How to kick-start programming, when you know nothing?

As an evangelist for Microsoft, I often get chance to interact with students from different parts of India. It’s always quite inspiring to meet these youngsters who are full of energy and desire to change this world for good.

During my recent trip to Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Sciences, I gave a day-long session on C# and Object Oriented Programming. After the session ended, one of the students hesitantly shared his dilemma with me. He talked about his insecurities and fear of programming and how difficult it is for him to catch up with some of his friends who have been programming since the first day of their college.

Rather frequently, I have started getting this question again and again from these future leaders about programming and the starting point to enter into this amazing world of coding.

I am writing this blog post to share my views regarding – How to be a kick-start programming, when you know nothing? I have tried my best to make it as generic as possible but still I am adding a disclaimer that every individual is different. You may or may not agree with my views.

All right! So let’s start our journey –

Firstly, about where to start, I would say in this connected world, we have innumerable resources available at our disposable just a click away.

Try to start learning about technology as if you are in kindergarten. Remember, those amazing days when there was no pressure and you enjoyed solving puzzles by making words.

Start small with no fears – Take any programming language and just start reading about it. Understand it and go slow.

There are some amazing resources and websites available like – which is pretty commendable as it gives you a feeling of accomplishment through its gamified system for completing programs on browser based system.

My favorite portal is due to availability of a large number of courses and pretty active forums to clear my queries.

Dilemma Stage after a week: Just by coding on these portals for 6-7 days, you can’t expect overnight success or achieve the “THE CODER” tag in your community and college. It takes lots and lots of effort initially to learn programming.

I really like this learning curve: 

I would suggest reading at least one book every month so as to understand the nitty-gritties of your preferred platform or language.

Start with something simple like “Let us C by Yashwant Kanitkar” and then move ahead slowly to slightly complex books. You can easily find multiple books according to your interest and technical aptitude.

Now, once you get a hang of the basics of your preferred programming language, it’s time to actually start building a solution. It can be anything – a calculator app, a chat bot, a small website based on RSS feed, solving problems on competitive programming websites or literally anything.

As long as you are applying your learnings in building something – You are on your way to become an expert.

Take help of various video tutorials and courses available online to give you a kick-start in actually building a solution.

I personally love MVA aka Microsoft Virtual Academy (I know its shameless self-promotion, but still, its literally the best). With more than 500 courses along with accessibility to download all the resources without paying a cent makes it my go-to portal for  technical learnings.

Pluralsight is another amazing portal with more than 4000 courses and detailed assessments. I have done a lot of courses on it for web platform BUT Its paid – tsk tsk L.

Attention MSDN Subscribers: There is a good news for you! MSDN Subscribers get Pluralsight membership free for 6 months and also amazing discounts and offers for extending it.

Here’s a list of resources which I really like:

  • Code Academy
  • Code School
  • Pluralsight’s Programming for Kids
  • Head First Books
  • Khan Academy
  • Hour of Code
  • New Boston Videos on Youtube

I would conclude with this statement that – Programming requires patience, willingness to learn and positive mindset to excel. No good thing has even been done overnight except scoring 40 marks during engineering in just one night ;)

So, until next time – Rise and Shine.

I look forward to know more about your journey on “How you entered into programming world” and any other related information.

Feel free to comment, rate or tweet me at :-)