How can a non-coder get started on coding?

I’d really like to start contributing in TANGIBLE ways,

And I’m sure other people might feel the same.

@dirvine, any tips on how someone who doesn’t know how to code can get started?

Maybe a few basic steps? Like:

  • install Linux/Ubuntu etc
  • learn basics of C+ on YouTube
  • download from GitHub

Idk, I would just really like to get started (and I already got Ubuntu and practiced some commands, pretty exciting stuff!)

How would you recommend for someone brand new to coding to start becoming a contributor?


testnet2 (the current one) will provide installers etc. so no code required. You will start to see apps form the different projects very soon after that I imagine. This is the exciting part now, we will get the next 2 sprints done and you will start to see some pretty cool things happening :smiley:


This is great news, but @whiteoutmashups has a great point when extended to apps, etc. I understand that Javascript is easier to get started with than many programming languages. Would that be a place to dive in to be able to start making apps on the SAFE platform?

I know there are many people who are miles ahead of us mere nerd-wannabes, but getting some digital dirt under my fingernails would help my sense of helplessness, at the very least. Might even be able to do something useful.


Yes the maidsafe-dev packages will hopefully be supplied with many API’s including nodejs python etc. That will be good to get started with.



Apps would probably be easier to start with than the main codebase :smile:

And API is like a toolkit, right? So it should be something that helps people get started?

And OK, so would you recommend us noobs to start looking into Python, perhaps? We’ve said javascript but I looked it up and it looks like python is also simple but sounds like its really powerful as well.

(just to be safe, I’ll start practicing with it anyways lol)


Python it is then :slight_smile:


Great place to start learning python.


No love for javascript :wink:

Personally, I prefer JS. It feels more like the language of the web, and you will end up using it anyway (whether it will be just jQuery or Angular/Ember/whathaveyou, or nodejs, or full stacks like MEAN or Meteor).

Useful readings

(1) Eloquent JavaScript
(2) Mozilla Developer Network

Also, regarding codecademy. I’d advise using it as an additional rather than primary tool for learning. It sometimes gives you the fake sense of acomplishment, and (for me at least) was always less useful than just writing a piece of code and firing it up on my own.

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Was considering learning JS myself and was told that How to Learn JavaScript Properly was a good resource for a newbie.

Do you have any experience with this resource at all?

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The reason I didn’t list it is that it is not a resource in itself, rather, it leads to two non-free books, plus I think it’s a pretty demanding course for a complete beginner. ‘JavaScript: The Definitive Guide’ is a really good albeit a big book (it could serve as a murder weapon, for sure), I haven’t read the other one.

If you feel like you can commit time to it, go for it, but don’t get discouraged if you struggle to keep within the timeframe of the course. Personally, I doubt if I could make it in 7-8 weeks but maybe it’s because of my being more of a humanist kind of thing.

Oh, and one thing that I find constantly useful is Firefox’s Scratchpad (Developer > Scratchpad) that allows you to write JS and test it pretty nicely with the Console.

Best of luck! :smile:


One more useful resource.
Free programming books @ github (plenty of books for virtually any language)


Wow that is a great resource, Github is so useful…thanks for sharing.

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You are most welcome.

And, if I may prophecize a bit, you really want to check Meteor :slight_smile:


SourceLair seems to be a great place to also start for in browser development. It’s what I wanted Codecademy to be, but…

Read about on Techcrunch

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Ok question, and I know this may be rather silly at this point, but what with all the rust talk and what not I’m wondering. What language is maidsafe being coded in at the moment? I’m confused. If I was to try to learn to theoretically help (good luck with that but hey a guy can dream) what language would I aim to learn? What is it a combination of C++, python and Rust?

The core layer is being developed in Rust. Apps that run on top of that can be written with all kinds of languages, as they can just send commands and requests to the core layer. They don’t need to be written in the same language to be able to do that.


And that’s the big advantage with rust? I think I finally got it. :smiley:

No, that’s not really unique. The big advantages of Rust are that it enforces best practices through the compiler, it makes the build and testing process easier, and it’s concurrency model is supposedly better (execution of multiple tasks in parallel). Anyway that’s how I understand it, I’m still a Rust novice.


There’s a lot in that “best coding practices” bit.

For example, Rust removes scope for a lot of bugs (especially memory leaks which also increases security).

Rust makes documentation, testing, even benchmarking all very easy to code and do automatically, plus sharing of libraries and handling of dependencies between code is all very much easier.