fbpx

How to Teach Yourself to Code: 10 Best Resources

Are you interested in learning how to code but don’t know where to start? With the right resources and a bit of dedication, you can teach yourself to code and start building your own projects.

woman in black and white jacket sitting in front of computer monitor

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

Free Online Coding Courses

With the rise in popularity of coding jobs, learning some of the skills necessary to work in these roles has become more accessible than ever. Free online coding courses enable you to learn at your own pace, needing just a computer and an internet connection to get started. Let’s go into some popular course providers:

1. Codecademy

Codecademy is a popular online learning platform that offers interactive coding lessons in various programming languages, including Python, JavaScript, and HTML/CSS. Codecademy’s interactive approach to learning makes it easy for beginners to understand coding concepts and start building their own projects. You are introduced to concepts little by little, and immediately given opportunities to practise.

Beginner friendly? Yes! Their courses work well for an introduction to coding, but there is definitely opportunity for growth and more advanced concepts.

Cost? The platform is free to use, but a paid subscription is available for additional features, content, and official certifications. Subscriptions range from 12-27 per month.

2. FreeCodeCamp

FreeCodeCamp is a non-profit organisation that offers free coding lessons and projects to help people learn to code and build their portfolios. The platform offers courses in web development, data science, and much more. It also provides opportunities for students to work on real-world projects for non-profit organisations. FreeCodeCamp’s community-driven approach to learning and their emphasis on practical experience make it a great resource for anyone looking to teach themselves to code.

Beginner friendly? Absolutely. FreeCodeCamp has a mission of making the transition to tech more accessible, and is a great place for beginners.

Cost? While they accept donations, all their courses are free, and they even offer free certifications. 

freeCodeCamp_org_-_YouTube

Source: freeCodeCamp

3. Udemy

Udemy is an online learning platform that offers a wide range of courses, including many options for learning to code. With over 130,000 courses available, Udemy has something for everyone, from beginners to advanced coders. Udemy courses are often on sale, making them an affordable option for those looking to learn to code on a budget.

Beginner friendly? For sure. They offer courses for different levels, and also have packages for you to explore specific career pathways.

Cost? Udemy has the option for you to either buy courses or get a subscription. Courses range from 11 – 183  while subscriptions start at 16€ per month.

4. Coursera

Coursera offers a wide range of courses for learning to code. Coursera partners with top universities and organisations like MIT or Imperial College London to offer courses. Their courses have a structured curriculum and may offer certificates or degrees upon completion. Although this is great for those that may want to ensure they have a reputable course, the best platform for learning to code will depend on your individual learning style and goals.

Beginner friendly? Yes. Coursera makes courses for all who want to start, switch, or advance their careers, so this makes it a good fit for those coming in without prior knowledge.

Cost? The courses can be partly accessed for free, and full courses can range from 30 – 45. They also have certificates which start at 36, and subscriptions that start at 73 per month.

5. edX

edX, like Coursera, partners with universities and institutions to offer courses. Their offerings cover both fundamentals and advanced topics from experts in the field. Plus, many edX courses offer certificates or even degrees, which can be a valuable addition to your resume. To get started, browse the course catalogue and choose a topic that interests you. Then, set aside time each week to work through the course material and complete assignments. With dedication and effort, you can teach yourself to code with edX.

Beginner friendly? Yeah! Most courses offered by edX are beginner friendly. You can even select a course and customise it based on your learning level. 

Cost? Courses on edX range from 45 – 275. However, they offer financial aid which can be accessed on their website.

Free Person Using Silver Macbook Pro Stock Photo

Source: Pexels

 

6. Look into Coding Books

If you love reading, you’ll be happy to know that coding books are a great way to learn. Books offer the advantage of teaching you everything you need to know about a particular subject, allowing you to dive deeper and gain a more thorough understanding. This approach can provide a more structured and thorough introduction to coding for some than jumping around different websites or tutorials. Here are some highly recommended books:

Written by Cory Althoff who is a self-taught programmer himself, this is a great book for teaching yourself with goals of working at a professional level. This book delves into foundational concepts that are useful regardless of the programming language, and the realities that programmers in a professional environment truly never stop learning. 

This book is a 900-page guide that’s considered a great resource for best practices. It offers data-backed advice on everything from project design to debugging code, making it an invaluable tool for any self-taught programmer. Knowing about best practices can be especially valuable when teaching yourself code, so you can build projects that work well.

This book not only teaches programming concepts, but problem-solving skills as well. Each chapter includes challenges that are commonly used in technical job interviews, making it a valuable resource for job preparation. By working through the challenges and applying the concepts learned, you can develop your skills and become more confident as a programmer.

E-books

If you prefer reading on your device, there are tons of options for you. In addition to the above books being available online, there are online libraries that feature free e-books in various languages to help you understand different programming languages and frameworks. On our website, we’ve also got some e-books where we talk a little bit more about transitioning to specific coding-related careers. This is a great way to contextualise some of the skills you may be looking to gain through coding. 

 

7. Watch Coding Videos

If you’re an audiovisual learner, you’re gonna have a great time with the resources available! Like with many topics, there are numerous youtube channels dedicated to coding, covering a wide range of topics from beginner to advanced. Whether you want to learn a specific programming language or need help troubleshooting, there is a channel out there for you. 

