Take a few minutes (or a day) to think about the reasons—the real reasons—why you want to learn a programming language. Be honest with yourself. Are you trying to learn the barest minimum to score a promotion? Are you looking to make a big career change? Do you want to create the next greatest app? Thrill your roommates by programming your various smart devices to do something awesome?
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:
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.
Spend an afternoon brushing up on statistics. Discover how the Krebs cycle works. Learn about the fundamentals of music notation. Get a head start on next semester's geometry fundamentals. Prepare for the SAT, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, NCLEX-RN, and AP exams. Or, if you're feeling particularly adventurous, learn how fire-stick farming changes the landscape of Australia.
Luckily, institutions like the Flatiron School and The Grace Hopper Program offer scholarships or deferred tuition to make these bootcamps more affordable for under-represented groups like minorities and women in tech. Check out Course Report for a comprehensive breakdown of the many online and in-person bootcamps—including detailed reviews from their alums, which can help you decide whether a bootcamp is going to help you achieve your programming dreams.
You need to be patient with yourself; don’t expect to code the next Fortnite after just a few months of study or a few bootcamps. Coding an error-free wedding RSVP form on a website, or making a simple-yet-correct number prediction game, is already a significant achievement for a beginner. If you get stuck, don’t give up. You should absolutely look for help everywhere you can find it, but also know when to take a break to avoid burnout. And then try, try again.
If you want to better understand the relationship between hardware and software, then you’d enjoy the Piper Computer Kit 2, which has you building a Raspberry Pi-powered computer. Using this DIY laptop, you can learn to code through its custom Minecraft Story Mode challenges, use the drag-and-drop Blockly language to learn physical computing, or just pick up some basic Python from the pre-installed lessons.
What an incredible app. I’m so impressed. This company deserves loads of money to be thrown at it for making it free. My son has just switched from a Cambridge school to an American School and missed a lot of work. I think we were both about to give up. I didn’t know where to start to help him and being his new school is completely iPad based we felt deep despair at just the thought of trying to navigate through classrooms codes and half working text book apps. Now it’s all here in one place! Simple well explained and the practice really gets your confidence going. He had some maths homework and instead of the total melt down we both would have had trying to work out what was going on we flew through it!! THANK YOU! I love the fact that all the grades are here too so if there is a concept he is struggling with we can go back in the grades to see where that was introduced and work through it! We have been struggling for months trying to find the answer on line. It was only due to the fact that Khan kept coming up that I googled it and found the app. I truly pray this company gets loads of financial support to keep this app going! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!
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.
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