Code Your Way to Coding

- Mridula Menon

Audience: New Tech Writers

When I write for writers, be it a blog post, LinkedIn post, or a simple message in a group chat, I try my best to write for that quiet writer sitting in the corner absolutely silent, listening to it all but rarely responding. 

This article is for someone who is new to the writing domain and trying to figure their way out. In other words, the user persona here is a New Writer. 

Why New Writers Get Intimidated

As a new writer when you step into the tech writing world, your goal is to become a wordsmith and write flawless technical documentation. However, you may feel intimidated when you are required to read and comprehend a piece of code. You may have avoided getting into any profile that requires a basic understanding of coding. What you need here is to get comfortable with coding so that you do not feel intimidated because of your lack of knowledge in coding.

Get Started From a Scratch with Scratch

Let me start with a very basic programming language called Scratch. You can easily download it here. It’s a simple-to-use programming platform built for school kids by MIT. Now you might think, do I really need to go that basic? The answer is no, no you do not have to start learning to code from such a basic level. However, I suggested this because whenever we are intimidated by a challenge it is important to accomplish small wins to build the confidence to take up greater challenges. Here are the 5 concepts that you can learn to start programming in Scratch:

  1. Interface
  2. Blocks
  3. Sprites and Backdrops
  4. Events
  5. Control Structures
  6. Debugging

ChatGPT Prompt to learn Scratch: Generate courseware with hands-on exercises on <add the above concepts> for Scratch.
How to get good at this? Start teaching Scratch to school kids.

Time to Go to the Next Step and Start with Python

I strongly recommend getting started with Python as your first programming language. Python was designed to be easy to understand and write. It has a clear and consistent syntax, which promotes readability. This means that Python code is often very similar to English, making it an ideal language for beginners. 

You can download Python from here. Here are the top five concepts that can help you understand the rest of Python as a beginner. 

  1. Syntax
  2. Data Types and Structures
  3. Control Flow and Looping
  4. Functions
  5. Modules and Libraries
  6. Error Handling
  7. Reading and Writing Files

You can always learn these concepts through LinkedIn Learning, the LinkedIn community for Python, Udemy courses, books, and so on. However, if you can focus on these topics you will not feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the study materials available on the internet.

ChatGPT Prompt to learn Python

Generate courseware with hands-on exercises on <add the above concepts> for Python. 

Fun with Web Development


Now comes HTML and CSS codes. No these are not programming languages, but these are markup languages. So both HTML and CSS are about structures and tags that you might be already aware of if you learned DITA. However, using HTML and CSS is not enough. You  need to know how to host your webpage using GitHub. This will help you create great webpages that are static in nature, that is they will not be able to handle any type of data.  Static pages are designed only to display information and not to retrieve or save any data. You can use PenCode to practise HTML and CSS. 

Here is how you can get started with HTML and CSS by learning these concepts:

  1. HTML Document Structure
  2. Elements and Tags
  3. Attributes
  4. Forms and Inputs
  5. Semantic HTML


Without learning and mastering CSS you cannot master web development. CSS is what beautifies the web page and makes it pleasing to the eyes. It can also add print functionalities to a webpage. 

Here is how you can learn, understand, and master CSS:

  1. Selectors
  2. Properties and Values
  3. The box model
  4. Properties and Layout
  5. Units
  6. Pseudo Elements and Classes
  7. Responsive Design and Media Queries.

ChatGPT Prompt to learn Python: Generate courseware with hands-on exercises on <add the above concepts> for CSS. 
Below is your information on how to host static websites on GitHub.

ChatGPT Prompt

Give me simple steps for hosting a static website through GitHub.

About the Author

Mridula Menon is a business leader who is passionate about product knowledge enablement for users. She has proficiently handled many roles in the IT industry. 

Current Role: Global Head of Technical Content/ Senior Manager
Company: Grey Orange
City: Bengaluru
Connect at LinkedIn

“Technology is best when it brings people together.”
-Matt Mullenweg, Social Media Entrepreneur
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