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So you want to learn how to code? Here's how to get started

It’s never been easier to start learning, and there are many free online resources to help you out.

Image: MIT

IT’S NEVER BEEN easier to learn how to code.

Even if you have no ambition to become a coder or developer, there are benefits to having a working knowledge of HTML or Javascript. Considering how many services we use that are created using these programming languages, it’s handy to know what’s happening underneath those apps and sites you visit everyday.

If you’re looking for somewhere to get started, here are a couple of free resources that will kick things off for you.

Code Academy

One of the best known and user-friendly resources out there. Code Academy brings you through the basics of almost all the programming languages you can think of. Each lesson is short and to the point, meaning you can easily grasp the basics in a few hours whether it’s HTML, JavaScript or Python.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 13.40.54 Source: Code Academy

Khan Academy

Originally starting out as a way of teaching maths through videos, Khan Academy now covers a broad range of courses and disciplines, and computer science is one of them.

Each course comes in the form of short step-by-step video tutorials, accompanied by practice lessons, making it handy for beginners. 

Khan Academy Source: Khan Academy

Google’s University Consortium

If you want advanced courses on mobile and web coding, then there’s probably no better place than looking at one of the biggest tech companies in the world. Google’s University Consortium offers a number of free courses on programming language mobile development, and web development.

While these courses are mostly geared towards those with a decent grasp of the fundamentals, there are still content for those starting out.

University Consurtium Source: Google

Udacity

Another online course site, Udacity includes courses in web development, data science (not coding, but still useful) software engineering and Android.

There are paid courses included, but the site breaks down each section into courses for those new to tech, beginners, intermediates and advanced learners.

Udacity Source: Udacity

MIT Open Courseware

One of the biggest universities in the world to focus on applied technology also has its own resources for those wanting to learn how to code. While there are introductory programming courses available, you can jump into other areas like Python, C and Java.

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MIT Source: MIT

HTML5 Rocks

Another site for the more advanced learners. HTML5 Rocks is run by Google so as a result, it’s focused mainly on its tools. Even if you’re not a fan of the company, it’s still a good resource should you need some advanced lessons.

HTML5 Rocks Source: HTML5 Rocks

Coursera

Similar to Khan Academy, Coursera offers a large number of free courses in Computer Science from a number of different universities. They include areas like artificial intelligence, software engineering (which represents the main coding courses), systems and security and theory.

Finding the courses you want isn’t as easy as the other examples here, but it does have some useful topics if you want to specialise in a particular area.

Coursea Source: Coursera

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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