We’re in a new year and what better time to teach yourself a new skill? Any new skills you can learn are great, but one of the most in demand in the modern world is how to code. Have you been considering learning how to code? Maybe you know a friend who would like to learn how to code. Thankfully, there are so many free resources available, learning to code has never been easier or more fun. In this episode, we’ll take a look at all kinds of free resources to get your on the road to code.
First up we have bento, a website dedicated to curating the best of the best on the web when it comes to learning to code. The website itself is really slick and the design is fantastic. Bento covers the full range of learning to code including mobile, apis, database interaction, frontend, backend, and even foundational level learning. For the beginner, you can head right over to their main collection of learning tracks and follow a seven step series of Web Fundamentals, Front End, Front End Extended, Back End, Databases, Performance, and Marketing your site. It’s easy to get a preview of all the content available and if you’d like to track your progress and access premium content, simply sign in with either Google or Facebook and you’re good to go.
Stack Overflow is the defacto question and answer site on the Internet. If you come across a problem during the course of your learning, there is a high chance that someone else has already had the same problem. This is where Stack Overflow comes in. In fact, many of your answers can be found by simply doing a search in Google and more than likely, one of the possible solutions will be found on Stack Overflow. Another great resource is to use their chat rooms where you can listen in on experienced programmers and see what you can glean from them.
Google provides some excellent learning resources for learning to code in their Web Design Fundamentals Series. The Google Web Design Fundamentals series is a huge collection of resources focused on multi device web development. With mobile and tablet based traffic now exceeding that of desktop based traffic, it’s going to be more and more important to follow best practices for all devices. Some of the concepts offered are setting up your project to look great, choosing the right tools for your workflow, the principles of good design, dealing with multi device layouts, handling user input with forms, using the right types of images and imagery, optimizing speed and performance, monetizing your website, and device access and integration.
Dash has a similar concept to Codecademy where you can work with browser based tools to build and track your progress. They have a pretty cool system where you are able to unlock your skills by completing checkpoints in the lessons. Dash organizes the learning into Projects. Each project encompasses a related group of skills to complete an objective. Project 1 is to build a personal website where you will learn how to make headlines and inputs, style text, and backgrounds, as well as to add images for a logo. Project 2 will have you building a responsive blog theme. In this tract, you will be building an HTML header with navigation, styling with CSS, and adding responsive design with a like button. The remaining projects continue a similar theme.
This is a more focused resource for the Laravel Framework as well as PHP. It doesn’t stop there however, as almost anything you would ever need is covered under Jeffrey Way’s teachings. Whether its setting up development environments, learning about the basics of object oriented programming, tackling advanced coding design patterns, or creating an entire application with Laravel and Bootstrap, Laracasts has got you covered. Start with the free lessons, and if you like you can move on to the premium content which requires a subscription.
Lynda is another website dedicated to learning which started back in 1995. Lynda boasts an impressive collection of articles and video tutorials broken down into the following categories: Developer, Design, Web, Photography, Business, Education, Animation, Video, Music, and more. Some of the content is free, though for premium content, you will need to become a member and pay a subscription fee. Lynda benefits from hiring many great experts in their field such as David Gassner, Bill Wienman, Simon Allardice, Todd Perkins, Chris Converse, Ray Villalobos, and many more.
Code School offers all kinds of great opportunities for learning with screencasts, coding challenges, and customized language paths. Code School takes a unique approach to learning how to code by combining multiple learning approaches into the same session. They do this by combining video instruction with coding in the browser, along with a gamification aspect to keep things fun and interesting. This way, you get to enjoy the benefits of a lecture so to speak, while also immediately tackling hands on exercises in a browser based editor. Code School is a great resource to be able to Learn By Doing.
Tuts Plus is another fine resource that has been around for some time now. Tuts Plus focuses on learning the fundamentals of Web Development, and has a WordPress slant to it. This is not all they offer however. Over time, Tuts Plus has added Mobile Development, iOS development, Android SDK, Apple’s Swift Programming Language, and more. In addition to their one off articles and tutorials, you’ll find many learning resources that are grouped together in a series. This way you can learn an entire concept over the course of several lessons to really get a good handle on the topic covered.
As you can see, there is no shortage of incredible resources to learn whatever you want online. We focused on Web Development and Web Design here, with a curated list of some of the best ways to get your skills up to speed. Good luck with your learning!