How to Learn a Computer Programming Language

Learning computer programming is actually easy. You don’t have to go to school or college in informatics to become a good programmer. It should be noted that there are many well-known programmers who do not even have an educational background in information technology at all but in fact they can be successful.

People who major in informatics and have a bachelor’s degree, there is no guarantee he will become a great programmer. Especially if during college he was lazy to learn programming, of course it should be questioned about his coding skills.

If someone asks, can I graduate if I’m not proficient in programming? Don’t ask again. Nowadays it’s no secret that many take shortcuts in order to graduate and get a bachelor’s degree. If you just ask for help from other people to make a computer program for your thesis, it’s still better. But what if you choose to accept it or buy a finished thesis?

And ironically the case is a lot. I myself often get requests to make computer programs for such purposes. Of course not everything I say yes. It needs to be seen first what the background is whether it really needs help or not.

The point of the story above, don’t be pessimistic if you want to be a great programmer. There are many ways, apart from studying informatics. One of them is learning programming on your own as I will discuss in this article.

What Is Computer Programming?

In principle, computer programming is a process of telling computers what to do when they receive certain commands. Easy language is to provide “cheat sheet” to the computer. So the computer will follow what is written in the “cheat sheet” to follow up on what was ordered to it. If the command is wrong then the computer will be silent.

Computer programming is often also referred to as coding. Because you have to write lines of code that the computer will read and translate later. Since the computer is a machine, it only accepts the code you provide without ever protesting. If the line of code you wrote is wrong then the program will not run.

A lot of people don’t know how to start learning computer programming. Don’t let this happen to you. Why? Because it can break your spirit to learn even just to start.

Why is Learning Programming Difficult?

Many people complain that learning programming is very difficult. In fact, many students who study informatics are not proficient in programming and are not ready to work when they graduate. Why? Is the curriculum wrong or is there another reason?

As I mentioned above, studying informatics does not guarantee that you will be proficient in programming after graduating and getting a bachelor’s degree. The method of learning in college is different from studying in schools or courses.

In college you will only get theory and the basics. The rest you have to find out for yourself and learn independently. So if you are lazy then you will not know anything.

Learning a computer programming language is the same as learning a foreign language. The more you use it in your daily life, the more proficient you will be. But if what happens is the opposite then you will encounter difficulties.

You need a lot of experience in order to become a good programmer. If according to Malcolm Gladwell’s research (in his book Outliers), it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to produce successful people. This also applies to producing really good programmers.

If you dedicate 3 hours each day to learning programming, it will take you roughly 10 years to become proficient. This means that if you hope to become a good programmer at the age of 20, you have to practice every day from the age of 10.

If the commitment starts at the age of 18 (when starting college), the skill may only be acquired at the age of 28. If you only committed to learning programming for an hour each day, it would take you 30 years. If you start at the age of 10, then only proficient at the age of 40. Very heavy huh?

It takes a lot of dedication to become an expert, no matter what the profession is. Famous football players like Christiano Ronaldo have been practicing football since he was a child and even continue to practice until now. So it’s no wonder that he can become the world’s best player repeatedly.

Find Out What You Are Most Interested In

Before starting to learn computer programming, you need to find out exactly what you are most interested in. It should be noted that computer programming is very broad in scope. You can’t possibly study everything in depth. So you have to make a choice, what will you learn first, whether desktop programming, web programming or mobile programming.

There are various programming languages, so you also have to make a choice. As an illustration, here are examples of several programming languages that you can learn.

  • Desktop Programming: Delphi, C++, Java, Visual Basic.Net
  • Web Programming: PHP, Ruby, JavaScript, HTML/CSS, Python
  • Mobile Programming: Java, Objective-C, Swift, Python, HTML5

After determining specifically what you are most interested in, it’s time for you to learn the programming language. You can start by understanding and trying simple code examples first. If you already understand it can be developed by writing your own lines of code.

Learn Fundamentals of Algorithms and Data Structures

Writing computer programs is basically thinking logically. At school you studied mathematical logic. Well, that’s what is used in computer programming. If you understand mathematical logic, of course learning programming will be easy and fun.

To be able to make a good computer program, you must first master programming concepts. You must understand the basics of algorithms and data structures. The goal is to form your mindset on how to solve problems logically.

You can take free online courses provided by the world’s best campuses such as Coursera, edX, or FutureLearn to learn the basics of algorithms and data structures. Just type in the keywords, “algorithm”, “programming” or “computer science” there are hundreds of free online courses there.

Here are some examples of courses you can take:

Learning by Doing

After understanding algorithms and data structures, then you have to improve your programming skills by learning by doing, namely by trying to write code directly.

There are several online learning by doing that you can use, including:

To be proficient in programming you must not be weak in spirit. This means you shouldn’t be quick to complain when you encounter difficulties. Why? Because at this stage of learning programming there are lots of challenges and obstacles.

Apart from being unfamiliar, you will also often make mistakes, whether it’s because you wrote the wrong code, didn’t memorize the commands, or for other reasons. You have to be patient and fight tirelessly even though sometimes you have to repeat it many times. Anyway, until the lines of code that are written are correct and work, you have to keep trying.


Learning computer programming is indeed very difficult at first. But believe me, if you are proficient and understand logic, making computer programs is very easy and really fun. Especially if you can make money, it feels very satisfying.

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