In today’s world, it’s hard to find any modern device that doesn’t function through code. The language has become integral to everything we read, see, and write. And guess what? Its importance is only going to become greater in the years ahead.
The good news is that you don’t need a computer science degree to learn how to write code. Thanks to a sleuth of online websites, video tutorials, and traditional textbooks, everybody is welcome to have a go.
In this brief article, we’re going to round up the best ways to learn to code on a budget. This way, you’ll add an essential skill set to your repertoire and still have some money leftover in the bank.
If you’re looking to learn the basics, such as HTML and CSS, a quick search on Google is a good place to start. Websites such as Codeacademy, Free Code Camp, and The Khan Academy all run through a step-by-step learning course. Best of all, they’re free.
Most sites are “gamified”, so you’ll earn badges as you progress to help keep you motivated. What’s more, if you do become stuck at any point, nearly all have large online communities on hand to offer advice.
For those that struggle with dry, academic material, CodeCombat could be the ideal solution. Designed as a fantasy adventure game, you have to code your way through different challenges to complete each level. The intro levels are free, so if you’re still a big kid at heart this might be the place to start your coding journey.
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Visual learners may find watching free online YouTube tutorials a simple way to learn how to code. Accounts such as Programme Knowledge and Derek Banas run through all of the basics and some of the more complex languages such as PHP and Ruby.
You can also take your learning with you wherever you go by downloading their classes using freemake.com.
If you become stuck at any point, simply leave a comment on the video explaining your situation. Either the video maker or your fellow YouTubers will quickly be on hand to help you out.
Speaking of learning on the go, apps have made learning code possible on a multitude of devices.
Google Play and Apple’s App Store both have hundreds of free-to-use coding apps that bring learning to your fingertips. Some of the best, such as SoloLearn and Encode, will help you to master everything from Java to SQL without spending a dime.
When choosing which app(s) to download, always look for the ones with the best reviews. The majority are free at the point of entry but may require you to pay a fee once you start learning more complex languages.
Don’t ever pay for a coding app without trying it for free first. You may find its teaching style boring – or worse – confusing.
Coding may be a modern phenomenon, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be taught in traditional ways.
In fact, learning to code is extremely similar to learning a foreign language. That makes textbooks an ideal learning resource.
They’re easy to pack into a backpack, don’t require any sort of power source, and can be bought for a pittance on second-hand sites such as eBay. What’s not to like?
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If all else fails, try taking an online course through the likes of Udemy or FutureLearn. Both sites have review rating systems, so you can see from previous students which courses represent the best value for money.
Many teachers offer free sampler courses, which give you an opportunity to see if their teaching style is one you enjoy.
While you might have to pay a small amount to take a certain course, you will at least have the added reassurance that nearly all of the teachers on the site allow you to email them with any questions.
Finally, make sure the digital learning platform that you do choose is mobile-optimized. This way, you’ll be able to study even while you’re traveling.
Web and software developers are some of the most in-demand jobs on the planet. While learning to code isn’t a guarantee of a job, it does demonstrate your aptitude for learning – a skill that all companies desire in their employees.
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