Learn to Code for Free

Edited by Aliyyah Camp, Eng, Shelley

Coding is a skill that is becoming more and more in demand. Small business owners, people with websites, and much more are looking for people with coding capabilities to create custom designs and programs for them. If you learn to code, you will make yourself more marketable as a worker. However, going to school for computer programming can be costly and time-consuming. Fortunately there are resources online for you to learn to code for free. This tutorial gives you an overview of those resources and walks you through exactly what it takes to learn to code for free.

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Programming Languages

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When learning to code, it is important to know the different programming languages and what each one is used for. There are dozens of different programming languages. Some are used globally and others sparingly. If you are learning to code for the first time, it is recommended that you start off with a popular programming language. This way, if you need help, there will be plenty of resources online. You will also be more marketable if you learn a popular programming language. The top five popular programming languages are:

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1. Java

2. C

3. C++

4. Python

5. C#

  1. 1
    Java programming language is a big one in the market.
    It is object-oriented and was developed with the principle "WORA", Write Once Run Anywhere. It is highly compatible with different sources, operating systems, and hardware. Java is used to develop enterprise-level applications and video games. It can also be used to develop web-based applications. Java language complements C and C++ language. For this reason, it is highly advantageous to know how to code with Java if you want to market yourself as a coder.
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  2. 2
    C is known as the beginner's programming language.
    It is the predecessor to many other programming languages such as C++ and C#. It was one of the first programming languages taught in universities and paves the way for other languages. C is mainly used for developing general-purpose applications.
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  3. 3
    C++ language has been used to create some applications like Google Chrome and Adobe Software.
    It is widely used in the coding community for this reason. Due to its ability to be processed quickly, it is also used to create video games. People who know C++ are in high demand in the job market.
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  4. 4
    Python is a simple programming language known for being easy to learn.
    Its syntax is straightforward and easily readable. Some popular social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram run on Python programming language. It is highly convenient to use Python for web applications, as it is associated with web frameworks.
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  5. 5
    C# is a programming language similar to Java in terms of its capabilities.
    It was created by Microsoft and is said to be a combination of C++ and Java. If you learn to code Java programming language, it will be easy to switch to coding C#. Conversely, if you learn to code C#, it will be easy to switch to coding Java. You should consider learning C# if you have a desire to code Windows-based programs.
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Free Resources Online

Now that you know what programming languages are being used and are in demand, it is time to find free resources online to Start Learning Programming Without Taking Formal Education. Online resources vary in terms of which languages they teach and how the information is presented. Five popular resources for learning to code for free are:

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1. Code Academy

2. Coursera

3. Code.org

4. MIT Open Courseware

5. Khan Academy

  1. 1
    Code Academy is a well-known resource for learning to code online for free.
    It tailors its content to beginners. There are about 100 courses that contain five to twenty exercises each. Code Academy offers courses in Java and Python programming languages. Beyond that, the other courses are more project-oriented, such as teaching you how to make a website. Code Academy does not offer certifications for course completion.
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  2. 2
    Coursera is an online catalog of higher education courses.
    Coursera offers courses in every subject imaginable, including coding. You can enroll in either self-paced courses or timed classes. Courses range from four weeks long to twelve weeks long. Of the five programming languages described earlier in this tutorial, Coursera offers courses in four of them: Java, C, C++, and Python. Coursera offers verified certificates for course completion.
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  3. 3
    Code.org is a free online resources dedicated to teaches kids to code.
    It is a project by Mark Zuckerberg (the founder of Facebook), Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft), and President Obama. Many other celebrities have backed it as well. The courses are highly interactive and feature well-known cartoon characters and celebrity faces. You can learn Java, Python, and other less commonly used programming languages on Code.org. This website offers certificates for course completion.
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  4. 4
    MIT Open Courseware is similar to Coursera in that it offers university-level courses for free.
    Unlike Coursera, MIT Open Courseware only offers courses from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whereas Coursera offers courses from an array of universities. You can learn all five of the top programming languages on MIT Open Courseware. The courses are basically educational materials posted online. You learn independently. MIT Open Courseware does not offer certificates for course completion.
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  5. 5
    Khan Academy offers self-directed courses online for free.
    Khan Academy offers courses in an array of subjects, including coding. It is best known for offering highly interactive exercises alongside its courses in order to improve the user experience. Khan Academy offers courses and exercises in all five of the top programming languages featured in this tutorial. Khan Academy does not offer certificates for course completion.
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Practice Coding

