If you’re reading this article in 2022 and beyond, one thing’s for sure: every company in the globe is ready to compensate good developers with their weight in gold!
Coding skills in programming languages such as Swift, Ruby, and Python are in very high demand, and people who know them well are guaranteed a very lucrative career, with salaries often reaching six figures.
First, the bad news: learning how to code is hard. There’s just no way around it. Especially if you have no previous experience in the field, programming is going to be challenging.
The good news is, despite the difficulties, learning how to code is achievable.
The even better news is that you don’t necessarily have to go back to school or even pay a dime to learn how to code.
These days, the world seems to be revolving around programmers. Therefore, you will find a growing list of online resources out there (often for free) that will help you get into the mindset of a successful developer.
A career in computer engineering is a lucrative prospect for anyone in the 21st century. In this article, we’ll be exploring some of the best ways to learn coding and answering important questions along the way.
Before You Start: Some Practical Tips
Before we start talking about the best ways to learn coding, it’s worth it to delve a little deeper into the philosophy of programming.
After all, if a high salary is your only motivation, although perfectly acceptable, may quickly lead you to a burnout and feelings of uncertainty.. Here are some handy beginner tips to get you on the right track.
Understand the Basics Of Coding
According to the old adage, “you can’t run before you can walk.” It’s an often occurrence with aspiring programmers to start with plenty of enthusiasm and then give up as soon as the learning curve starts getting too steep.
Having a basic theoretical knowledge of web development and computer programming can help with understanding the bigger picture of what exactly it is you are trying to achieve with your code.
Take some time to learn about the difference between programming languages, and the different types of web development (front-end v. back-end, for example). It will help you a lot in the long run.
Code As You Learn
They say practice makes perfect, and nowhere is this more true than in the world of coding.
To learn how to code efficiently, you should apply your newly-found skills to solving real-world problems as soon as possible. When you “code as you learn,” you’ll have a much higher chance of your knowledge sticking with you and you’ll start building a portfolio right from the start.
This is especially important because future employers won’t be impressed by what you say you know. On the contrary, a selection of cool projects that show a hands-on knowledge of your field is most likely to catch their eye.
Find What You Want To Specialize In
When you’re trying to learn a new programming language, it is important to understand the impact you want to have with it. Think of each one as a tool: it’s not enough to know how to use one; you also have to know what you want to do with it.
Therefore, it is important to learn what you want to specialize in, so you can learn the right skills for it. Among others, you might want to learn programming to:
- Develop apps for mobile devices
- Build websites
- Develop videogames
- Analyze big data
- Create art
All of these highly specialized fields use a different stack of programming languages. Hence, it is crucial to have an idea of what you want to do before starting to learn how to code. Otherwise, you risk spending valuable time on something you’re not going to use.
Try To Learn Coding By Hand
Writing your code down on paper sounds like an insane proposition: you can’t test it, you can’t debug it, and of course, you can’t run it. So why is writing your code on paper important?
This trick is mostly useful to familiarize yourself with the syntax of each programming language and to build a more solid understanding of it in your mind.
Plus, programming interviews often require written tests you’ll have to pass by evaluating or writing code by hand. Approaching code like the mathematical problem it is can help you improve your algorithmic thought.
Use Online Resources To Your Advantage
When you get your “whats” and “whys” in a row, it is time to decide what’s the best way to learn coding to achieve your goals. There are many online and offline options for total beginners. Before you start searching for one, think about the following:
- Are you able to motivate yourself and follow through with your studies? If so, an online course can be a great option. If you are the sort of person that needs an extra push, then finding a tutor might be a much better option. It’s all about being honest with yourself!
- Online courses are practical, but they offer no chance of networking and they often lack the rapport of a classroom environment. If you want to make some connections or if you feel learning is easier with friends, an e-course might not be the best option for you.
- Your time budget and your money budget. Or, in other words, how much time and money can you invest into your personal development? With the multitude of free resources available online, we think the quality time you invest is much more important, but paying for a course might be helpful as well.
Best Ways To Learn Coding Online
As we mentioned above, there are plenty of free and paid resources available to teach yourself how to code online: from subscribing to specialized Youtube channels such as the CS Dojo, Academind or The Net Ninja to coding boot camps and online learning platforms, there is little that can stop you from achieving your goals.
Below, we’ll list some of our favorite resources for learning how to code online, regardless of your skill level. Check them out and select the best one for you!
