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Learn to Code

Six fun ways to learn about programming

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The start of September always inspires me to want to learn a new skill or further develop my existing skill set.  I’ll chalk it up to that “back to school” feeling that you never quite grow out of. If, like me, you are feeling that September itch to learn, why not learn to code? After all, the ability to code is quickly becoming one of the most valuable and sought after skills in today’s job market. More importantly, it’s actually really fun! Convinced? Here are some great fun resources to help you get started.

1. Codeacademy

Codeacademy is a really great interactive tool for learning the ins and outs of basic coding. Focusing on a variety of popular languages including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, Python and PHP, it provides users with the opportunity to learn by doing. Each topic includes a succession of lessons centred on mini-projects or activities. The information is also presented in a user friendly manner, making it perfect for budding programmers.

2. code school

Code school is a great tool for those looking to get away from the mainstream. Similar to Codeacademy, users are provided with easy to follow video lessons and interactive learning activities. What sets codeschool apart from the others, is the ability to select different learning “paths”.  Each path focuses on a different programming language. For example, by selecting the Javascript path, users have the opportunity to dabble with JQuery, Coffeescript, Backbone.js and Node.js. Although some of the resources require a paid membership, most are offered free of charge and it’s a great way to pick up new programming skills or try a few new programming languages and frameworks.

3. Rails for Zombies

If you require a little more danger and excitement when learning to code, head on over to This online learning tool brought to you by the makers of code school requires a little more experience, as it focuses on rails, which is a framework for the programming language Ruby.  Focusing on the needs of the “Nintendo Generation”, Rails for Zombies teaches web application development with a focus on fun. Lessons are presented in video format with follow up activities included in each section. There are also zombies. Lots of zombies. What more could a beginner coder ask for?

4. Lifehacker provides you with endless ways to make everyday tasks easier, including learning to code! The beginners guide provides a basic overview of programming fundamentals in a series of easy to understand video lessons. The very basics are covered including variables, data types, arrays and functions. A great resource for anyone new to the coding scene.

5. <Code/Racer >

Another learn to program resource in the fun to use category, Code Racer is a great tool for learning the basics of HTML and CSS in an interactive way. Brought to you by Treehouse, a website dedicated to learning about a variety of different web technologies, Code Racer pits you against opponents in a race to see who the quickest coder is. A great resource for beginner coders, Code Racer also offers advanced challenges for seasoned programmers interested in testing their coding knowledge and agility.

6. National Learn to Code Day

September 21st is National Learn to Code Day! Geared towards beginner programmers, this initiative, brought to you by Ladies Learning Code, is designed to get everyone excited about coding. Sign up for one of the many intro to HTML and CSS events happening across the nation – no prior knowledge or fancy programs needed! For more information, check out the Ladies Learning Code Code Day site.

Inspired to learn to code? Perhaps you know of another “learn to code” resource. Share with us!




About The Blogger

Jessica Gilfillan - Portrait

Jessica Gilfillan – Guest Blogger

Jessica Gilfillan is a second year Web Design and Animation student at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario. She is interested in responsive design, creating an accessible web for all and mastering PHP.

In her spare time she likes to crochet, practice yoga and hang out with her hound dog, Ruby. She also hopes to learn how to play the banjo in the near future. You can follow Jessica on Twitter @jessicaanngilly.

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