Lately, there has been a huge cultural push towards everyone learning how to code. While this may not be a completely realistic expectation, knowing how to code is still a valuable skill and will no doubt become even more important in the future.
Learning to code on your own, if your school doesn’t offer programming classes or if they do not fit into your schedule, can be confusing but thankfully there are now many online resources that can make it much easier. Here are some of the many free sites that are out there to help you get started in learning to code.
2. Coursera hosts Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from a variety of educational institutions around the world. Topics for these courses vary greatly and there is an entire section dedicated to 74 different computer programming courses. Two of the most popular courses are “Programming for Everybody (Python)” via the University of Michigan and “Beginning Game Programming with C#” via the University of Colorado System. The curriculum of these courses is a bit more structured and I would suggest basic proficiency in a language before committing even to a free course offered here.
Academy is the ability to look through the comments on a particular to see what other users have previously asked and get your questions answered. In addition to watching video tutorials, there are also “coding talk-throughs” that show you the code on one side of the screen and the result on the other side. Challenges are also featured within each course to help give hands on experience with the language that you are learning. Both beginner and advanced courses are offered through Khan Academy so this would be a great resource for all levels, especially if you have a specific project or goal in mind when you begin
4. Udemy offers a variety of courses on many different topics, including computer programming. It’s free to sign up for a course but many courses cost money to take. However, there are several free courses such as “Java- The Beginner’s Series.” Courses are taught by other users and can vary in content and quality. Each topic covered in a course is tied to a video tutorial posted by the user. Of all the free online learning sites in this article, Udemy is the most limited but still worth checking out, especially for beginners.
5. w3schools.com is the “world’s largest web developer site” and provides step-by-step tutorials for a variety of different programming languages. Each section dedicated to a particular language begins with an introduction section followed by a how to get started section which can be very helpful to extreme beginners. Of all the online resources here, this one is the least interactive given that you are mainly reading tutorials that include images. However there are also opportunities to “try it yourself” scattered within the different lessons so that you can also have hands on experience and at the end of each section there is also the opportunity to “test yourself” on what you just learned. Overall, this site would be good for those starting out and since all the topics are arranged in the side bar. Intermediate coders seeking clarification on specific topics can also easily use this site to learn more.
These are just a few of the many resources available online when it comes to teaching yourself to code so figure out what language you want to learn and a site that fits with your ability and schedule and get to work! Happy coding!