Most aspiring developers ask: Is coding hard to learn? Some think programming is a daunting task, reserved only for the tech wizards among us. Throw in the fear of not being smart enough, the overwhelming number of programming languages, and the fast-paced change in tech, and most hesitate to start learning.
But, it's important to get past those fears and misconceptions. Learning to code is a lot easier than you might think—and it can lead to a well-paying and satisfying career.
For this beginner's guide, we pulled together three of our experienced Multiverse Software Engineering coaches and got their perspectives on what it takes to learn to code.
Linda Eng, Pius Wong, and Kat Law will answer: Is coding hard? They’ll also share helpful tips to guide you through the process of learning to code.
- Is coding hard?
- Challenges of learning to code
- How to learn coding
- Why learn to code?
- Where to start: The easiest languages to learn
- Where not to start: The hardest languages to learn
Is coding hard?
Let's tackle the big question first. Is coding hard?
Coding can be challenging—but it's more accessible than it looks. With the right mindset and resources, anyone can learn to code.
Let’s look at why some believe coding is hard and how to overcome those challenges, according to experienced Software Engineers.
Challenges of learning to code
Learning how to code isn’t either easy or hard. Rather, how you approach the learning process can make it harder to learn.
Some aspects of coding that make learning more difficult include:
1. Trying to learn everything all at once
It helps to learn coding in bite-sized pieces, starting from easier to harder concepts. Multiverse coach, Linda, says:
2. Learning alone without a purpose or support
Coding is like any other skill—it's harder if you try to go it alone and without a clear direction. Multiverse Software Engineering coach, Pius, says:
3. Not pushing past the fundamentals
Kat looks at coding as a second language that becomes easier as you practice:
The good news is that although there are challenges, there are also many ways to make it easier to learn to code.
How to learn coding: Tips for beginners from professional Software Engineers
Once you've decided to learn coding, how should you approach it? Multiverse Software Engineering coaches share their best tips and strategies for learning to code below.
1. Set coding and career goals
Pius recommends setting a goal before you start coding. Clear goals will help you stay motivated.
To come up with a goal, ask yourself:
- What do you want to make?
- Which languages will you need to make it?
- What problems do you want to solve?
2. Start with the basics and work your way up
Linda’s advice for aspiring coders is to:
3. Practice every day
Make coding a habit and try to code every day. To stay consistent, schedule time each week to code. According to Linda:
3. Build projects and get feedback
Sharing your coding projects with others can feel intimidating, but it gets easier over time. Plus, getting feedback from others will help you identify your strengths and areas for improvement. Ultimately, it will make you a better coder. Linda suggests:
4. Do a coding or software engineering apprenticeship
Tech apprenticeships are one of the best and fastest ways to learn coding. Multiverse offers software engineering apprenticeships, and unlike bootcamps or college, they’re tuition-free. In addition, as an apprentice, you earn a full-time salary while learning to code on-the-job.
There are many benefits of a software engineering apprenticeship, including:
- A supportive team and community - As an apprentice, you’re part of a team that will support you when taking on different coding problems.
- Learn coding in less time without paying for it - You can focus on developing coding skills and solving practical problems without the financial stress of paying for the course. Plus, you’ll be paid during your apprenticeship, which can further alleviate financial stress and allow you time to focus on learning.
- More opportunities to grow - With more opportunities to write code comes more confidence and further growth.
- Gain on-the-job experience - Leading companies partner with Multiverse and pay apprentices to learn coding directly from other professionals.
Multiverse’s software engineering apprenticeships last 15 months, during which apprentices learn the fundamentals of coding and apply their skills to real-world projects. If you’re interested in becoming an apprentice, the first step is to start an application(opens new window).
5. Stay curious and be patient
Staying up to date with the latest trends can help you build a successful Software Engineer career path. Multiverse coaches also recommend reading tech blogs, attending conferences, and networking with other coders.
Why learn coding?
Learning to code might not be easy, but that's why it's a valuable, in-demand skill. Here are a few reasons why learning to code is worth it:
- High-paying jobs: The median annual wage(opens new window) for computer programmers in the US was $93,000 in May 2021. The top 10% of programmers earn upwards of $155,240 a year.
- Demand: There is a shortage of skilled developers, with around 40 million unfulfilled roles(opens new window) worldwide.
- High growth: Over the next decade, developer jobs are projected to grow(opens new window) by 25%—much faster than the typical growth rate of around 5%.
- Flexibility: Coding jobs offer more fully remote or hybrid work options.
- Problem-solving: Learning to code enhances your problem-solving abilities, which can be applied to every aspect of your life—not just coding.
- Build your own projects: Coding allows you to build your own projects, apps, or websites.
Where to start: The easiest programming languages to learn
Here are some of the easiest coding languages to get started:
- HTML: HyperText Markup Language or HTML is the language of the web. It's simple and easy to understand, so it’s usually the starting point for most Developers and Engineers.
- CSS: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) works hand-in-hand with HTML to style web pages. It's straightforward and less intimidating than other programming languages.
- Python: Python is a highly readable language that's easy for beginners to pick up.
- C: One of the oldest programming languages, C has a simple syntax so it’s easier to learn.
Advanced programming languages to learn
The hardest languages to learn tend to be obscure or have niche use cases. Some common ones are Malbolge, Haskell, and LISP. Luckily, you can have a successful coding career without ever using some of the harder-to-learn programming languages.
More common programming languages that are hard for beginners to learn are:
- C++: While C++ is an extension of the C language, it uses object-oriented programming, which can be challenging for first-time coders. Its complex syntax, manual memory management, and steep learning curve make it more difficult to learn.
- Swift: Developed by Apple, Swift is a powerful programming language for iOS and macOS applications. Swift can be challenging to learn due to its unique syntax and the need to learn specific tools and frameworks for Apple development.
Start your coding journey with Multiverse
Learning to code can be an exciting and rewarding journey. Coding can be challenging, but you can make progress if you set meaningful goals, practice regularly, learn from experienced developers, and explore apprenticeship opportunities.
If you're looking to fast-track your coding skills and gain valuable professional experience, apply for a coding apprenticeship with Multiverse(opens new window). You'll benefit from hands-on learning and the support of industry experts, all while working on real projects. To get started, create a profile and Multiverse will reach out to you to discuss your coding goals and apprenticeship opportunities.