A level student thinking of becoming a coder. A level student thinking of becoming a coder.
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  1. #1

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    Default A level student thinking of becoming a coder.

    A friends son has ideas of becoming a developer but he's only on his first year A levels. Can you experience coders (or parents of budding coders) give me some advice how to take the first steps?

    What language/platform should he start looking at?
    Would a couple of udemy type courses help him start?
    Would getting something like a Raspberry Pi with fun starter kit be a good investment?

    Anything else that might let him have a dabble and see if it's the way he wants to go?

    Many thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    1. What language/platform should he start looking at?
    2. Would a couple of udemy type courses help him start?
    3. Would getting something like a Raspberry Pi with fun starter kit be a good investment?
    1. Urdu.
    2. Yes.
    3. Yes.


    Seriously, I don't think anyone would suffer from learning a programming language. It might help logical, rational and critical thinking. Some strange people find it fun Furthermore, I'm fairly confident that despite offshoring and outsourcing, common sense will prevail and the need for experienced programmers will again be recognised. Most of the offshore programmers have no more than 4 years experience. If they're still there in 4 years, it means they're crap.
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  3. #3

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    If he is only thinking about it now and not coding now - does he really want to deep down?

    My nephew has 10 years coding experience and he is only 20 (gets £50K a year the little git)


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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    A friends son has ideas of becoming a developer but he's only on his first year A levels. Can you experience coders (or parents of budding coders) give me some advice how to take the first steps?
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  5. #5

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    Yeah, what has been said, visual studio code download and a free python course would be a good start.

    Introduction to Python Programming | Udacity

    Pi is probably a better bet for class learning or if he wants to do robotics later.

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    Coding by itself is a hobby. For anything more professional the first thing to decide is what disciplines of the IT world appeal enough that there will be enough enthusiasm to get through the learning curve and enjoy the journey, with an eye on the job opportunities to aim for so can check job ads to see what the requirements are to be achieved.

    So start with looking at the prospects both now and upcoming and find one or two that fit one's strengths and desire, and give them a go via the online courses or YouTube intros. Then best way of learning is to create a simple project and learn along the way.

    IT disciplines like machine learning, AI, AR, VR, digital currencies and blockchain, big data, bots, BI, automation, robotics, web design, front end, back end, cloud, ... plenty of others I can't think of off the top of my head.

    Some suit the more artistic/creative while others suit the more mathematical, and others the analytical, and logical, so a lot depends on the person.

    One thing I would be wary of without deep investigation is going into higher education beyond college, especially now it lumbers so much debt on the participant. Never felt my uni degree got me further than the first job, experience counts for more (so maybe an apprenticeship at a local IT company to get the foot in the door would be an option), though I only ever had one permie job before discovering the life of contracting.
    Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down. Until tomorrow, I'll just keep moving on.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofTarbera View Post
    If he is only thinking about it now and not coding now - does he really want to deep down?
    This! I'm assuming the boy is 16, and perfectly capable of finding all the gadzillions of learn to code resources on the web by himself. Why hasn't he simply got cracking? Maybe he's simply not that enthusiastic about it.

  8. #8

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    I really like the idea of a Raspberry PI with a starter kit if the kid is keen. I bought my kid one and we just finished making it into a Alexa device and that was a great experience. We used the starter kit and breadboard to enable the LEDs.

    If you don't want to spend that much, go for a BBC microbit (BBC micro:bit Starter Kit — Cool Components It's less than £20 and he can learn to use python to interact with sensors and leds

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    +1 for learning Python.

    That and SQL should get you through most stuff.
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