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The top 5 resources for learning how to code

It's not that hard to enter The Matrix...

2w ago

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With start-up culture raging all around us and Jeff Bezos earning enough money to buy every human on earth, it's only rational that some people want a slice of the tech pie! Jokes aside, a lot of these companies are clearly the future of the global economy and, unlike more traditional industries such as finance or law, self-taught programmers are in high demand! It's an industry where genuine problem-solving ability is valued more than fancy pieces of paper.

Contrary to popular belief, the online tools for learning to code are remarkably accessible these days. For example, during my time working for tech start-ups in marketing, I wanted to get a better understanding of JavaScript...just to get a little context of what the development department were working on. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Steve Wozniak, but after 6 months I did achieve a solid understanding of basic JavaScript and (most importantly) sounded way less stupid in company meetings. So if I can do it anyone can!

With this in mind, here are some great tools I discovered for people that want to dip their toes into coding:

Smartphone apps: Encode, Enki and Grasshopper

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

The best introduction to coding may be sitting in your pocket right now! Three of the best mobile apps for learning to code are Encode, Enki and Grasshopper. Encode is only available on Android, while Enki and Grasshopper are available on all smartphones. Both Encode and Enki are fantastic introductions to coding, teaching you the basics of languages such as: HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Python. Both of the apps also have a really clever interface which mimics a computer screen, making it easy to apply what you've learned when you're at the PC. Grasshopper is Google's attempt at a "learn to code" app focused mainly on JavaScript. The app has a very unique approach, making you solve fun puzzles via code.

Udemy

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Udemy is an open marketplace for educational content. However, don't let that discourage you as Udemy's standards are infamously high so, unlike most learning marketplaces, the quality of courses is top notch. As a result of its open nature, there are tons of programming courses on Udemy, but some good names to look out for are Colt Steele, Andrei Neagoie, Rob Percival and Jose Portilla - these instructors are the best of the best and can take you from complete beginner to intermediate level! Also, don't be afraid of the high course prices because Udemy often has massive discounts on all of their content, to the level where you can get courses for as little as $10 or so (there are also many places online where you can get discount codes with a simple Google search).

The Odin Project

Credit: theodinproject.com

Credit: theodinproject.com

A common complaint of most coding courses is that they teach theories well, but don't let you create your own projects and learn the nitty gritty elements of programming. The Odin Project is a free resource that aims to solve this problem - the platform focuses on letting the learner work in online groups to achieve larger projects. This innovative, community based approach allows the learner to build up a real portfolio while avoiding the common pitfall of getting stuck on a problem and feeling like you're on your own. This is a great platform for those that want to dive right into project work!

freeCodeCamp

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

Fair warning in advance, freeCodeCamp (FCC) is a bit of a beast. The website is famous for not holding your hand at all, so you'll often have to use plenty of initiative when you're stuck on a problem - this could be via Google, speaking to people on the FCC forum, or searching the venerable Stack Overflow website. As a result, FCC is better suited to slightly more advanced students who already have a decent grasp of the fundamentals and want to challenge and improve their skills. The benefit of this rigour is that FCC's qualifications are some of the most highly regarded within the online/self-taught sphere.

Codecademy

Credit: Canva Pro

Credit: Canva Pro

Codecademy is similar to freeCodeCamp, but slightly more beginner friendly. The interface tends to hold your hand a little more throughout the syllabus, which may be useful for students that want a thorough grounding in their chosen language before tackling daunting algorithms. One of the big advantages of Codecademy is the broad variety of topics covered - the languages covered range from the standard HTML, CSS and JavaScript, all the way to more niche languages such as Ruby on Rails, Angular JS and Python (among many others!).

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Comments (8)

  • My 9 year old wants to learn to code Roblox games, I'll have to look into these!

      18 days ago
    • Even I got curious about Roblox Martyn! Haha...I'm a big kid really! 😂

        18 days ago
    • I tried to follow a tutorial with him to make a sword fight game- we didn’t get far though! 😕

        18 days ago
  • Great article. I've been wanted to steer my oldest son (9th Grade) in this direction, as this is the future field with the most promise.

      18 days ago
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