Created in 2011, Codecademy has a high reputation in the coding education space. Self-directed students will find plenty of free courses to build their coding skills, and more advanced students could opt for Code Academy’s pro subscriptions. With over 45 million users, Code Academy remains one of the best all-around platforms for coders of all skill levels.
- Well-established online coding platform.
- Offers pro subscriptions as well as free courses.
- A wide variety of coding languages offered.
- Provides an app to learn coding.
- Doesn’t offer professional accreditations.
- Students need to pay for the full Codecademy experience.
Coursera is an excellent option for coders who want a college curriculum-style education. As one of the most extensive massive open online courses (MOOC) platforms, Coursera offers a wide range of lectures on all the major coding languages. Completing a Coursera course may also grant students special diplomas and certificates.
- A huge database of coding expertise.
- Access to lectures from the top minds in the coding field.
- Some courses offer certificates and accreditations.
- No personalized guidance with professors.
- Not ideal for students who need a lot of hands-on experience.
Khan Academy has become well-known on YouTube for offering hundreds of free videos on various disciplines. Those interested in coding can find plenty of beginner-friendly videos on this non-profit’s website. While these courses may not be as robust as on other sites, they offer a fantastic introduction to many fundamental coding concepts. Plus, who could argue with free?
- High-quality videos are available for free.
- Easy-to-follow lectures are great for beginners.
- Decent variety of coding concepts covered.
- Not intended for advanced coders.
- Not as interactive as other platforms.
Like Coursera, Udacity is a well-known MOOC that offers lecture-style courses on coding. In fact, this online platform provides quizzes and seminars dedicated to a multitude of tech-related disciplines. Although Udacity has connections with top-tier universities, it suffers from many of the issues Coursera does. Students need to be highly self-motivated to get the most out of Udacity courses.
- Connections with top universities like Stanford.
- Long reputation in the MOOC space.
- Countless lectures and quizzes on coding concepts.
- Requires extremely self-motivated students.
- Some courses can be pricey.
Unlike the other options listed above, Code Avengers doesn’t feature long lectures and videos. Instead, this platform is designed to get people to learn coding from day one. Students who prefer to “learn by doing” will pick up many helpful habits with a Code Avengers subscription. Just bear in mind there are limited fundamental teachings on Code Avengers, which may make this platform best suited for those with some prior knowledge of coding.
- Ideal for coders who want to practice their skills and take quizzes.
- Offers multiple programs for educators, beginners, and advanced learners.
- High-quality customer care division.
- Not ideal for people who enjoy lecture-style courses.
- May not be the best for those with zero knowledge of coding.
Pluralsight is a coding education portal that grants access to dozens of interactive courses with high-quality instructors. Although anyone could gain value from Pluralsight’s platform, it tends to be best suited for people with prior coding knowledge. People who gain the most out of Pluralsight are often working professionals or intermediate students looking to enter a coding profession.
- Access to many high-quality video courses on various coding languages.
- User-friendly interface.
- Excellent resources for professional and advanced coders.
- It might be too intimidating for beginners.
- Some reviewers have issues with the Pluralsight app.
Created in 2011, Treehouse is an online platform that aims to diversify the tech field by offering accessible coding education. People who purchase a Treehouse account will have access to multiple courses that incorporate both video learning and practice. While there’s no personalized guidance on Treehouse, many users report feeling engaged while using this site.
- Highly intuitive and engaging platform.
- Uses both video learning and quizzes for a mix of theory & practice.
- Top-tier customer service.
- No free program available.
- No personalized mentorship.
Udemy is another MOOC that offers lecture-style coding courses with top-ranking professors. Many people who buy Udemy courses are impressed at how affordable these lectures are compared with other platforms. However, some also complain that Udemy’s coding courses are a bit “uneven” in terms of quality. Also, while some of Udemy’s professors offer Q&As, students shouldn’t expect one-on-one guidance.
- Access to a wide variety of high-quality lecture-style courses.
- Affordable MOOC platform versus some competitors.
- Some courses offer Q&A opportunities.
- No personalized guidance.
- Lack of practical skill applications.
Datacamp has been helping aspiring coders learn their craft since 2013. Today, there are hundreds of Datacamp courses for all skill levels taught by many experts in the field. While some people don’t like the brevity of Datacamp’s video lectures, most are impressed with the interactive quizzes and practice sessions. Plus, Datacamp offers a free mode where users can test the waters before buying a subscription.
- Hundreds of high-quality courses for coders of all skill levels.
- Incorporates many interactive sections for real-world practice.
- Free course available to test Datacamp’s offerings.
- Some aren’t impressed with Datacamp’s video lectures.
- No professional certifications are available.