Khan Academy

Khan Academy rose to popularity over the years through their effective tutorial videos on just about any school subject. They now also have a plethora of programming-related courses and videos on their website. Their specialised youtube channel for computing is great for understanding the foundations and concepts related to programming.

Free Person using Gray Laptop Stock Photo

Source: Pexels

Search Away!

Since there are a ton of videos out there available for all the coding topics you could ever imagine, it can be effective to dive right in and search for something you’re curious about. Does a specific programming language interest you? Would you like a tutorial on how to build a specific project? Wanna have someone explain a concept to you? You’d be surprised at how much information is available through just searching for it – and this is normal, because programmers never really stop learning.

 

8. Find Interactive Coding Games

As daunting as learning how to code can be, it can also be very fun. An uplifting way to practise your skills is through interactive coding games. These games provide a hands-on approach to learning and can make the process more enjoyable. Look for beginner-friendly coding games to start your journey and add a playful element to your learning experience. Here are some:

Free Person Using Macbook Pro Stock Photo

Source: Pexels

9. Start With Easy Coding Projects

While it can be exciting to take on such large amounts of knowledge at once, it is important to pace yourself when learning to code. Aspiring programmers can become overwhelmed and try to rush through the learning process, leading to frustration and burnout. To avoid this, it’s important to set realistic goals and break down the learning process into manageable chunks. Instead of jumping into ambitious projects, start with the basics and build a strong foundation. This can also help you feel more confident throughout your learning process. In addition to coding tutorials and courses, there are many resources available online that can help you build at your own pace.

To-Do List

A to-do list is one of the most popular beginner projects for those learning code. It is a great way to demonstrate the milestone that is making things appear on and off the screen, as well as marking things as done. This allows users to practise both the functionality and the styling that goes into future projects. As soon as even one thing works well, the feeling of satisfaction is monumental. And well, you can use it regularly if you want!

Weather App

A weather app is another beginner project that can be exciting to complete. It involves using an application programming interface (API), which is simply a software that stores and sends information back and forth between a website and a user. You would build a project that allows you to access the weather of many cities. Since the use of APIs are common in the professional world, it would be great to get started on your own! And if you feel like it, you can ditch all the other weather apps and use your very own creation.

Final product image

Source: EnvatoTuts+

DevProjects by CodeMentor

DevProjects is a website you can use to find prompts and build projects of varying skill levels. You can find projects that use many programming languages, so you are sure to put what you’ve been learning into practice. You can also receive feedback on your code, which can help you continuously improve.

Practice coding on your own by working on simple projects, and gradually increase the complexity of your projects as you gain more experience. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – they’re a natural part of the learning process! With time and practice, you’ll become more confident in your coding abilities and be able to tackle even the most challenging coding problems.

 

10. Join Coding Communities

Joining a coding community can provide you with valuable support and feedback as you navigate the learning process. Coding communities remind you that you are not alone on your journey, and that most of the problems you encounter have probably been encountered by many others. You are likely to find fellow coders in subreddits, facebook groups, discord servers, and specialised sites like Stack Overflow and Github community. Here, you can connect with other coders, ask questions, get advice, or just read through others’ thoughts. Our Women+ in Web Development Facebook group is dedicated to supporting and connecting current and aspiring women+ developers with industry advice, professional opportunities, scholarships, and other resources. There’s nothing like encouragement from those who are on a similar journey as you and want you to do well. These communities are used even by professionals, because in the exciting and peculiar world of coding, you can never go wrong with a good community.

Free Woman Wearing Red and Black Checkered Blouse Using Macbook Stock Photo

Source: Pexels

Conclusion

Teaching yourself to code can be such an exciting endeavour. With the right resources and mindset, anyone can do it. Whether you prefer courses that guide you, or you would rather read and watch your way through it by yourself, you can truly achieve anything you put your mind to with the millions of coding resources that are available. While it is important to challenge yourself with coding projects, you also have to take it easy and congratulate yourself for even embarking on this journey. Additionally, practising regularly and seeking out online communities or mentors can also help you improve your skills and stay motivated. With dedication and patience, anyone can teach themselves to code, and become part of the lifelong learners that are coding professionals. Remember, learning to code is a journey, not a destination, so remember to sit back and have fun.  

FAQs

Can you learn to code by yourself?

Yes, it is possible to learn to code by yourself. There are millions of resources available both online and physically. Depending on your learning style, you might choose whether a structured course is best for you or not, but there are available options for everybody.

Does coding require maths?

While maths is important in some areas of coding, such as data analysis and machine learning, it is not necessary for all types of coding. You definitely don’t need a maths background to start coding. However, while learning how to code, you might find yourself improving in some skills that could help in maths, such as logical thinking and problem solving.

How do I start coding from zero?

First, figure out why you want to learn to code and set goals. Then, choose the programming language you would like to learn. From then on, the world is your oyster. You’re free to use any coding resources you might see fit to help you – courses, books, videos, games, projects, online forums, and beyond. 

How many hours should I code a day?

It is common for people learning to spend 2-4 hours coding a day. However, there is no set hours of coding that guarantees that you will be better at coding. Success in learning to code is usually marked by being consistent over time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.