This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

This article was written by Humans of IT Community member Leslie Nicole Ramirez as part of our Guest Bloggers series. The world of programming is filled with 0’s and 1’s – read on to discover how to be a 1 and find your path in the amazing development world. What will allow us to move from Padawan to Jedi? Leslie shares a series of good practices and steps that everyone who wants to be a good programmer should know and put into practice when aspiring to be a good software developer.


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When I was writing this article, I remembered the challenging start of my programming experience. I asked some friends why they choose to be a programmer – the opinions varied by person but all of them match with “the start is the hardest part of the path”. However, what makes it so hard is not so much the complexity of concepts; rather, the most common problem starts with the following questions:


  • Which programming language should I choose?
  • What’s the necessary skill to be a good programmer?
  • How can I pass from 0 to 1?

There is a set of good practices that everyone who wants to be a good programmer should know and employ if he aspires to be a good software developer.


Through this blog post, I’d like provide a panorama view of the world of programming. Not specific to a language or tool, but to show you the general steps that you can follow to getting started in the programming world and what are the steps that will take them from 0 to 1.


Remember, we all start off as a 0 in the world of Programming, but you can learn how to be a 1 and find your path in this amazing development world. That said, let’s tackle the first question that is commonly asked, i.e Which programming language should I learn first?


Firstly, ask yourself, what do you want to do as a programmer? There are many great options, for example:


  • If you wanna do game development, C# and C++ are good options to consider
  • If you wanna create enterprise applications, C# also is a good option
  • If you want to get started somewhere, focus on the languages that are somewhat easier to learn, for example, Python


Before you choose your language, think about the following questions:


  • How’s the community that supports that development ecosystem?
  • Is there enough material to get started without a mentor? (By the way, if you DO need a tech mentor, consider joining the free Microsoft Community Mentors app platform where many MVPs/RDs currently volunteer as mentors!)  
  • Are you planning to start a career as a developer?


 Unicorn tips and answers

  1. If there’s no supportive community in that ecosystem, you will get less information on issues, and questions on what you are learning. And most of the time that ecosystem tends to disappear because it never hooks with the public.
  2. The reality is, most programmers learn by themselves via online courses, YouTube channels or some free online courses. If you’re not able to find good options for doing so in your learning path, maybe reconsider your choice and pick another language to delve into.
  3. If you are planning to get started in the programming world for starting a career and offer your services to big tech companies or maybe as a freelancer, consider looking for jobs offered in different popular platforms such as LinkedIn or Stack Overflow, just to have a grounded opinion of what the companies require of programmers, and from there, work backwards to determine where you should start.


My personal experience

Keeping this in mind, I’ll tell you about my own experience. When I finished school, I already knew that I wanted to study computer science, so I started with a two-year college degree at Technologic of the Americas Institute (ITLA) in the Dominican Republic. In that time, I learned about Java, Pascal, and C#. I fell in love with the last one, because I felt really comfortable with the environment and when I was searching for online resources I found tons of free online courses, tutorials and documentation to start with. After my two years at ITLA, I decided that I wanted to get a job as a programmer. Thankfully, it was relatively easy given that C# and .NET developers are in highly demand worldwide. 


Fast forward to now, I still have no regrets choosing C#. The community is truly amazing and there are a lot of people sharing their knowledge and offering support to others. Many of them inspired me to start blogging about C# in Spanish (my native language) via my blog called where I share my knowledge and experience in the programming world. 


I am fortunate to have had a really good experience in the programming world. Of course, there were bumps along the way, but I loved the journey. 


Based on my personal experience, here’s my advice for how to pass from 0 to 1:

  1. Start doing: Do not spend all your time thinking of what you can do. Instead, learn and choose your path! 
  2.  🧗 Challenge yourself and learn new things. 
  3. 🙋 Get involved in community activities: Your community can make all the difference in your experience. Write a blog. Ask questions in a forum. Think about how you can network with others. Even when you are starting out, your content will be really useful for others that may struggle with similar questions. 

Though general, these steps are what will make all of the difference to kick off learning programming. For more specific technical skills, here are a few more resources that I recommend:


  1. Git for version of control
  2. Programming logic: In this case I choose C# but It’s up to you
  3. Working with and types with C#


Find your bright path through the programming world – you’ve got this! Another great (and FREE!) resource is Microsoft Learn – you will be surprised by the depth of content you will find there. From beginner to advanced levels, MS Learn is a great place to learn at all levels.


My last piece of advice to you is, never give up. As cliché as it may sound, it’s truly important to remember that you will face challenges in your career. Everyone does. You don’t have to know everything, and neither do you need to get all the concepts at once. Do it at your own rhythm. Wish you the best, and hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it.  (♥ω♥ ) ~♪







Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.

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