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?
What does that code look like?
Here’s a sample of simple HTML, the code used to design webpages.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) on Coursera
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.
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.
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.
BEST FOR LEARNING ALL LANGUAGES
Encode for Android
BEST FOR ANDROID USERS