Start small, but think big. Your project should involve skills you currently have in your toolbox, but you should also have a plan for future features and skills you’d need to turn that vision into reality. Without applying your coding skills in a few projects, you wouldn’t even be considered for professional coding gigs—so start planning and practicing. (Our advice? Use your coding chops to build an amazing setup for game night.)
JUST RELEASED! "Makin' Rocks" covers everything I've leaned after 34 years of hard work and experience making a living building things with my hands. I teach people like you how to create the same amazing water features as a master sculptor like myself! With tons of pictures and hand drawn illustrations from decades of work you will see actual project examples of how things get done. And even how to set up your own faux rock contracting business selling $10,000, $15,000 and $20,000 or more projects! Get this book and get in the game!
I recommend checking out CS Dojo, TheNetNinja, and Harvard’s CS50 YouTube channel. If you don’t have time to search for a perfect coding video or channel, you can also check out LinkedIn Learning’s vast video library for vetted and professional-looking tutorials. While the service’s $30/month subscription fee is nothing to sneeze at, you can binge-watch an unlimited amount of content and topics—making LinkedIn Learning a better deal than other on-demand online classes that come with annoying restrictions.
Codewars adds some quirk to the proceedings by offering free coding classes with a martial arts theme. Solving specific coding “katas” (a term for training exercises in karate) will earn you ranks and honors as you move your way to becoming a bonafide coder. Who said learning to code online couldn’t be fun? Codewars also offers one of the more diverse lists of programming languages. Choose free coding classes on:
The programming community is full of people who are willing to help the next generation of programmers. GitHub, the online hangout for developers who use Git to manage their coding projects, is designed for online collaboration. Not only do developers host and share their projects with their peers, they also provide code feedback and general advice to the community.
EdX is another leading online-learning platform that is open source instead of for-profit. It was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, so you know that you’ll learn about cutting-edge technologies and theories. Today, edX includes 53 schools. You probably can’t go wrong with the free Introduction to Computer Science from Harvard University.
Learning is joyful with Khan Academy Kids! Our award-winning app includes thousands of educational activities, books, songs, and games for toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and first graders. A cast of adorable characters guide children through lessons, and our adaptive learning path customizes their experience to help them master different skills.
As a self-taught programmer, you might also benefit from books that offer broader advice on the profession. You’ll improve your thinking and habits, traits you can apply to any language you decide to learn. Steve McConnell’s 900-page Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (2nd Edition) is considered the definitive guide for best practices, with data-backed advice on everything from project design to debugging code.