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Lucy Oleschuk
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Programming Beginner Aid: Where Do I Start Programming and How to Succeed

Published in the Random group
Choosing the right learning method and resources is half the battle won when it comes to succeeding in IT and landing a lucrative job. The main factors that contribute to selecting the right learning approach are your current occupation, your tech background, and the ultimate goal you aspire to achieve. Programming Beginner Aid: Where Do I Start Programming and How to Succeed - 1In this article, we'll explore different ways of learning and focus on the opportunities CodeGym offers. Discover the perfect starting point for your programming journey!

Modern learning trends in the USA and beyond

In this section, we dissect the current dynamics, innovations, and transformative shifts shaping how students and career switchers acquire programming skills, both within the USA and globally. First, let's discuss why learning to code is relevant right now.

Why is learning to code still a great idea in 2024?

The facts speak louder than words — whereas the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that job growth for software developers to be 25% between 2022 and 2032 (377,500 new information technology roles per year), a quick search for “developer jobs in the US” on throws up thousands of vacancies. Sounds promising, agree?

Learning trends in 2024

Since COVID-19, education has rapidly transitioned to online, including traditional tech university education. Many educational institutions now offer IT courses and degree programs online ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 yearly for out-of-state graduate tuition in the USA. Online bootcamps offer a quicker and more affordable alternative to traditional universities. With that, it’s quite easy to enter a career in tech after graduation as companies value bootcamp certificates. No wonder coding bootcamps have been rising in popularity each year — American coding bootcamps grew by 3.23% from 2021 (56,917 graduates) to 2022 (58,756 graduates). As of 2023, there were 99 coding bootcamps in the US, according to the 2023 State of the Bootcamp Market R.... Programming Beginner Aid: Where Do I Start Programming and How to Succeed - 2

Source: Career Karma

The trend for online learning will increase in the future — the coding bootcamp market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 19.77% by 2027. The global market size is estimated to increase by USD 1,484.87 million, where North America is estimated to contribute 40% to the growth. Programming Beginner Aid: Where Do I Start Programming and How to Succeed - 3

Source: Technavio

The convenience of online learning appeals to many students, especially those with work or family commitments, making education more accessible to a broader audience. While a Computer Science (CS) degree can open doors to certain opportunities, it’s not essential to secure a job as a software developer. The tech industry is becoming increasingly inclusive of alternative pathways, and even such tech giants like Google and Amazon prioritize practical skills, experience, and a strong portfolio over formal education. Mastering programming skills outside of traditional higher education institutions is a new norm. And this tendency seems to continue growing in the future.

Where to begin programming?

Let’s consider in detail traditional and online ways of learning, both of which can teach you to code from scratch.

1. Obtaining a CS degree in a university

Depending on your career plans, you can decide which type of degree to obtain: Associate degree. An associate degree falls somewhere between a high school diploma and a bachelor's degree. It’s a two-year college degree that you can obtain from a community college, junior college, online university, or even some four-year institutions in the US. It requires you to complete about 60 credits, which typically takes two years if you study full-time. Bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s CS degree encompasses theoretical and mathematical foundations. Depending on the high school you choose, the program may vary, but, most likely, it will include computer programming, computer hardware, software engineering, and artificial intelligence engineering. A bachelor’s degree requires 120-128 credits and generally takes four years to complete (granted that you attend the university full-time). Master’s degree. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, you can apply for a master’s degree. During the post-graduate program, you can broaden your knowledge base and become more proficient in development, troubleshooting, and other topics. Getting a master's degree typically needs 30 to 45 credits and takes 18 to 24 months for full-time students. Ph.D., or a doctor degree. It’s usually the highest degree in the computer science area. Doctoral computer science program focuses on improving your problem-solving, analytical, and research skills. The requirements may vary from program to program, but Ph.D. degrees take 4-5 years to complete. Speaking about the price, in 2022-23, the average yearly tuition and fees for full-time students are: Public four-year in-state: $10,940 Public four-year out-of-state: $28,240 Public two-year in-district: $3,860 Private nonprofit four-year: $39,400. Programming Beginner Aid: Where Do I Start Programming and How to Succeed - 4

Source: Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2022-2023

As you see, a university education is quite time-consuming and expensive. However, it may be an ideal option for individuals looking for a deep understanding of computer science principles and theories. For those interested in research and innovation, a CS degree can also open doors to participate in research projects. Also, academic degrees may be ideal if you want to obtain high-level IT positions faster.

