For people who are not in the technology space and do not work with software developers, coding may sound elusive and mysterious. The reality is that with advancements in technology and the internet, everything we use in our daily lives that is digital requires some coding. Even if you are not intending to join the tech scene, picking up some simple coding can help with a variety of tasks. If your goal is to become a fully fledged coding professional, everyone needs to begin somewhere so why not get a head start! Here is a list of widely used, yet easy to learn tools and languages you can start out with.
- HTML and CSS are used for website development. Spruce up your blog or help your friend set up a website for their business!
- SQL is used to pull sets of information from database tables. If you want to look up how many people purchased a specific product between certain dates at a retail company, this is what you would use.
- Python is diverse in its uses but one popular one is for building web applications. While object oriented languages like C++ and Java are popular among enterprise software, they can seem more daunting and require a higher learning curve. Python, on the other hand, is a scripting language that is more suitable for beginners. One of our favorite exercises is to pick a project from “Automate the Boring Stuff with Python” that you have come across in your life.
To get your feet wet, it might not be time yet to spend thousands of dollars on a night school program or even to buy a book. We’ve compiled a list of free resources that can be found on the web to get you started on your coding journey.
- Code Academy
- Code Academy was one of the first free coding schools online and has grown to 45 million students over the past seven years. They offer a quiz tool that helps you decide what language is right for you depending on your goals.
- They have an interactive user interface where you need to practice coding and solve problems while the site gives you real-time feedback. As you get more of the fundamentals down, they’ll introduce increasingly complex problems so that you can put what you learned into problem solving.
- Khan Academy
- Khan Academy provides video lessons on a wide variety of topics but they have a section on coding if you prefer an experience similar to a classroom. Within computer programming, different curriculum depending on the language you want to learn are listed in a hierarchy to easily understand what the course entails. In between sections of courses, you can practice what you learned with multiple choice questions. They also list other suggested resources to supplement your learning.
- Some of their material is done in collaboration with other companies that have insight into specific topics. For example, Khan Academy teamed up with Pixar to release Pixar in a Box, a look inside special effects and graphics for those who are curious how coding and animation tie together.
- EdX is a platform created by MIT to help world-class quality education be accessible to all. They have recorded sessions from Ivy League and other top tier schools from professors that teach in-person courses. This is another option that is similar to enrolling in a class if you prefer to learn that way.
- Lessons require enrollment and if you want certification that you completed the course, there is a fee requirement. Also, some courses are on a set schedule so make sure you double check dates to ensure you don’t miss start times! The introduction to each course is clear on what topics will be covered and if there are expected experience levels.
- Free Code Camp
- Similar to Code Academy, Free Code Camp has guided lessons that teach concepts and lets you practice them in real time. They also have project based courses so that you know how to apply what you learn in real life examples.
- Code Avengers
- The platform is interactive and lessons are designed as games so that you feel like you are playing while learning. They start with a free 10 day trial with unlimited access to their free material and up to 5 lessons of their premium courses. Paid subscriptions start at $29 per month or $20 per month if you sign on for a year.
Thanks to the breadth of knowledge available on the internet, this is only a small sliver of what is available out there to get started on your programming journey. These are just a few of the top picks CacheStack has chosen so you don’t get inundated with choices! Leave a comment below if you have a preferred coding resource you’d like to share with others.