Learn to Code Resources – Where to Start

When I started my coding journey, my first question was, “Where do I start?” I like books, so I bought a book on how to make a website. That led me to books on html and css. They were very helpful! When I had my pages built, my next quest was to figure out how to get them loaded on the web. People kept saying, “Why don’t you use WordPress?” They told me that building pages with html and css was old school. After trying a number of methods, including WordPress, Learn to Code Resources and Where to StartI learned that for simple sites which don’t require customer interaction, simply uploading my pages to my web hosts’s server is preferable, because WordPress is too complex for those simple sites. For example, if I use WordPress, and something on the pages doesn’t look the way I want it to, it can be time-consuming and frustrating trying to figure out where the scripts are that need changing. The “old school” method is actually easier and much cleaner. It allows me to change the way my pages look without feeling like a mouse looking for a nugget of corn in a 5000 acre maze.

For sites, though, which require customer interaction, you need a back-end language, because the back-end language is able to retrieve data from a database, and use it in the site. So, for my sites which require user-interaction, I have opted to use WordPress at least until I learn a back-end language.

If you want to be a programmer, and you don’t know where to start, the first thing you need to do is to read about the difference between back-end and front-end languages. Then you need to decide which type of coding you want to do. From there, you’ll know whether to start learning a front-end or a back-end language. github coder girl with laptop and coffeeEventually, you may decide you want to learn both. But you have to start somewhere, so figure out what type of work you want to do. If you want to do front-end work, you should learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. If you want to learn back-end, you may want to learn Node.js, Python, PHP, or something else. One way to help you decide, is to think about what sort of application or site you’d like to build, and then see what language other sites like that were built with. If you decide you want to be a back-end programmer, don’t spend too much time stressing about which back-end language to learn. Do a little research, pick one, and then dive in.

Once you pick a language, here are some options for learning.

Learn to Code Resources

Free Online

YouTube

YouTube has a plethora of tutorials, and is a fantastic resource. Some videos are obviously better than others, and here are a few of my favorite channels.

MOOCs

Massive Open Online Courses

Dedicated Learning Sites

Also, Lynda is a popular paid resource, and a lot of libraries in the United States have now made agreements with Lynda to offer Lynda courses to library card holders. Check with your local library to see if this valuable resource is available to you.

Bootcamp Prep Courses

Bootcamps can be expensive. I’ve never done any of them, but I’ve heard that some of them offer prep courses for free, and the prep courses can be pretty good. You’d probably be subjected to advertising aimed at persuading you to buy into the bootcamp, but maybe that’s not a bad price to pay in exchange for the prep course. Here are some I’ve heard about.

Online Games & Coding Challenges

Coding games are a good way to see alternative ways of coding a project. For example, you might want to make an exercise app using Node.js, and then you see how someone else made a similar app using Ruby. You might discover that you like the way the other person did theirs better, and … voila! You learned something of value while playing a game!

Paid Online Resources

Mobile Apps

Bootcamps

I don’t have much information on bootcamps because I’m choosing to work a full-time job while learning to code, so I didn’t go this route. But I’ve heard Coding Dojo is good. You can find a lot more information on bootcamps using a little Google-fu.

Other Sources

  • Community Programs
  • Books
  • College courses
  • Looking at other people’s work
  • Github
  • SourceForge
  • Kids’ Apps

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