Once you have taken a few courses on coding programming languages, it is time to practice. Practicing is the only way to become proficient in coding. Try to practice coding every day so that you continue to build upon what you have learned. There are plenty of resources online to practice coding. Here are five resources that are easy to use and freely available:

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1. Cprogramming

2. Notepad++

3. Python.org

4. CodingBat

5. CodeWars

  1. 1
    Cprogramming.com is the leading website for resources related to C and C++ coding.
    It offers practice problems in a variety of formats to help you hone your coding skills. There are fill in the blank exercises as well as coding challenges in basic, intermediate, and advanced levels. For example, the Temperature Converter challenge prompts you to use C language to code a program that converts Celsius degrees to Fahrenheit degrees. You can view the solution at the end to compare your code to the actual program.
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  2. 2
    Notepad++ is a text editor that support several programming languages.
    You can download it for free online. This text editor supports Java language and runs only on Windows operating system. The plus side is that it is a portable text editor; you can upload the program to a USB flash drive and use it on multiple computers. This makes it a convenient tool to practice coding anywhere. Notepad++ features numbered lines so that you can quickly identify the different components of your code. You can also zoom in and out.
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  3. 3
    Python.org offers a Python interpreter program that lets you practice coding the language.
    You can download it for free for just about all computer operating systems. Once you download the interpreter, play around with the program to learn how different commands work. Python.org also offers documentation with "how-to's" that will help you master the language.
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  4. 4
    CodingBat.com is a website that features online practice problems.
    The problems use the Java and Python programming languages. It gives you sample codes and displays tutorial videos for you to learn more about the programming languages. The website has a simple black and white interface making it easy for you to find the content you need.
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  5. 5
    CodeWars.com is a website that helps you improve your coding skills by hosting real code challenges.
    You compete with other programmers to create programs that solve a problem. You start by selecting which programming language you would like to practice with; Java, Python, and C# are three options, along with several others. As you complete challenges, your rank increases so that you can be matched with new challenges relevant to your skill level.
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Quick Tips

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  • HTML is a popular programming language used to make web pages. You can learn all about HTML coding at W3Schools.com.
  • CSS is another popular programming language based on HTML. It is used to make web pages as well. You can learn about CSS coding at W3Schools.com.
  • When deciding which programming language to learn first, you may want to consider C programming language. It performs many basic functions and forms the building blocks for a lot of newer programming languages.
  • You will find that once you master one programming language, it will be easier to master others as the logic for most programming languages is consistent.
  • If you are ever stumped on a coding problem, do not fret. The online community for programmers is huge. Simply visit an online forum and post your problem. You are sure to get viable coding solutions from your peers. A few online forums are: CodeChef.com, JaveProgrammingForums.com, CodingForums.com, CodeProject.com, and StackOverflow.com.
  • Once you learn basic programming languages, you can develop a specialty. You can specialize in web design, software development, or even mobile applications.
  • If you find that online learning is not for you, check with your local community college. The college may offer courses in coding for a fraction of what it would cost to take courses at a large university.
  • One way to learn to code faster is to view the source code of running applications. For example, you can view the source code of a web page in your web browser by right-clicking the page and selecting "View Page Source" or finding the "Show Source" option in your Develop tab.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Online & Web Job Related

Recent edits by: Eng, Aliyyah Camp

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