Going to university, paying for a bootcamp, finding a private teacher, or even taking online courses are all ways to learn programming.

But can you avoid college and learn to code on your own? Thanks largely to the internet, you can learn to code from scratch with going to college or paying for a course. Regardless of how you learn the foundations, independent study will play an important role throughout your career as you encounter new technologies and concepts. A formal education may introduce key concepts but becoming a skilled coder is down to your initiative.

In this article, I will show you why it's not only possible to learn programming on your own but you'll even be a better programmer by the end of it. Here's what you should know.

I am often referred to as an autodidact (self-educated), but that doesn't mean I totally disown traditional teaching methods, rather I compliment them substantially with my own independent learning.

In this article, I am not forbidding you to go to university or pursue paid tuition if helps you grasp an understanding of code.

Look. Here’s a revelation: I didn't learn to code at college, rather, I familiarized myself with programming at the University.

That's because whether you are at a university of following bootcamp or evening course, what you need to know is that becoming a decent programmer depends on you. Your teacher or instructor is not going to make it happen for you.

Wait, so if I went to college, what qualifies me to talk on this subject?

You Won't Be A Good Coder, Until You Learn to Learn for Yourself

My time in college was not as I had imagined.

I encountered courses that I couldn't understand or went too fast and programming languages which were dated or where I had little interest such as Visual Basic.

That didn't dampen my desire to learn code and make things. After all, I wanted something to show for my hard work.

I wanted to build a website, and that's where I discovered HTML, the language for creating web pages. It was in building websites where I found my motivation. So, I started learning HTML on my own. And then I added other languages: C#, JavaScript and CSS.

For one of my college assignments, we were tasked with building a website in a rather simple and old fashioned 'drag and drop' technology (WinForms). I specifically asked the professor if I could use the newer technologies I had been learning in my spare time and he readily agreed. Needless to say, I aced the assignment.

But how was I able to learn programming on my own?

Why the Internet is the World's Leading University

If the Internet ever appeared on the world's university rankings list, it would be well ahead in front.

That's because the resources you can find online for free are as good, if not superior, than what you'll find in the classroom.

Who has never learned anything from the Internet? Much of what you know and learn about the world probably originates online.

You've found your way to this article, right?

We can access more information on our mobile phone in an hour than a medieval person could access throughout a lifetime.

I always tell my friends that I owe most of my knowledge to the Internet, and it's thanks to search engines, blogs and other websites that I learned to create websites, mobile apps and artificial intelligence, for free.

Check out this page for a list of free resources to get you going.

However, I can't deny that having a tutor on hand to support you is an advantage, so where can we go when we need a nudge in the right direction?

Find Yourself a Mentor

Finding yourself someone you can relate to and learn from is one strategy for learning to code.

Just because you're a lone wolf, doesn't mean you shouldn't soak up as much advice as possible.

Often the best advice is advice you don't need to pay for, if it comes from a genuine place and from someone who has going through the sames things as you.

When I first started to learn code, I had a lot of doubts, particularly at the beginning when I just couldn't get my around even the basics.

I was about to give up.

I reached out to a friend, who quickly reassured me and helped to clear up some doubts.

Mentors have aided me ever since and come in the form of friends, colleagues, people I encounter with in public and even people online.

One such place is on the subreddit r/learnprogramming.

For this reason, I've also set up a discord group where friendly faces can exchange advice.

Find someone who inspires you and try to get in touch with that person. If you know they've had to come through a similar experience as you, what have you got to lose?

Final thoughts

In this article would like to challenge you that it is possible to become a good programmer on your own. But that does not mean neglecting a course or training that compliment your journey.

Becoming a good programmer on your own also means working with others and knowing where to seek out knowledge.

When it comes to coding, independent learning never ends, you'll need to be on top of new concepts and approaches throughout your career.