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Luke Stenis graduated from Austin Coding Academy’s Full Stack Web Development program in 2016. Upon graduating, Luke landed a role as an “Implementation Engineer” with Austin-based content production company, Invodo. During his time at Invodo, Luke also worked as an instructor at ACA, teaching the 10-week “Intro to Web Development” course.
Luke currently works in Salt Lake City, Utah, as a “Digital Analytics Implementation Engineer” with PluralSight.
This article will cover some great coding websites for beginners and where to find them.
Everyone has turning points in their lives, and many times we don’t realize we’ve made them until we are well down the road. Other times, we face a tough decision knowing full well that it could take us down two distinctly different paths, altering our lives all together and sending significant ripples through the space-time continuum, opening new dimensions that expose humanity to an otherwise oblivious and belligerent alien race, who in turn decide our planet is perfect for a new galactic freeway-side diner… and you’re on the menu! No pressure, homie.
But I digress. At this time last year, I faced a tough decision in my life. I was laid off, with a young family, and a burnt-out candle of a career. I spent the last eight years in Austin’s digital marketing scene, but it wasn’t satisfying, like that feeling you get sitting silently in a public restroom reflecting upon your regrettable choice of Chinese food, all the while listening to the guy in the stall next to you talk to his mother on his cell phone… “You’re a grown man, Chuck!” Get me outta here…
My mind was thirsty for a new challenge, something that balanced creativity, critical thinking, and a technically-sustainable skill. I wanted a new career path that was rewarding, not only financially but intellectually as well. I wanted to create and build stuff on the internet. I had taught myself basic HTML at past jobs – editing email templates with new images, copy, and updating simple styling. After a few meet-ups, online chats and coffee talks within my professional network, I was convinced that learning how to code was a big part of my answer.
The next step from there was to look for a more structured learning model, but I was unemployed so it needed to be cheap. Or free. Luckily, there are now ways to get introduced to computer programming without the cost of attending a University or intensive trade school. Many coding websites for beginners now offer free lessons and tutorials for learning how to code.
Whether you are looking to advance your career, supplement your skill set, or just love to learn, these five websites below offer instant and interactive courses to teach you programming languages… for free. Trust me, I’m not only a sponsor (not really), I’m also a member (really)…
Inside each course, you are given simple-to-understand instructions, helpful tips, and a user-friendly console to test out if your code is acceptable. If you make mistakes, you are given an error message and hints for completing each lesson. It’s like having an instructor looking over your shoulder the entire time.
The greatest part of Codecademy is that all the courses are free to use, but they do offer premium account level for additional projects and advanced tutorials. The site is great for a beginner looking for the structure of traditional coursework.
Code Avengers specifically designs their courses to appeal to all ages, so you know that they are going to be fun to work through. When you start a new course, you are asked a few simple questions to better tailor the tutorial to your learning environment, and you can choose whether to use video or text tutorials.
This site is great for beginners who want to be entertained as they learn. Honestly, who doesn’t?
Once you’ve worked through Codecademy or Code Avengers, I recommend checking out Code School. They offer more in-depth coursework that provides a clear path and more masterful grasp on each language. Definitely one of our best coding websites for beginners.
Right now, you can choose one of four paths for becoming an expert:
Nearly all the courses are packed full of well-written screencasts and polished design. The challenges that follow each lesson aren’t for the weak-willed, so consider yourself warned. Luckily there are hints to help you along the way. While most courses are free, some will prompted you to upgrade to a premium account in order to finish the entire course. For a small subscription fee, you get access to all the courses across the entire site.
If you like to master big concepts by building real projects, such as a responsive website, WordPress theme or application, Treehouse is a great place to learn programming with a purpose. You can build a foundation of knowledge in their vast offering of courses with a video + quiz format, each broken out into stages or modules.
Once you get past the first stage, however, you will be prompted to upgrade to a premium account for a small subscription fee. If you are serious about your coding chops at this point, this is a good investment as you get access to all 650+ videos.
Okay, so I lied to you… Lynda.com might be the most well-known site on this list. Please forgive me. Do we need to hug it out? No? Good. As you may know, Lynda.com is now owned and run by LinkedIn.com, so if you choose this route, consider wearing pants when logged in. Or not…
As you know or will soon find out, learning a programming language is like getting a tattoo, once you get one, you want to be covered in ink from head to toe by the end of the month… but it never happens. If you want to fall down an endless well of programming languages on Lynda.com, it CAN happen.
Lynda.com offers over 121 programming languages, 400 different courses and nearly 18,000 video tutorials for their Web Developer track alone.
Holy shenanigans, Batman, all that for free?! Well, not exactly. You can try it out with a free 10-day trial and get unlimited access to their coursework and featured experts. If you want to make a small investment in continuous learning, check out Lynda.com as an option.
You can’t get a tattoo on there, but you can permanently “ink” some serious language knowledge in your brain. While this is definitely one of the better coding websites for beginners, this route is definitely for someone who has a developed a little chops and looking to take their coding game to 11.
LEARN HOW TO CODE TODAY, SAVE THE UNIVERSE TOMORROW
Who knows, it could be your first step toward mastering a programming language, changing your entire life, meeting the person of your dreams, raising a few unicorns, and possibly saving the entire “frakking” universe…