10 Resources for Learning to Code at Any Age

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When you think about learning a new language, what comes to mind? Many people will say that they want to learn Spanish or Chinese because these languages will help them in business and aide in forging their economic future. Other people, citing that they want to travel one day, will want to learn another language for this purpose. One language that gets glazed over but is equally as important as any of the major world languages out there is the language of computers.

Learning Languages

Consider the fact that there are already hundreds of different programming languages, each slightly different and building upon one another. These languages are what create the base code and function for websites, phone apps, and a dizzying array of other technological functions. With that in mind, it is no wonder that programming is in high demand.

The Language of Tech

Programming, as a general term is how computers and technological devices are set up. Beneath the plastic keys and display screens, there is a complex series of wires and chips that work as the proverbial brain of any piece of modern technology.

Cracking the code

While there are plenty of resources out there to learn to program, before you choose what is best for you, you need to be clear in what it is that you want to learn. It wasn’t that long ago that learning C++ or HTML would be enough. Whether you wanted to make your own website or understand how to put a music playlist on your Myspace page, HTML had you covered.

Thinking of Going Pro?

Professionals in the industry spend hundreds of hours learning to code. Some of them are self-taught, and others go to school for it. In both cases, these professionals have had to learn that adaptation is more important than actual coding. Keep in mind that it will require a lot of hours in education to make a living programming. Many people think they can immediately turn their coding knowledge into a paycheck. It is not always easy to do this. 

Programming in Modern Era

The difference with that era and today is that there is much more that can be done with programming. The more options that there are, the more layers to the language of programming that exists. Alternatively, depending on what it is that you want to do with your programming skills, you may need to learn a different language or have a skill set specific for that goal. Furthermore, you can spend loads of time learning one language only to have it be replaced relatively overnight by an easier system.

Learning Curve Example

There are plenty of people who learned the language Objective C in the early 2000s. Then Swift came out in 2014. It is a simpler language to code. It wasn’t long before it was the preferred language for certain tasks. Swift quickly became the more popular choice. All of the hours invested in one language can undoubtedly help a programmer. However, learning to code isn’t all about learning the language. It is deciphering problems, then, developing a method to overcome those challenges.

Deciding on Which Code to Learn

Since about 2010, learning to code has been the buzz from all angles. Politicians like Barack Obama were proclaiming that computer science needed to be a standard in the American curriculum. Hollywood elites and housewives alike were taking up coding boot camps. Notice how most of these people aren’t coding now. Learning to code is a smart endeavor. It has the potential for many to boost their careers and to allow them to understand the world as it works. Technology is integrating all fields, so it is smart to learn to communicate and understand the base workings of that tech. That being said, before you dive into coding, try to have an accurate idea of what you want to do with it.

Do you want to:

  • Create websites?
  • Build bots?
  • Create phone apps?
  • Become a developer?
  • Learn how the tech in your industry works?
  • Work on computers as a hobby?

Learn to Code – Your Way

Depending on the reason that coding is the goal, will make no difference where you start. Sounds ironic, since there are a copious amount of languages and coding techniques that one can learn. Most people that are interested in learning to code need to start somewhere. If you have an idea about coding and want to keep learning at your own pace, more power to you. For the rest, the easiest way to get started is by signing up for one of the ever-growing lists of coding boot camps and training programs.

Learning Code From Scratch

Starting from the basics will be the easiest way to get started. Try to go into these boot camps with an open mind. Realize that you aren’t likely to participate with one of these programs for a year and then be a superstar. Rather, you will likely get your feet wet and have a basic understanding of how simple coding works. Thankfully, there are a host of ways to become familiar with coding. From the basic online classroom to lecture presentations on YouTube, or even games for kids to learn to code, there is something available for everyone.

Preparing for a Programming Education

Codecademy

Back in 2017, PCMag’s editors gave Codecademy their top pick for those interested in learning to code. They boast over 7 years of refining their cloud-based coding educational platform. All of their classes are free, which is a bonus. There are multiple languages that one can learn on here. Plus, you can design your own education. Codecademy is a solid choice for those that ultimately want to learn complete coding skills.

Khan Academy

Since 2006, Khan Academy has been offering classes on a variety of topics. This platform offers recordings of live professionals, teaching about topics that they know a lot about first hand. The classes are free, and there are plenty of resources to learn through this platform. They rely on JavaScript, which is browser-based. While there are plenty of programming classes, Khan Academy pairs well with other learning platforms. 

Coursera

With a long list of programming language courses taught by teachers and professionals in the field, this platform is an excellent choice for those serious about learning to code. Signing up is free, but there is a fee for the classes. You can start from the basics with Coursera or choose a free platform and then branch out with more extensive learning on this site. Classes will range from 25 to 90 dollars, depending on the course.

EdX

Learn to program from professors from big-name schools like Harvard and MIT. The classes are free, and you can sign up at any time for the next session. EdX is a smart addition to any of the free platforms to develop a greater understanding of programming and various languages.

Programming via YouTube

There are loads of educational topics to be found on YouTube. Programming and coding are popular topics on this platform. It is easy to find a beginning course or more in-depth talks about certain languages. If you are a visual learner and prefer the college lecture format for learning, then some of the following YouTube channels should be right up your alley.

LearnCode.Academy

Learn the basics of programming and beyond with host Will Stern. He covers all of the necessary topics for learning to code in several languages. This channel has quite the comprehensive list and is a good spot for those just getting started. LearnCode. Academy is also an excellent source for those that already have programming knowledge.

Coder’s Guide

An excellent resource for all levels of programming. Beyond languages, host Neil Rowe explains frameworks, bootstrapping and more. Use these shows as a way to dive into programming or learn about parts of projects. This is a great channel for professionals looking to build a site, create a WordPress blog, and more.

Dev Tips

Dev Tools is a must for the serious programmer. Those interested in design need to look at this channel. This channel is an excellent place to look at the fundamentals and tips of the trade.

TheNewBoston

A great resource for learning to code, but with the tools for buffing up programming skills for those that have them. Most of the videos cover gaming development, web design, and more complex concepts for coding.

Learn Programming Through Games

Children and adults alike will learn through fun games. Many of the gaming platforms for programming integrate the core concepts and skills for programming.

Code Combat

A site that hosts many games for coding. Each game has a different focus. Choose different names depending on what language or skill that you want to learn.

Code Monkey

Teaches kids mainly, to create their own HTML5 games using the programming code, Coffee Script.

Get Coding

As you can see, there are many different ways to learn to program. Coding can be a hobby or for those that put in the time and effort they can do a lot more with this skill. Depending on your goal or age, you can stick with one platform or mix and match to find the right type of education for your programming and coding needs. What you do with that skill from there is purely up to you!