlooked some very important material. What could have been a few hours of reading and deeply understanding what I was getting into, turned out to be a few days of excruciating frustration. 

Now let me go back to my teammate. At Microverse we have this thing called "The Peer-to-Peer code review"; It sounds fancy but all it is, is a meeting with other students (your team) to review some of the code you have been doing with your coding-partner for the past few days. This teammate I am talking about is falling very far behind the rest of us; as of this moment, he has not written a single line of code. I asked him the other day, why have you not started? He replied that he doesn't know how. He has just been looking around the project and the material, and he has not yet come to get his hands dirty. 


Now you must be confused; I talked in the first few paragraphs about overlooking material, and then I tell you the story about a guy who can not move on because he is over-looking the material. So which one is it? Well, after this time working very hard on learning how to do it, my answer would be BOTH! There is no way that you can learn how to code if you don't get your hands dirty. I promise you YOU CAN NOT! But if you want to avoid some hair pulling you should read and read and read until you understand what you are doing, but just enough to start writing some lines on your own.
To wrap up, this is the material I would be looking at if I was to start all over again (And that I strongly recommend you read first!):
HTML && CSS (Only the Responsive Web Design section).
With these tools, you should be able to build pretty much any website layout you can think of. It will take you probably 20 hours to get through all of it. Make notes, ask questions (I am reachable through Linkedin and Twitter), try to code along with the videos and most importantly; Get your hands dirty!
See you on the other side. Happy coding!


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