Do you know how to create a program or how to code? Chances are, you’ll either say “Yes, I have since I was 10 years old“, or “No, that’s all foreign to me“. However, these days, being able to at least know the basics of programming is becoming a bit essential for staying ahead of the game. For many job titles, coding experience can actually be a prerequisite that can even replace college experience requirement. What is the major hindrance for individuals wanting to learn this wonderful art? Some say math, however, it’s important to remember that programming is 90% critical thinking, 10% solid math. If you are comfortable with that, then you’ll make great use of the three recommended websites listed below.
Codecademy is one of my favorites in terms of learning the basics of coding. While you will not be a coding machine, this will give you the confidence and the comfort to go a bit further. Codecademy works by allowing you to go through various levels, building on the previous lesson as you move along in learning aspects of code. You choose the language, the lesson does the rest.
Of course, if you want to be a coding basics master, you can go through the Code Year, where you learn all of the available languages, within a year of course.
Treehouse is a programming learning website that goes a bit further than Codecademy in terms of what is available for you to learn. Unlike Codecademy, Treehouse allows you to also learn web design (not just HTML) along with iOS development languages. However, Treehouse is a service that comes with a cost.
The silver plan includes the basics – the ability to watch the videos, get practice and extra help opportunities. If you want a second opinion on your coding work, more coding inspiration, and even more opportunities to practice what you’ve learned, the gold plan might be a better route for you. The silver plan costs $25 a month, while the gold plan will set you back $49 a month.
Treehouse is a bit more expensive, however, compared to Codecademy, you are given a lot more opportunities for feedback and practice.
Learn Python the Hard Way
Learn Python the Hard Way is a beginners guide to programming with a focus on learning the beginner friendly language of Python. Why Python? The language is at a level that isn’t just about basic, boring algorithms, but about something that is still achievable and on a level understandable for the individual just getting their hands wet with programming.
The book comes free online and is available along with a video for $29. That’s a one-time fee, which makes Learn Python The Hard Way cheaper than Treehouse in the long run. There are, however, some drawbacks with this method. First off, you’ll certainly need the self motivation to want to continue on with learning. You certainly have to be a self starter. If you are truly passionate about programming, you will find yourself succeeding with learning to program.
Bonus: iTunes U
A bonus option we will offer up is iTunes U. Through iTunes, iTunes U allows you to learn the basics of Computer Science and just about anything else through the web classes of universities from around the country. From Stanford to UC Berkeley, you can learn about a basics of Computer Science to a more in depth look at coding and iOS app development. I, myself, have made use of Harvard’s Introduction to CS classes with Professor Malan before going on to where I am now, learning Python. It’s a happy medium because it’s free, like Codecademy, engaging like Treehouse, while still perfect for the self starter like Learn Python the Hard Way.