Jan 16, 2019

Coding Software

Coding software such as a text editor is an important tool to have if you want to learn how to build websites, apps, or games from scratch. If you're completely new to coding, using a text editor can seem intimidating, but as you're about to learn, it really doesn't take much to get up and running in a text editor. The process of learning how to write computer code means starting small and working your way up.

How to Start Coding

Though plenty of coding and programming gets rather complex, you can work up to that level from a relatively easy starting point. In most cases, as with Udacity's Intro to Programming nanodegree program, experts suggest you start coding with HTML, or hypertext markup language, which is the basic framework upon which websites are built.

Why HTML? It's not the best language for software development, so why do so many programming classes start here? To begin with, it's super simple. HTML really doesn't take a lot of onboarding to understand. Learning HTML is like learning basic vocabulary from a foreign language, but you don't have to worry about pronunciation or conversational context. As long as you spell the words correctly and follow the accepted format for the language, you'll be good to go. It doesn't take long to learn how to use HTML to make a (very) basic web page with text, links, and even images. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. You can then build on your HTML skills with CSS and JavaScript, or go in a different direction altogether if you aren't interested in learning front-end web developer skills.

But you can't just write HTML (or any other code, for that matter) in a word processor document and expect it to magically translate into a web page or app. You need to use a specific kind of programming software called a text editor. It doesn't really matter which specific text editor you get so long as it's obviously intended for coding. Sublime Text and Atom are two popular options, but you can shop around and find computer programming software you like best.

Once you're in your text editor, you can create a file called "index.html" and write something like < h1 >Hello world!< /h1 >. Save you work in the text editor, then go find that index.html file and either double click it or manually open it in your web browser. You should see your code rendered right there on the screen as readable text. A little further research into different tags and you can change the color, size, and font of what you write on your simple website. That's really all it takes, and it really is just the very first tiny step on a potentially long journey into complex coding topics.