Best way to learn Julia
Julia is a general-purpose programming language, meaning you can use it to make different types of projects in different fields.
It is popularly used Data Science, Machine Learning, Data Visualization & Plotting, and Parallel Computing.
Julia is getting a lot of traction from developers and it is quickly growing in popularity, as of 2022, Julia was the 5th most loved programming language according to a Stack Overflow survey. It is loved by 72.51% of professional developers.
There are some best ways you can follow to learn Julia effectively and quickly. I have outlined the best ways to learn Julia in this article.
These are the guides I use whenever I want to learn a new technology or programming language. If you follow these guides and act on what I have highlighted, you will be able to work with Julia in no time.
Here are the best ways to learn Julia
CHOOSE A PATH
If you want to learn Julia effectively, you must first determine what you want to use Julia for. Julia being a general-purpose programming language means it can be used for more than one purpose.
Julia can be used for Data Science, Machine Learning, Web UIs, Parallel computing, and Data Visualization & Plotting, and more.
Although the basics are going to be the same for all these fields, it is important to choose a field that you are going to focus on.
If you want to use Julia for Data Visualization and Plotting, then you need to understand the fundamentals of Julia and move to packages like Plots.jl, PyPlot.jl, Gadfly.jl, GR.jl, PlotlyJS.jl or Makie.jl.
If you want to use Julia for Data Science, then you need the basics of Julia and a good understanding of packages like DataFlames.jl, CSV.jl, Queryverse, Spark.jl, JuliaGraphs, OnlineStats.jl, etc.
Once you have a defined path, it becomes easy to learn Julia because you will only focus on the technologies and packages that are relevant to your field.
Once you have chosen the path you want to take, you can learn more by watching free tutorials online.
For example, if you want to use Julia for Machine Learning, you can focus on watching tutorials on Machine Learning with Julia.
There are many platforms and channels that offer amazing free Julia tutorials. Youtube is the best platform to find free Julia tutorials.
Channels like The Julia Programming Language, FreeCodeCamp, Abhishek Agarrwal, Derek Banas, and many others offer free tutorials on Julia and many other programming languages.
Once you familiarize yourself with the fundamental of Julia programming through free tutorials, it’s time to practice what you have learned.
Practice is the best way to gain a deep understanding of Julia. Practice, practice, practice, and practice. This is the best way to learn any technology or programming language.
The more you practice, the more you will know how much progress you are making. Whatever you do, don’t think you will learn Julia by merely watching others.
You need to work with the language yourself, only then will you be able to know what is missing and what you are getting.
I cannot say this enough, practice, practice, and practice.
Building a project is among the best way to practice working with Julia. When you have chosen your path and have learned the basics, use your knowledge to build simple projects, then keep working on them to cement your understanding.
In the process of building projects, you will come up against many challenges and bugs, in the process of solving these challenges, you will gain valuable problem-solving skills that will help you beyond those Julia projects.
TAKE ONLINE COURSES
As you build projects, you take a step further and take an online course or a Bootcamp. These online cases especially those offered by big companies like Udacity, or Coursera will help you gain a unique understanding of industry standards.
You can find many amazing Julia courses for machine learning, data science, and more on Coursera, Exercism Julia Track, Julia Academy, etc.
JOIN ONLINE COMMUNITIES
Another best way to learn Julia is to join online Julia communities. These can be Facebook Groups, forums, subreddits, or platforms like Stack Overflow and Github.
Online communities are important to help you keep up with recent development in your field. They can also help you when you get stuck.
TAKE CHALLENGES AND TESTS
Once you have a certain level of understanding of Julia, it is easy to get comfortable. But you must challenge yourself to work on more advanced concepts than those that you are already comfortable with.
You can begin to work on data structures and algorithms, you can also participate in online challenges, hackathons, and tests.
These challenges will help you to develop different ways of approaching and solving problems.
You can find different types of challenges and Hackathons in different fields on Devpost. Devpost is a home of hackathons, by participating in these hackathons, you can win amazing prizes and open up many windows of opportunities.
Reading Julia and programming books is another best way to learn Julia. In my article Should Programmers Read Books, I highlighted the best kinds of books that programmers should read.
Reading books has many great benefits for programmers. It will help you to increase your level of focus and engage your brain in a great mental exercise.
IS JULIA EASY TO LEARN
Julia is generally easy to learn compared to other high-performance languages like C++, Rust, or Go. Julia is easy to pick up even for complete beginners.
Julia has a syntax that is easy to write and understand. Julia also uses multiple dispatch as a paradigm, this makes it very easy to express many object-oriented and functional programming patterns.
Whatever you do, make sure to practice and build projects, this is among the best ways to learn Julia. You should also challenge yourself to learn advanced concepts that may be outside your comfort zone.