What does it take to learn code?

Does it take a new MacBook Pro, Windows 10 on a new 9000 Series Dell laptop or maybe Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS on a new System76 laptop? If the computer doesn’t make the code maybe it is the monitor. How about a LG Ultragear 38″ 21:9 Curved monitor? The peripherals? The desk? The office? The list could go on.

I think learning code takes determination and the desire.

Although I suppose it would be possible to learn with just paper I would consider a computer to be the minimum requirement. An internet connection will make the process easier however after the initial setup I believe you could learn off line. Hardware does have costs associated with it but you can do it relatively cheaply. I would like a new System76 laptop running Ubuntu however my current set up is adequate so I can’t justify the price.

I spent $50 for a used Dell laptop that came with no operating system. That $50 gave me everything I needed to get started. Since then I purchase a mouse and keyboard. I use an old monitor when I sit at a table to code. The peripherals do make it more comfortable and possibly faster. My software cost at this time is $0, I am totally open source. Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS is my operation system with python3 installed. Atom is my “hackable” text editor of choice. With that minimum setup I am able to run python code on my computer. It would be difficult without the internet however, I used books to learn before there was an internet.

In theory a Raspberry Pi could also be a possible entry point into the world of computers and learning code. My daughter is using a Strawberry Pi as her main computer with Scratch as a programming language. Again, this is only a theory but at the time of writing this is what I think you would need.

  • Raspberry Pi – $35
  • Power Supply – $7.95
  • 7″ HDMI Display – $62.99
    • More affordable offers exist but would require more research
  • Keyboard and Mouse – $14.99

I didn’t write this to put a price on hardware for coding. I wrote this to say for most people the cost should not be an excuse to not start. I assume if you are reading this you have internet access and interest in learning to code so I encourage you to take the first step. Use your desire and determination and take that step. The internet is full of resources start searching and coding.