LEARN PROGRAMMING/CODING

CodeCademy is a wonderful place for you to learn the first steps of programming. However, it is not the only one out there. Each individual who joins has their own profile. To motivate users to participate, the site offers feedback, badges for completing exercises, as well as a function that keeps track of a user’s total score and total day streak, and displays it to others. There are also CSS and HTML glossaries available within each tutorial. The site allows anyone to create and publish a new course using a Course Creator tool. As wonderful as CodeCademy may be, it does not help you get to the next level, and even if it did, you would never become a good programmer by just using it.

Over the last few years I realized what I believe to be an universal truth:

“One must never follow a single source”.

The path to knowledge is not a straight line, it is not a highway. It is a tricky road with many sideways. Some of them will lead you to new adventures where you can redefine yourself, while others will teach you life lessons. In the end, the best programmer, is always the most experienced one. Experience is won not just by practicing, but also by choosing and testing alternatives.

This guide is all about that – alternatives to CodeCademy. Because if you are ever to get serious in learning how to program, or just if you are curious, you have to remember that the more sources you have, the better the odds that you will improve.

Therefore, in this guide we will present you with a series of alternatives to CodeCademy and a list of free courses that you can (and should) do in order to learn more – and as Dr. Seuss said, learning can take you to new places, and we all like that right?

2. Alternatives

2.1 Schools, Universities and Companies

These are the best direct alternatives you have when looking for courses and lessons outside of CodeCademy. These website also provide great courses, with video lessons, quizzes, challenges, and some of them even give you valid certificates that you can use in your curriculum. The best ones come from Universities, but they are all good, in the end what really matter is what you learned. Keep in mind however, that even though no all the options listed bellow are free, they always offer some free content that you can still explore.

2.1.1 Free

  • udacity
  • Udacity is an online university, and they present themselves as the future of online education. Its courses are very long video lessons that including homeworks, quizzes and challenges. Everything is free, but it does take a lot of time. While it does have courses in many areas, for the purposes of web developing we recommend the Web Development and the Mobile Web Development courses.
  • edx program
  • The edx is a non-profit program created by Harvard and MIT.It aims at giving the users a chance to have real classes online through video, with homeworks, grades and even certificates. An excellent choice for anyone wanting to learn anything. Once again, edx has a large list of courses, from which we recommend the Software as a Service v1 course and its successor, the Software as a Service v2 course.
  • MIT
  • M.I.T. is a well known university across the world. Now they also have online courses in a lot of areas which you can take for free. Not all of them include video lessons, but you can still access all the PDFs, assignments and exams to get the skills you are looking for. We recommend the Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving course for beginners, the User Interface Design and Implementation for starting web designers and theDesign and Analysis of Algorithms for hardcore programmers. This resource offers everythign a university would normally offer, meaning that you also need to be carefully when choosing courses or otherwise you will end up learning a bunch of useless skills with no real importance in the real world.
  • coursera
  • Coursera is another organization that has teamed up with universities in order to provide online courses for free. Just like Udacity and edx, it has a big list of courses, from which we recommend Learn to Program: The Fundamentals for the absolute beginners, An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python and Programming Handheld Systems with Android. Coursera has many courses for advanced and specialized users as well in the areas of computer algorithmics, cryptography and artificial intelligence as well that you may find interesting.
  • khanacademy
  • Khan academy is learning platform, used in online teaching that has been deployed in several American school for experimentation, and was featured in a TED Talk. its courses are well thought and encourage people to master what they learn, however, it does not have much content in web development for now. We recommend the Computer Programming course for absolute beginners, but if you are reading this, odds are that you already know most of what they teach in that course.
  • Programmr
  • Programmr is a website where you can learn all sorts of programming languages, including HTML/CSS, JavaScript, C++, Flash, Android and even more. While it does not have lessons organized in videos and challenges like the rest of its competitors, Programmr does focus more on self-learning through making lots of exercises, accessing code examples and entering contests. Furthermore, while learning users get points, and in the end, the users in more points enter the wall of fame and are given Amazon prizes and vouches.
  • learnstreet
  • LearnStreet is an early-stage startup focused on changing the way people of all backgrounds and skill levels learn how to code, pretty much like CodeCademy in almost every sense. It offers free courses for JavaScript, Python and Ruby, as well as Projects for beginners, intermediate and advanced web developers, sorted by categories such as Tools, Games, Algorithms.
  • Coding for Good
  • Cooding for good offers you lessons in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, offers you an opportunity to submit your work to contests and in the end the winner gets hired. Unlike other companies, this one actually uses resources from Youtube, MDN and even asks users to make CodeCademy courses so they can learn by practicing. Even though it is not as developed nor as good as its competitors, it does give you a chance to get a job, so its worth mentioning.
  • Dash
  • Very similar to CodeCademy courses, but with a better interface, Dash offers basic lessons in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It gets you started with real life projects where you can learn and practice all the coding skills that you need to make websites and even animated robots. Theory lessons are given in a slideshow format and the exercises evaluate your competences by a set of skills that you can master. In addition to all this, you can also visualize how your page looks on both desktop and mobile devices at the same time!
  • Mozilla Webmaker
  • Learn by doing is the principal mojo of this platform. Here you will learn by doing projects that you can choose from a pool that contains hundreds of them. Each project has tags associated with it and you can also remix projects in order to create your own. It also offers a free domain name for your projects using Thimble, allows you to remix videos using Popcorn and lets you see how the web works using X-Ray googles – Create and remix the web with Webmaker tools. Here is a list of very simple starter projects you may enjoy.
  • P2PU
  • P2PU tries to emulate other MOOC websites, however it falls short. It does not have as much content as one would expect, and its list of courses falls short when compared to its competitor, but it does have some very interesting courses, such as the GameON! Video Game Design & Development – Level 1 for game fans, the Writing for the Web for beginners who wish to learn the basics of making a blog and the more advanced coursesProgramming with the Twitter API and Haml and Sass for those who want to get to the next level by using social websits or by learning Ruby and Ruby on Rails.

2.1.2 Non-free but with trials, limited access or a free plan

2.2 Forums, Search Engines and Communities

The second line of defense of any web developer. While the previous resources are excellent for any beginner, these resources are perfect for any intermediate/advanced user. Here is a compilation of tools that you can use to improve your knowledge. They will not give you badges nor certificates, but you can still use them to ask questions and get out of trouble.

  • reddit
  • Reddit is the internet’s gate to everything interesting, with information and contents about anything. Its community is organized in subreddits, groups of people that share a common interest. Of all the subreddits that exist, we strongly recommend the Web_Development and Web_Design subreddits.
  • University of Reddit
  • A sub-community of reddit for anyone looking to teach or learn. It offers courses that are free, varied, and easily accessible. Teachers are given complete freedom in planning their curricula and how they want to carry out their class. Students don’t have to worry about attendance, grades, or tuition – this isn’t a regular university. The content is given to the students via subreddits, YouTube videos, PDF documents and other materials. It is not as easy to follow as the other methods, but if you invest time it may be worth it. From the Computer Science category, we recommend enrolling in the Intro to Web Development with HTML/CSS and Web Programming with Ruby on Rails classes.
  • stackexchange
  • Stack Exchange is an aggregation of Question&Answer forums. Used by many professionals and beginners, Stack Exchange forums are widely known for their quality information. Of all the forums they have, we strongly recommend using StackOverflow and WebMasters.

2.3 Specific and Miscellaneous

The Internet is place filled with excellent resources about Web Development, here are some that we found. This resources are blogs, tutorial repositories and mini-lessons that you can check for additional information. Therefore, in the next sections we present you a list of websites that teach specific techonologies, and then we end up this section with a list of websites that work as search engines and repositories for web development information.

2.3.1 HTML, CSS and JavaScript

2.3.2 PHP, Ruby, Python, Git and other information

Instead of copying and pasting here another list, I decided that directing you to our guides was a better idea. The truth is that we have already done this reserach multiple times, now all you have to do is read our guides and learn from our work. We hope you enjoy:

2.3.3 Miscellaneous

  • tympanus
  • Tympanus is a repository for tutorials, articles and code samples about Web Design and Web Development. Its content is freely available to the public. While it does not have any video courses like some of its competitors, it has interesting bundles called Collectives that are packages of overall relevant information for any web developer. The downside is that these golden treasure chests is that they often have information without any co-relation, so it is all up to you.
  • pineapple
  • Pineapple is a massive community-driven resource aggregator for designers and developers that strives to make it extremely EASY to find what you’re looking for. When you come across a site you love, you can quickly favorite it, and have it show up on your profile for later, all neatly organized and broken down by topic with your other resources.
  • codeplayer
  • CodePlayer is a website that has live examples of HTML/CSS and JavaScript code. There you can find code spinets of clocks, calculators and even more. Furthermore, you can also subscribe with you e-mail account to get the news from the latest gadgets submitted.
  • Noupe
  • Noupe is contains several resources about web design, web development, Photoshop, word press, JavaScript, HTML5 and pretty much anything related with web development and design. The information is not organized by any specific category but you can always use their search functionality.
  • line25
  • Line 25 is contains several resources dedicated specially to web design, Word Press, and User Interface elements. A good starting point to give your website a good look.
  • Smashing Magazine
  • This website has many articles regarding the standard web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaSript), mobile design, user interface design, Photoshop tips, and word press articles as well. Overall it covers advanced aspects of all the previously mentioned categories and it sells books that compact and organize the information as well.
  • Web Appers
  • Mainly focused on JavaScript technologies (such as jQuery) and front end tutorials, this website contains many tips and tricks that will help you build the best looking and interactive interface you could possible hope for your user. It also contains Photoshop resources, such as articles, fonts and icons, allows you to subscribe for books and it has collections of other resources organized in various sections as well.
  • Web Designer Wall
  • Specifically focused on Web Design, this is a good place to find examples of beautiful and interactive websites, web design tips and tutorials, and Photoshop resources.
  • echoecho
  • A website contining a list of tutorials and resources for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, ASP, PHP and more. It has the content divided into three main categories (Page Building, Component Building and Server Programming) together with quizes and links to more resources and references.
  • Web Platform Docs
  • This a a Wiki focused on documenting several techonologies. Here you can find documentation about HTML CSS, JavaScript WebGL, SVG and even more. It is done by a community of dedicated people and it has many IRC channels where you can pop in to ask for help.

3. Conclusion

Here we explored and organized several resources that you may find useful. There is plenty of help for beginners and advanced web developers through tutorials and courses, however when it comes to intermediate developers such is not the case – they should rely more on forums and learn how to properly ask for help and how to explore resources (such as code snippets) in order to evolve. I also want you to know that reading our tutorials and guides may greatly help you, and you should totally check them all.

Now, at long last, in the end I want you to remember the following:

“(…) that knolege is power, that knolege is safety, and that knolege is happiness.”

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Cabell, 22 January 1820 – “All the states but our own are sensible that knolege is power.”

One can never know too much – such is the motto of the employed web developer. At the time of writing of this article, the world had over 7 billion people, all of them eager to get a job and to succeed in life. The one thing that distinguishes you from them is not how much you know, but how you apply it.

4. Special Thanks

Source: https://ngeshdesign.wordpress.com/learn-programmingcoding/

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