Finally Learn to Code Online Easily and Affordably With These Top-Rated Tools

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In our increasingly digital world, knowing how to code is one of the most lucrative and useful skills you can have. Whether or not you’re interested in a profession that requires coding, computer technology is only going to get more and more advanced. Knowing how to take full advantage of it can only be a plus.

Through learning to code you go beneath the surface of basic computer commands and open up a whole world of possibility. Coding can help you design beautiful websites, solve computer problems without the need for an online chat room or Genius bar appointment, design your own website, find shortcuts for completing tedious tasks and be more creative in how you use your machine.

Coding is no longer just for engineers or IT teams, it’s for everyone! So let’s start with the basics.

First Off, What Do We Mean by “Coding?”

Basically, learning to code means learning to speak the language that your computer speaks. “Writing code” “programming” and “coding” are all interchangeable terms that all mean telling a computer what to do.

You can program your computer to trigger a certain response to an action, automatically reply in a certain way or perform a certain task for you en masse. When done right, coding can make using a computer that much easier, faster and more efficient.

Aren’t There Different Coding Languages? What Are They?

The computer, smartphone or tablet you’re using to read this article runs on an operating system written from code. Likewise, this website has its own code, which your web browser renders into a visual display. All of these tools were created, refined and are continually updated using lines of code written in programming languages, including javascript, C#, and Python, just to name a few.

What does that code look like?

Here’s a sample of simple HTML, the code used to design webpages.

spy html screenshot Courtesy of SPY

All computer programming languages have different specialties and are used for different purposes. For the purpose of simplicity, in this post we’re going to focus on learning the four biggest ones — Java, Javascript, HTML and Python. These four languages are widely used across the digital and technology spaces by companies like Netflix and Twitter.

Java and HTML are general coding languages. Javascript is a front end development language, meaning interface and UX design, while Python is used for backend development and building the functionality of a site.

No matter what you’re looking to do with computers, learning one of these languages is a big step in the right direction. Here are some of our favorite learning tools to get you started with these coding languages.

  

Best Books for Learning to Code

Books are a fantastic way to self-pace yourself while coding and return to materials later when you need more clarification. Pick up these highly-rated guides on Amazon and get started.

Java: A Beginner’s Guide, Seventh Edition

BEST FOR LEARNING GENERAL PROGRAMMING

Learn the most up-to-date Java skills for creating, compiling and successfully running a Java program. In this book, you’ll also learn the entire Java language as well as some of Java’s more advanced features including multithreaded programming, generics, lambda expressions, Swing and JavaFX.

This book’s got plenty of Q&A sections filled with bonus tips and tools from experts in the field as well as hands-on exercises so you’ll be able to apply your skills right away.

Java Beginner's Guide Courtesy of Amazon
  

Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Web Graphics, 5th Edition

BEST FOR MAKING A WEBSITE

Everyone and their mother has a website these days, and for good reason — it’s one of the best ways to compile all of your writing, content, pictures, thoughts and dreams all in one place. Sure you can use a website creation site like Squarespace or Wix, or you could design one yourself. This book takes you from ultra-beginner to website designer swiftly and thoroughly through starting at square one and slowly building from there.

The book goes over, in great detail, building HTML pages with text, links, images, tables and forms. You’ll also learn about style sheets with CSS, formatting text and page layouts and even simple animation effects. It also covers JavaScript, how it works and why it’s so critical to what the internet looks like today. Each chapter has exercises and tests so you can track your progress on your way to designing your very own website.

Learning Web Design Courtesy of Amazon
  

Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science, 3rd Edition

BEST FOR BACKEND WEB DEVELOPMENT

This introductory text from John Zelle gives a thorough and accessible introduction to computer science using a time-tested and proven approach to instructing beginners. Learn Python, one of the most popular and implementable coding languages, with these materials. This book also includes a section on computer security issues, a topic that continues to become more important as computational technologies become more advanced.

Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science Courtesy of Amazon
  

Python Crash Course, 2nd Edition: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming

BEST FOR PRACTICAL LEARNERS

This best-selling book on Python is one of the most popular in the world for a reason. It’s a fast-paced, no-nonsense guide to computer programming with the Python language. You’ll focus on real projects when implementing your new skills with this book, and skip all the tedious unnecessary information that makes coding inaccessible to most people. Learn general programming concepts, Python fundamentals and problem solving with this book — and gain a solid foundation for continuing to learn and grow your skills in the future. If you want to learn how to code, Python is a great language to start with.

