A 4-Step Guide to Help Beginners Get Started on Coding Projects | Hacker Noon

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Starting something new is always difficult. When I working on my first coding project, I was wondering where to begin. I wondered what technologies I should use and whether I would come up with a good project idea. Today we will be going over my beginner’s guide to coding projects. I want to help you answer the same questions I asked myself when I worked on my first project. This will be especially helpful for people with little to no experience working on coding projects. If this post is helpful, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel or check out my other articles for more content like this!

If you do not have any experience coding, that is completely fine! I recommend you take one of these free, online courses that will teach you the fundamentals of programming and a programming language:

Java (commonly used to develop Android apps, web backends, etc.), Python (commonly used for data science and backend web development), HTML + CSS + JavaScript (used for frontend and backend web development).

1. Identify Your Technologies

I recommend mostly using technologies you are familiar with. You can use at most one or two new technologies. This will add some challenge to the project to encourage you to pick them up as you go, but will not overwhelm you such that you will not be able to make progress. In addition to establishing technologies, you also want to decide on the format of the project. This could be a web app, mobile app, database project, etc — this may also influence what technologies you need to use.

2. Come Up With an Idea

I recommend keeping things simple here. When I was working on my first project, I would keep questioning my ideas. I kept trying to build something innovative, but eventually, I understood that this was not the goal of the project. I should not judge the success of this project on how many users I have or whether I can build the next billion dollar company with it. The goal of this project is for you to learn and so long as you achieve that, the project is a success. Some common ideas for a first project include a personal website, simple mobile app, or following a tutorial and building on top of that.

3. Work on the Project

You need to find what motivates you to work on the project. You want to be working on it regularly. Also, you will inevitably get stuck trying to figure something out or debugging your project. It is important to remember that everyone faces this and that there are plenty of resources out there to help. For example, simply searching the question you have or the error message you received can yield answers. Websites such as Stack Overflow were built to allow the community to help coders who are encountering a blocker. Use these sites to get unblocked and you will be on your way to completing that project.

4. Share Your Project on GitHub

GitHub is a website that allows anyone to view and collaborate on open source projects. GitHub splits these up into repositories of files that make up the project itself. If you have never used git (a version control system) or GitHub, then I recommend reading this guide which will run you through the basics.
Once your project is complete, you should put up your project in one or more repositories on GitHub. This helps for two main reasons. First, you can easily share your projects with others. All it takes is sharing the link to your GitHub profile on your resume for recruiters, hiring managers, interviewers, and more to view your projects. Second, if you are working on a website, GitHub pages takes care of hosting the website for you. All you need to do is upload your files to a GitHub repository, set it up with GitHub pages, and your website will be published at .github.io.

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If you prefer to follow along via my YouTube video, you can watch it here!

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