2. Enrolling in a bootcamp

As mentioned above, bootcamps are intensive programs designed to equip students quickly with a new skill set. A bootcamp can either be a fast way to master a new field or advance in your current one. Bootcamps typically require a few weeks or months to complete. Compared to traditional degree programs, bootcamps are not only quicker but also more cost-effective — the average tuition fee is $12,953 according to the 2023 State of the Bootcamp Market Report. Enrolling in a tech bootcamp may be an attractive option for individuals seeking a quick and focused path to acquiring specific skills. Bootcamps focus on hands-on, project-based learning, providing real-world applications of programming languages and technologies. Bootcamps often tailor their curriculum to meet industry demands, ensuring participants learn the most relevant and up-to-date skills employers seek. Also, many bootcamps offer career help — resume building, interview preparation, and job placement assistance. CodeGym University is one of the programs that will equip you with strong coding skills, polish your resume, and prepare you for interviews. After completing the 12-month course, you’ll also get the certificate confirming your deep knowledge of Java software development. CodeGym offers 90-minute online lessons with a mentor, during which you’ll write code, solve tasks, and master different software development tools. The learning costs $84 per month, which totals about $1,000 per program.

3. Taking on an online course

Another alternative education path to a traditional degree is taking an online course. Dissimilar to bootcamps, online courses aren’t so intensive. They allow learners to progress at their own pace, making balancing your coding studies with existing work or other responsibilities easier. Courses are generally more affordable, with many free or low-cost options available. For example, most online tech courses cost up to $50 per month. The price depends on the theoretical materials you get, practical tasks, support, and some other factors. One more benefit of online courses is that they are suitable just for anyone — beginners, working professionals seeking to upskill, career switchers, or just hobbyists looking to explore specific topics. The CodeGym self-paced course caters to newbies and individuals with varying levels of programming experience. It provides a flexible and personalized learning experience. Key benefits of the CodeGym course include 1200+ hands-on practical tasks, coding challenges, and real-world projects. CodeGym offers a gamified approach, turning the learning process into an engaging and interactive experience. Learners receive instant feedback on their code after each practical task, which promotes continuous improvement. With that, the course costs just $29 per month, making it quite affordable for students and career switchers. For the price, the course offers a great value.

4. Self-taught learning via YouTube, tutorials, social media, and forums

If you’re quite a self-organized person with strong time management skills, it’s possible to learn through free resources such as videos, tutorials, social media, and coding forums. Online video platforms like YouTube host numerous coding tutorials and instructional videos. Websites like GeeksforGeeks offer free coding tutorials, documentation, and guides. Social media has become a real phenomenon in recent times. Experienced instructors are extensively using various social media platforms like Instagram to offer lessons on coding. Joining coding communities, such as GitHub and Stack Overflow, or specialized forums related to specific languages allows learners to ask questions, seek guidance, and learn from the experiences of others. GodeGym also has an extensive blog with useful tips and suggestions for learners. Plus, we also offer a forum and chat for collaborative learning.

Are programming bootcamps worth it?

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve collected the thoughts of our graduates who started the CodeGym course without prior tech experience. Alexey Kaseris, an ex-marketologist and sales specialist who started a career in IT from scratch, says, "I liked the CodeGym University online course. It was really important that the course had a structured schedule and a mentor who clearly explained all the materials. The biggest difference between other courses and CodeGym University is that you learn step-by-step, and difficulty increases little by little. You don't need to learn everything at once.” Denis Dudnik, a professional dancer, also believes the mentor's support is especially important for beginners. He says, “When the programming mindset isn’t formed yet, students can’t understand all the things. But when you learn to cope on your own over time, it’s a really cool feeling. I’ve become confident in my skills”. Ilya Kyriliv, a former English teacher, started to learn at his own pace at a self-taught course. Still, after a while, he tried the course with a mentor and ended with it: “The basic points are revealed gradually, and it is very convenient for beginners. It's cool that there is a mentor on the course: psychologically, it makes learning and entering the profession easier. And it’s always nice to know that you always have a person to consult with.” All aforementioned students have completed the course and landed their first IT job. Engaging in communities and getting a mentor's support helped them to overcome all the difficulties and end up with a Core Java certification behind their belt.

Programming upskill: are programming certifications worth it?

No matter what path you choose — learn online or enter the university to obtain a CS degree, you should prepare yourself for lifelong learning. As a coder, staying relevant, adaptable, and innovative is not just advantageous — it's crucial for your professional growth and success. That’s why you need not only to keep up-to-date with the latest technology but also to try to back up your knowledge with relevant certificates.


Online courses have revolutionized the learning processes worldwide, offering a cost-effective and time-flexible alternative to college degrees. By opting for online courses, learners can gain practical skills and hands-on experience in a more tailored and efficient manner. Regardless of your chosen path, learning shouldn’t end with a CS degree or a course completion certificate. The field of programming is dynamic and calls for continuous learning. Remember, the journey is not about where you start but the skills and knowledge you accumulate along the way. Happy coding!