How to start coding as an absolute beginner?6 min read

If you want to learn how to code for free, here’s a comprehensive beginner’s guide on how to get started.

Coding! It seems like code has become the latest and greatest thing to learn in the world of computers and the internet. Every website, app, and software you use is built upon coding. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to read this article right now! Since we can agree that coding is essential, we can move on to how to get started on learning code. Of course, you can pay for coding courses if you really want to. But today, with coding being so popular, you can find many ways to learn to code for free. This is a beginner’s guide on how to get started.

Source: Pixabay

What exactly is coding?

Coding is the act of writing a script in a programming language that a computer can understand. This script tells the computer what to do and how to behave. The code allows the computer to communicate with the other parts of the computer and makes it possible to run programs. There are thousands of programming languages that create computer software, websites, and apps.

Why learn to code?

Coding is such a popular field these days, that people choose to learn it for more than just the practical reason of finding a coding job. Here are some reasons to learn how to code:

1. Making your own website.

Whether it’s your job or a hobby, coding can allow you to build your own website, which is a really cool skill to have. Let’s say you have a service you want to offer, or a blog, a portfolio, or just a fun website to share with others. And if you really feel like you know what you’re doing, you can help others make websites and make some extra money.

2. Start a career involving coding.

There are a number of careers that involve coding. Web development and programming, data analysis, web design, information technology, and database administration are popular career paths that coders choose to pursue. Once you understand coding, your career options are greater.

3. Start your own business.

If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, learning how to code can give you the tools you need for creating a business. If you want to build a web product, software, or app, for example, knowing how to code can give you full control of your website and therefore the success of your business. And it will save you lots of money by not having to pay someone else.

4. Learn for the sake of learning.

You can also learn to code for the pleasure of it! It can give you a better understanding of technology and the way the computer world works. It will most probably come in handy at some point, too.

How to get started

There are all kinds of coding. You can learn the general basics, HTML, CSS, Javascript, WordPress, and much much more. Depending on the platform you wish to use and the topics you want to study, there are various websites that you can learn to code for free. Here are some popular choices among coding beginners.

Source: Pixabay

Online “101” classes:

Codecademy

This is the most popular site to learn how to code for beginners.

Coding topics: coding basics, like HTML & CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, Angularjs, The Command Line, and more.

freeCodeCamp

An online coding school with an established curriculum and hands-on experience.
Coding topics: HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, JavaScript, Databases, DevTools, Node.js, React.js, and D3.js.

Coursera

You’ve probably heard of Coursera. They offer courses on a wide range of topics, including coding, and are taught by real professors. The courses themselves are free but there’s a fee if you want to prove completion of the course.

Coding topics: too many to list!

edX

They are an open-source education program by MIT and Harvard.

Coding topics: Java, C#, Python, and more.

Codewars

This site is for the game lovers. It’s a fun way to learn coding with a martial arts theme.

Coding topics: CoffeeScript, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Java, Clojure, and Haskell.

GA Dash

General Assembly’s completely project-based educational platform. It’s perfect for hands-on learners.

Coding topics: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and responsive design.

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy wants to provide free world-class education to everyone, everywhere. They have tons of coding courses, even for young children.

Coding topics: Javascript, HTML/CSS, SQL, and much more.

The Odin Project

The free version of the Viking Code School (a coding bootcamp). You can even work with others in person or online in the study groups.

Coding topics: HTML, CSS, JavaScript & jQuery, Ruby programming, Ruby on Rails.

Udacity

You can take individual coding courses for free or “nanodegrees”, a cute term for programs for specific career-related topics like web development and data analysis. The nanodegrees are at a cost, though.

Coding topics: So many!

Source: Pixabay

Youtube video lessons:

LearnCode.academy

This youtube channel has tutorials focused on web development.

Coding topics: Sublime Text, Responsive Design, Node.js, Angular.js, Backbone.js, deployment strategies, and more.

ProgrammingKnowledge

This is great for real beginners, with step-by-step instructions on coding basics.

Coding topics: Java, Python, C, JavaFX, Android programming, Bootstrap, and more.

Thenewboston

With nearly 2 million subscribers, this is clearly a popular choice for video tutorials on coding. There are over 4,000 videos on a range of topics.

Coding topics: Android development, C programming, MySQL, Python, and more.

Derek Banas

He makes videos on coding languages that are thorough and specific.

Coding topics: Java, Ruby, PHP, C++, HTML, Android, Python, Assembly language, and more.

Have you read:

Blog sites:

David Walsh

The senior developer of Mozilla created a full blog providing coding tutorials, demos, articles, and so on.

Coding topics: Javascript, API, React.js, jQuery, Node.js, and much more.

Softwarehow

A problem-solving blog with tips and tools on how to deal with common technical problems.

SitePoint

A user-friendly site that features many writers with frequent publications of articles, ebooks, and has courses on a range of coding topics.

Coding topics: HTML, CSS, blockchain, WordPress, and so on.

Tuts+

This site offers various free tutorials and tons of expert-instructed videos. The full coding courses are at a cost, however.

Coding topics: CSS, PHP, Node.js, Javascript, AJAX, and tons more.

A List Apart

A development and design blog that offers books, articles, events, and more.

Coding topics: technical and general topics revolving around code.

Universities:

University of the People

We offer both associate and bachelor’s programs in Computer Science that are tuition-free and fully online. See more about the degrees here.

MongoDB University

They offer free online courses in video form. Over 200,000 students have taken their online courses. You can check out their online course catalog here.

MIT OpenCourseware

MIT has an open online library for every course they offer with no required account to access it. They offer courses from the basics to mastery-level coding. Get more information here.

Stanford Engineering Everywhere

Stanford Engineering Everywhere is a division of Stanford University that offers free online courses on computer programming, artificial intelligence, and more. See their course options here.

You may be thinking, “Wow, so many choices!” But these are actually only a few!

The options are endless when it comes to learning how to code. Whether you like to learn by video tutorials, by reading how-to articles, or by taking full courses with exams and all, you can learn how to code for free and at the convenience of your computer. Good luck with your coding adventures!

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