Python Crash Course Book Courtesy of Amazon
  

The Best Online Courses To Learn How To Code

There are so many online resources and tools available for learning to code. The best part? Many of the courses for beginners cost very little or are free. Plus, you can take them anywhere you bring your laptop and squeeze in a few minutes on your commute, on a plane or before you go to bed. Here are our favorites to get you going.

Python 3: A Beginner’s Guide to Python Programming — Skillshare

BEST FOR BACKEND WEB DEVELOPMENT

This course from Skillshare, one of the many online learning platforms available on the web, has over 9,000 students and teaches the basics of getting started with Python. Python is a simple, powerful language that you can pick up easily and do a lot with. This course takes you through over 130 lectures and 7 hours of video instruction to get you started with this language. By the end, you’ll have a firm grasp on Python, what it can do, how to write it and where to go next.

Skillshare Python Course Courtesy of Skillshare
  

Codecademy Web Developer Career Path

BEST FOR PROJECT-BASED LEARNERS

Codeacademy is one of the greatest online learning tools for beginner coders looking to ease into the science in a practical, no-nonsense way. They divide up their content for beginners into “career paths” that encapsulate a whole area of coding. They’ve also got individual skill modules for more advanced programming later on. With the Web Developer Career Path from Codeacademy, you’ll go from no experience to a junior web developer through understanding the “full stack” of tools, like building your own web apps and crafting your portfolio as you learn.

This course covers HTML, styling a website and getting started with JavaScript. You’ll be front-end certified in no time.

Codecademy Web Developer Career Path Courtesy of Codecademy
  

Master the Basics of HTML5 & CSS3: Beginner Web Development on Udemy

BEST FOR MAKING A WEBSITE

This course from Udemy is completely free with no paid option and covers all of the foundational concepts of coding along with an introduction to two pillars of web development — HTML and CSS. You’ll learn about the importance of each of these and how they work together to form websites. You’ll learn how to build, style and customize web pages with fonts, colors and designs. You’ll also learn how to perform simple tasks online and solve problems on the backend of websites.

Udemy Coding Course Courtesy of Udemy
  

Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) on Coursera

MOST ACCESSIBLE

This programming course is offered for free on Coursera from the University of Michigan and aims to teach everyone coding basics using Python. There’s no prior knowledge or experience coding needed, and the course only uses simple mathematics in its instruction. This is a basics course designed to give you the lay of the land when it comes to Python and coding, so you can move on to more advanced courses with a solid foundation.

At the end of this course you’ll be able to describe the basics of the Python programming language, install Python and write your first program, use variables to calculate information and use core programming tools like functions and loops.

Coursera Coding Course Courtesy of Coursera
  

Best Learning To Code Apps

Apps give you flexibility and the most mobility when learning to code. There are many options ranging from tinkering tools to comprehensive courses for beginners in app form. We’ve covered the best coding apps for beginners looking to learn to code on their smartphone on the go. Plus, many of them are free with low-cost pro options.

Whether you’re looking to learn Python, HTML, CSS or all of them in conjunction — many of these apps offer ways to learn all of them and apply your knowledge immediately on projects. Get going and you’ll be creating your own app in no time.

SoloLearn

BEST FOR BEGINNERS

This app is the best for beginner coders with no previous experience or knowledge. The app works like a college course online with modules and quizzes at the end of each that you must pass in order to progress. The app also has games and other activities in the playground section to keep your skills fresh over time. You can learn Python 3, C++ and Java on your Android or iPhone smartphone. You can also use this app online.

SoloLearn App Courtesy of SoloLearn
  

Programming Hub

BEST FOR LEARNING ALL LANGUAGES

This newer app was founded in 2019 by two programmers determined to make learning to code simpler and easier — and they succeeded. Their free course material on their app includes coding fundamentals, IT basics and HTML programming. You can also take lessons on anything from cyber security to website development and Javascript Advanced using their platform. Prices range on their app from free to more expensive for a premium subscription at $6.99/month.

Programming Hub Courtesy of Programming Hub
  

Encode for Android

BEST FOR ANDROID USERS

This app for Android users includes bite-sized learning modules for JavaScript with interactive lessons and practice challenges for the real world. It’s also got basics modules for writing Python, HTML and CSS code. You have options and portability with this app’s offline mode, enabling you to learn from wherever without a WiFi connection.

Encode Coding App for Android Courtesy of Google Play Store