Useful Learning/Coding Sites for Newbies

Learning how to code has never been easier. Whether you are a programming newbie or an old hand. Gone are the days when programming languages could only be mastered programmers like Bill Gates. Now everyone holds the same potential, and the chance to learn and even master programming language easily. This article is going to cover some of the websites that prompt you to write and run the code for each step, and when you make a mistake, the correction hints are clear. Today, we will show you a few interactive websites that will help you do that. The following sites offer step-by-step tutorials that take very different approaches to programming instruction. One of them is perfect for your level of coding experience.

Codeacademy is certainly the most famous website to teach you to code interactively, thanks to its helpful interface and well-structured courses. Upon visiting the main page, you can already start tasting the programming right away, with its motivating on-screen console. Pick a course that Codeacademy offers from Web Fundamentals, PHP, JavaScript, jQuery, Python, Ruby and APIs. Most of the Codeacademy lesson screen is taken up by the window in which you enter code. The instructions for the step are in the left pane. After you enter your code and click the Save & Submit Code button, the code runs in a pop-up window on the right side of the screen. Inside each lesson is a panel that explains necessary code and instruction. Another panel allows you to get your hands dirty by writing acceptable code, then checking if you are doing the right thing. Don’t worry about making mistakes, as both instruction and code panels will warn you of errors, and provide hints. It is as if there’s a kind teacher right beside you.

Code Avengers
Code Avengers has a gradual approach to interactive learning. It does not explain too much knowledge that isn’t essential for beginners, just a bit of code and playful instruction, making things very easy to digest. You also get to play with the code, then see the impact of the changes immediately. It is carefully crafted with the beginner’s comfort in mind. It is designed to make you love programming. Though it only offers HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript course for now, each of the courses is carefully designed to truly entertain you while leveling your programming skills painlessly. At the end of each lesson, you also get to play a mini game to release your cumulated stress, and keep you going for longer.

Code School
After you finished courses in Codeacademy or Code Avengers, and you are ready to further expand your capabilities, Code School is the next quality website you should land on. Unlike most interactive learning sites, Code School offers more in-depth courses to train and turn you into an expert with the industry’s best practices. Overall, the courses are categorized into 4 main paths, and they are:

Treehouse courses are more project-oriented than language-oriented, so they are perfect for novice programmer with a planned purpose, such as building a website, or an application. For example, the Websites course is all about building a responsive website, interactive website or even a WordPress theme, it’s a very practical and efficient way to master related languages.

If you are that kind of personnel who do not fancy playful design and prefer to deal with cold hard codes, LearnStreet is probably your thing. It currently offers JavaScript, Python and Ruby courses at beginner level. With a click on the ‘Start Course’ button you will start the lesson with an exercise, a code interpreter and a glossary panel. The first thing you notice when you start the lessons on LearnStreet is the prominent code-entry screen on the right side of the window. Under the code is the run environment that demonstrates the code you write. The instructions are listed on the left side of the screen. LearnStreet adopts command prompt-styled code interpreters with human language to explain function and encourage you whenever possible, the kind of command prompt you want for your own local machine. However, the code interpreter could be as rude as standard command prompt, as most of the times it requires you to type in the absolute same code and content it asks for. Moreover, LearnStreet’s Ruby tutorial prompts you with hints and answers when you make a mistake in its coding exercises. Once you finish the site’s programming courses, you can turn your attention to the dozens of coding projects for JavaScript, Python, and Ruby. The projects can be sorted by level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and by category (tools, games, and algorithms).

Udacity is the fusion of insightful video lectures and improved quizzes to achieve the interactive feel for students, so it’s ideal for those who don’t like to read but rather get explanations from industry professionals such as Google employees. In Udacity, you will be given a screencast from pros discussing the topics and instructions, then you will take either logic or programming quizzes to strengthen your understanding or forge it into a skill. The good thing about Udacity is it provides more videos than any other site, and the instructors are either real-life professors or industry veterans.

At this point all websites you read here are mainly dedicated to web development and computer science, but CodeHS is one with simple and fun game programming lessons that involve problem solving, JavaScript, animation, data structures, game design and puzzle challenges. It’s a perfect site to learn basic game programming effectively. The advantage of CodeHS is it teaches you to think, and solve a problem like a programmer with its first course, Programming with Karel. It plants a solid concept of programming and the way it solves the problem systematically in your mind.

Khan Academy
Although Khan Academy’s courses are not as structured as CodeHS, it serves as an open playground for both novice and amateurs particularly interested in learning drawing, animation and user interaction with code. It is famous for its ground-breaking video tutorials. Rather than focus on a particular programming language, the Khan Academy’s programming module uses JavaScript to illustrate concepts that apply to coding in general while also teaching some practical JavaScript skills.
The courses are divided into about a dozen categories, each of which has from 3 to 12 separate lessons. Each video lesson animates the coding technique in a window on the left and shows the result of the code running in a window on the right.
After the coding technique is demonstrated in a video, you are challenged to write code that executes the technique. When your code is not quite right, the tutorial provides hints to help you spot and correct the problem.
It is easy to navigate the Khan Academy lessons and jump between them and the site’s other features. A space is provided for creating your own programs, which you can save in your profile and share with the world.

Scratch 2.0
It is not about programming though, but a combination of visual blocks of commands that tell assigned objects how to behave, such as telling the dog to move 10 steps. By using this visual programming method, the programmers will form a habit of breaking a problem into smaller blocks, and solve them one by one logically.

Structured Query Language (SQL) is just a language purely designed to store and retrieve data from a database. Since there is really nothing too deep to explain for a straightforward language like SQL, the site will only ask you to replace the variables like city names or population number, and raise the difficulty from that level. One huge let-down will be the shortage of hints, answers and forum, so you are probably doomed if you fail to solve any one of the quizzes, just like old times.

Consider your learning style before choosing a site. If you are more of a hands-on learner, choose an interactive site like Codeacademy. Learning to code is like learning a language you need to practice if you want to improve. It is better to have several short study periods throughout the week, rather than one long session. Don’t feel daunted – programming is not as difficult as you might think. Log on to one of above websites and give it a go – you might surprise yourself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *