Learn to Code

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In this era, practically every job relies on some sort of computer script. From automated payments to office emails, computers are vital to the functionality of the world. Yet less than 10% of schools offer classes in Computer Science, and a meek 2% of Americans know any coding language. One of the largest blockades stopping new coders is the daunting task of learning one of these languages. It’s like an adult who never studied Mathematics in school being asked to learn Algebra–totally overwhelming. Thankfully, there are countless websites that offer free courses in almost every coding language around.

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Code.org offers courses in generic coding using Frozen as a mascot to interest a young generation. The ‘coding’ primarily revolves around dropping blocks that cause a character to preform varying actions. Afterwards it shows you a basic script that could’ve achieved the same effect. It’s not realistically useful, and seems more oriented around sparking an interest in computer programming rather than teaching an actual course in it.

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MadeWithCode.com is a site recently launched by Google, oriented in getting girls (a minority in the web development industry) interested in coding. It doesn’t actually teach scripting, rather explaining what it is used for and the various things you could make with it. It’s a bit more advanced than Code.org, though is designed for an older audience. It has various tools, for generating hearts, bracelets, and a digital avatar.

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Codecademy.com hosts courses in HTML, CSS, Javascript, JQuery, PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, and SQL. All of these (with the exception Java and SQL) are free, extensive courses for beginners, giving you a basic understanding of every language. These start from the basics, like making the program say your name, to more intermediate subjects, like setting up a virtual cash register. However, it doesn’t do a great job of explaining how you can utilize these skills outside of their website, and you’ll be forced to move on to a more advanced resource at some points.

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KhanAcademy.org has some highly extensive JavaScript courses, culminating in some rather advanced work. It’s harder than Codecademy, but does a better job of showing how you can utilize these skills outside of the site. Courses range from building basic shapes to simulating a basic ecosystem. It also teaches HTML/CSS, however these are usually intertwined with JavaScript to create webpages.

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W3Schools.com primarily acts as a JS/CSS/HTML/JQUERY reference tool, but they also have some tutorials to start learning the appropriate language. These start at a basic-intermediate level, and will probably require some outside research to complete. Luckily, W3Schools hosts all the information you’ll need in it’s own database. It more thoroughly explains the various actions and methods you an use in each language, rather than narrowing on the most immediately useful information.

With so many resources to start coding with no experience, it’s easier than ever to jump into a new subject.

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