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  • A screenshot of code with an overlay of a confused looking cartoon face.

    Learn the Basics of Coding!

    Sophie Harrison

    Learning to code can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. The basics of coding are essential in today's technology-driven world, and with the right tools and knowledge, anyone can become a proficient coder. Here’s a short guide on how to learn the basics of coding, the best applications to use, and some beginner's knowledge to get you started.

    1. Understand the basics of coding:

    Before diving into coding, it's crucial to understand what coding is and how it works. Coding is essentially the process of creating instructions that a computer can understand and execute. There are many programming languages that you can learn, but the fundamental concepts are similar across all of them. These concepts include variables, loops, functions, and conditionals.

    To start learning coding basics, we recommend finding a beginner-friendly resource that can provide you with a solid foundation. Online resources like Codecademy, FreeCodeCamp, and Khan Academy are great places to start. They offer free, interactive courses that cover the fundamentals of coding.

    2. Choose the right coding applications:

    Choosing the right coding applications can make a significant difference in your learning experience. There are many coding applications available, and the right one for you will depend on your level of experience and the programming language you want to learn.

    For beginners, we recommend starting with a text editor like Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, or Atom. These text editors are free and provide an easy-to-use interface for writing code. Once you've become more comfortable with coding, you can move on to more complex integrated development environments (IDEs) like Eclipse, IntelliJ, or Visual Studio.

    3. Understand the basics of a programming language:

    Each programming language has its own unique syntax and rules, but the basic concepts are similar across all languages. Understanding the basics of a programming language is essential to becoming a proficient coder.

    The four basic concepts that all programming languages share are variables, loops, functions, and conditionals. Variables are used to store data, while loops allow you to execute a block of code repeatedly. Functions allow you to group related code and reuse it throughout your program, and conditionals are used to make decisions based on certain criteria.

    4. Practice, Practice, Practice:

    Practice makes perfect, and the same holds true for coding. The more you practice, the better you'll become. Start by writing simple programs, and then gradually move on to more complex ones. Don't be afraid to experiment and make mistakes; this is how you'll learn and grow.

    There are many websites and resources that offer coding challenges and exercises to help you practice your skills. Some popular ones include HackerRank, LeetCode, and Project Euler.

    5. Join a coding community:

    Joining a coding community can be an excellent way to learn from other coders and get feedback on your work. There are many online coding communities, such as GitHub, Stack Overflow, and Reddit's r/learnprogramming subreddit.

    Participating in coding communities can also provide you with opportunities to work on open-source projects and collaborate with other coders. This can help you develop your skills further and build your portfolio.

    In conclusion, learning to code takes time, patience, and dedication. By understanding the basics of coding, choosing the right applications, and practicing regularly, you can become a proficient coder. Joining a coding community can also help you stay motivated and learn from others. With these tips and resources, you can begin your coding journey today.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • A screengrab of blog author Sophie Harrison’s LinkedIn profile featuring her profile picture, background photo of mountains, and her school details.

    LinkedIn Tips for College Students

    Sophie Harrison

    LinkedIn is a powerful tool that allows students and professionals to connect at the click of a button. Due to this, it has become a handy platform that allows its users to utilize networking, career building, and job hunting. Here are some ways to promote your LinkedIn to create an effective page.

    Professional Profile Picture

    For starters, the importance of a strong profile picture and background is something you need to prioritize. A common issue is that you may not have a professional headshot. I have good news: two options can help you outside of scouting through old pictures of yourself. For instance, most colleges offer free headshots in their university career center or have specific days during a career fair or welcome week. However, if this is not available at your college or you are currently not in school, you can take a fantastic headshot at home. All you need is good lighting, a solid background, a professional shirt, and either a self-timer or someone to take the picture for you. In addition, choose a neutral background image that supports what you are interested in, such as an art piece. The profile picture and background you choose reflect your brand.

    Simple Introduction

    Next, the introduction should be clean, simple, and straight to the point. The headline is where you can put current info that stands out. For instance, you can put what you currently do: Pearson Campus Ambassador, Student at this University. Underneath that, you can re-enter your current position, education, location, and industry. Think of this as another opportunity to show off more about you.

    Write in Your Job and Educational Background

    List your work experience in chronological order in the Experience section underneath your headline. Show how long you were at a position, the location, job type, company, and add details about the position. The description section allows you to highlight the noteworthy details of your role in a brief informative paragraph. Since the section is short, highlight your achievements and the overview of what you did. The specific details are for your resume. Add anything relevant to your goals and career path. Include jobs that showcase your knowledge and experience of the industry.

    LinkedIn Extras

    The next sections cover education, organizations, licenses, and certifications where you can highlight what you studied. Specifically, you can list out major, minor, concentration within the field of the study section and then list out your activities and societies while there. Show off your well-rounded side and let employers or colleges see your interests. Keep this section brief and more of an ordered form. In the Organizations section, you can list the specifics, the purpose, and position. This is a great way for you to highlight your involvement. Similarly, the Honors and Awards section is where you can list out things you’ve won and where they occurred. Furthermore, if you’ve taken a separate class where you’ve gotten a certification such as being CPR trained or having a license in Excel you can place that here.

    The Courses section is useful to utilize, as well. It allows employers to see if you’ve taken relevant coursework and how far you are in your degree program. Additionally, I recommend filling out the Skills section and taking the skills tests if you can. It allows you to show off your skills and what you are talented in.

    I hope that this gives you an idea of how to develop your LinkedIn further to benefit you so that you can highlight yourself more proficiently and build your network.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started!