It’s that time of year again — the time for making New Year’s resolutions! It can be tempting to set big, life-changing goals. But the loftiest resolutions are usually the first to be abandoned. This year, let’s resolve to make resolutions we can keep.
Every major accomplishment requires a smaller first step. You can’t run a marathon before you can run the first mile, and the same goes for learning how to code. Before you can code a website, you need to learn to write your first “Hello, World!” Before you can become a Data Scientist, you need to learn how to acquire data. Resolving to take the first step is the easiest way to ensure you get started down the road to success this year.
Starting small: Inspiration for your 2024 resolutions
To help you start 2024 on an inspired and motivated note, Codecademy Curriculum Developers shared some ideas for bite-sized goals you can set for yourself this year. We’ve broken them out into a few categories — goals for getting started, building your portfolio, becoming an active community member, tracking your progress, and more.
Resolve to get started with coding
Brand new to coding? The best way to get started is to just dive in. So make a resolution to take the first step in the beginning of 2024. Here are a few ideas for resolutions you can choose to get started with coding this year:
- I’m going to write my first program that prints “Hello, World!” This is one of the first things you’ll learn in our Code Foundations Path.
- I’m going to learn how to install a language on my computer.
- I’m going to learn how to use a text editor on my computer. We recommend Visual Studio Code (VSCode) if you’re not sure where to get started.
- I’m going to create a GitHub account and create a repository to share my code. Learn more about getting set up with Git and GitHub and making your first pull request.
- I’m going to start collecting a data set about myself. This can be a fun one if you’re interested in data science. It could be anything from how many steps you take each day to what time you wake up.
Resolve to tie your learning to something you enjoy
When you’re just getting started, you’ll be spending time learning the fundamentals and building simple projects. Learning new things is always rewarding, but when you find that first project that really inspires you, you’ll really start having fun! Here are a few resolutions to get you working on something you enjoy:
- I’m going to work on a project that inspires me. Visit our project library for ideas.
- I’m going to find a data set I’m interested in. Check out some of our favorite data sets for inspiration.
- I’m going to build a small applet that’s useful for myself, my friends, or my family.
- I’m going to learn about inspiring tech careers across industries. Read our Cool Jobs blog series to discover the types of opportunities that are out there.
Resolve to become an active community member
Being a part of a community is a great way to keep yourself accountable to your goals and to make your learning journey more enjoyable. You’ll be able to find help when you need it, share your experiences, learn from the experiences of others, and make new friends. Here are a few ideas for becoming a more active community member in 2024:
- I’m going to attend a local hackathon and try to help out on a project. Looking for local hackathons? Check out Major League Hacking or Eventbrite.
- I’m going to participate in a local coding club in my school or town. Codecademy Chapters are a great place to start.
- I’m going to answer someone’s question in the Codecademy Forums.
- I’m going to attend a programming-related meetup or conference.
- I’m going to follow 10 developers on X.
- I’m going to submit my first post on Stack Overflow.
Resolve to make progress on your portfolio
If your end goal is a career in web development or data science then you’ll ultimately need to build a portfolio. Resolve to make progress on your portfolio in 2024 with one of the following ideas:
- I’m going to build a simple portfolio website and host it.
- I’m going to make a website version of my resume.
- I’m going to build one project for my portfolio. Our Career Paths include portfolio-ready projects that you can use when you begin your job search.
- I’m going to send my portfolio to one of my peers to get their feedback.
If you need help building a portfolio, watch the video below for a step-by-step breakdown.
Resolve to make progress on career goals
Whether you’ve been toying with the idea of changing careers, are already in the process, or are interested in learning technical skills to advance in your current job, the New Year is a good time to set some goals to help you make progress. Check out the following goals for inspiration:
- I’m going to search for jobs and look over their requirements. Give our job-readiness checker a spin when you find a position you’re interested in.
- I’m going to complete the first module of a Career Path. We currently offer Career Paths in Data Science, Front-End, Back-End, and Full-Stack Web Development. Consider joining our Full-Stack Chapter to connect with other people on the same journey as you.
- I’m going to speak with someone that works in a field I’m interested in.
- I’m going to put my technical resume together.
Resolve to hone your coding skills
Here are a few ideas for goals that’ll help you become a better and more efficient programmer in 2024:
- I’m going to Google my error and read documentation instead of clicking “Get a solution” right away. To get started, check out Codecademy Docs.
- I’m going to complete a series of code challenges.
- I’m going to contribute to my first open-sourced project on GitHub.
- I’m going to learn to use AI tools like GitHub Copilot to streamline my workflow. We offer a beginner-friendly Intro to GitHub Copilot course that teaches you how to use the AI coding assistant.
Resolve to track your progress
This last batch of ideas is all about tracking your progress. Sometimes tracking and sharing your progress is just the boost you need to keep on going — plus you can look back and see how far you’ve come!
- I’m going to create my own coding journey notebook.
- I’m going to write a blog post about something I’ve learned. Read this story about a learner who started a coding blog that got the attention of an engineering hiring manager and helped her land a job.
- I’m going to set a weekly target and stick to it. Check out our article on tips for staying accountable to your goals to learn more about weekly targets, streaks, and more.
We hope this list has helped you come up with a few bite-sized goals to start the year out on the right foot. To help you get started, we’re currently offering a 50% discount for Codecademy Pro! Sign up now to get access to our Skill Paths, Career Paths, Code Challenges, and everything else you’ll need to achieve your 2024 goals. Then, share your resolutions with us on social media!
This post was originally published in December 2020, and has been updated with additional relevant goals.