We know how websites and emails are supposed to look, but when it comes to the source code behind them, well, that’s a job best left to the programmers. Or is it? After all, even a small bit of coding work can get expensive if you have to hire it out. But that’s not your area of expertise; you don’t know how to code, and learning is just too difficult. Or is it?
The truth is that learning to write code isn’t hard at all, especially with all of the educational resources at your disposal. Even if you’ve never written a line of code before, there are websites, apps, and other online tools to get you started. And if you’re on a limited budget, you’re in luck, as many of these resources are free!
Learning to code can save your business money and even boost your confidence, thanks to learning some newfound DIY skills. If you’re ready to learn coding, check out one of these five websites, schools, or apps.
- Khan Academy
You’ve probably heard of this educational website, which offers free and engaging courses on just about everything under the sun, including and especially how to code in various languages. You have full access to lectures and other learning activities, and you can watch as many times as you want and still incur no charges.
Established by educational heavyweights MIT and Harvard in 2012, edX is an online provider of MOOCs, or massive open online courses. Course topics run the gamut from humanities to STEM, and there are lots of coding options. A setup like this relies heavily on the motivation of the student (that’s you) to get through, as there’s very little direct interaction with the creator of the course materials. However, if you pay close attention, complete the activities, and pass the final assessment, you’ll come away with a great education on the coding (or any other) topic of your choosing. Again, it’s free, though there is a nominal charge if you want to be given a verified certificate upon course completion (usually under $100).
- MIT OpenCourseWare
You might not have the chops to earn a degree from the highly regarded Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but thanks to the MIT OpenCourseWare project, you can have access to materials from all of its courses. Like other tools on this list, getting the most out of MIT’s tremendous gift to the world is almost entirely up to the student, and it does require some time to poke around and see what helpful tidbits you can find. However, if you’re motivated to learn coding, this is a great (and again, free!) place to start.
If you’re interested in learning the Lua programming language, have an iPad, and are willing to part with $14.99, the Codea app can help. While it won’t do anything that can directly help your business, you’ll still learn the basics of programming by creating simple games and interactions. It’s a fun way to get up to speed on how code works.
Free classes in nine different programming languages are what Codecademy has to offer. Sign up for an account (it’s free), and you gain access to the sites full range of courses that can give you anywhere from an introductory to an advanced understanding of the language of your choosing. The testimonials are nothing short of impressive, and besides, what have you got to lose?
Give it a shot! Whether you just want to have a basic coding vocabulary so you can have productive conversations with your programmers and IT people, or you’re interested in taking over the coding duties yourself, one of these seven tools can help you out.
Have you used one of these tools to learn how to code? Have you used another tool? How did it go? Leave us a comment and tell us about your experience!