Claire at codebar Edinburgh

New to programming? Codebar should be part of your learning plan

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New to coding? CodeClan graduate Claire explains why codebar workshops are an ideal learning experience for aspiring programmers.

Learning to program has never been easy, but with the languages, frameworks and tools available these days, negotiating the coding landscape as a total newbie can feel like hacking your way through a jungle. In your pants. Blindfolded.

Even following beginners’ online tutorials can be like reading Linear B, because you can’t ask questions or have things explained differently to help you understand concepts. I don’t know about you, but starting to code can can feel really scary and intimidating.

That’s where codebar comes in. I’ve been attending the Edinburgh codebar meetup since May last year and have found it to be a vital resource as a newbie programmer.

Perfect for newbies

Codebar is free to attend, and the ethos of the meetup is to support people who are underrepresented in the technology sector. Women, people from BAME communities, and people from the LGBTQIA community are especially welcome to attend the monthly event.

The format is simple and really welcoming. The meetup is once a month at CodeClan in Edinburgh’s city centre. After a half hour of chat, beer and pizza (thanks to sponsors Cultivate, CodeClan and Administrate), attendees give a quick intro about themselves and their coding.

Experienced coaches and mentors then pair up with green and newbie coders like myself. What follows is a two-hour personalised tutorial on whatever you’d like to talk about and learn.

You can attend as a complete beginner who has never looked at a line of code, or as a newbie with a project and a specific question that needs answered. Coaches cover a wide range of languages, including Javascript, Ruby, Java, Python and CSS/HTML. Codebar has taught me about logic, classes, regular expressions, terminal commands, Twitter bots and syntax, amongst many other topics.

There is also a range of online courses and resources you can work through to support your learning.

Make new connections

It’s also extremely valuable just to have a chat. There’s a huge amount to learn from asking a software dev about their day-to-day working life and how they learn. I’ve had some excellent recommendations for people to follow on Twitter, podcasts, books and online tutorials. With so many resources online, it’s helpful to get pointers and ideas on what is a valuable use of your time.

If you’re curious about programming and want to dip your toes in the water (which isn’t shark-infested and is in fact very pleasant, much like a tropical lagoon) then I’d recommend coming along to codebar.

There are meetups in both Edinburgh and Glasgow; if you’re at the beginning of your coding journey there’s no better place to start.

Book your free place at the next Edinburgh or Glasgow codebar events.

Interested in sponsoring codebar? Email for more details.

This post originally appeared on Claire’s LinkedIn page.

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