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The best sources to get started

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Programming is one of the most important skills of our time. However, beginners are often quickly put off by the complexity. It doesn’t have to be. Because there is a wealth of learning opportunities on the Internet that can teach you programming step by step.

Learn to program for free: The Freecodecamp

Freecodecamp is a non-profit organization funded by donations. It was founded in 2014 by Quincy Larson. In the portfolio, the platform has several learning paths; you can earn certificates by completing small projects at the end of a learning path.

There are currently learning paths on the topics of responsive web design, JavaScript algorithms and data structures, data visualization, API and microservices, information security and quality assurance. The paths are broken down into various larger and smaller sub-themes – for example, the responsive web design path includes HTML and HTML5, Basic CSS, Accessibility and newer themes such as CSS Grid and CSS Flexbox.

The learning material is conveyed via text that explains a CSS property or an HTML element. In an embedded editor interface, learners then have to solve a task that relates to what has been explained. Anyone who has completed the task will receive a success message with a motivating slogan:

(Screenshot: Freecodecamp/t3n)

The tasks at Freecodecamp are well suited for getting started and as a playful addition, also because the content is served in small, bite-sized pieces that can be solved within a few minutes. The messages when solving the challenges bring a small sense of achievement every time, so that learning about the platform is actually a lot of fun. However, the introduction to a first small project comes very late.

When working on the responsive web design path, it also became clear that solving the tasks above all required understanding the text and logical thinking and that the programming skills required for the project had not been internalized. However, the tasks at Freecodecamp are definitely suitable as a supplement to other resources. The numerous articles on the platform, which you can find under News, as well as the Freecodecamp youtube channel.

Courses in almost every programming language: Learn to code on Codecademy

Codecademy allows you to learn programming in the browser. (Screenshot: Codecademy/t3n)

Codecademy leaves nothing to be desired and is one of the best-known platforms for learning programming languages ​​- including HTML, CSS, Ruby, Python, jQuery and many more. At Codecademy, not only different programming languages ​​are taught, but also, for example, how to set up and publish a website.

With easy-to-understand exercises, you are introduced to the subject step by step and can constantly expand your skills in the respective area. Most courses are free. If you want to learn even more, you can upgrade to Codecademy Pro for $19.99 per month.

Martin Weigert has already attempted it himself. Here you can read how he fared after he started a programming class.

Good starting point for beginners: Code Avengers

(Screenshot: Codeavengers/t3n)

Code Avengers is a platform that conveys content very similar to Freecodecamp. What is nicer for absolute beginners is that you can always see the effects of your code changes directly in a mockup on the right edge of your browser window.

At the end of each learning unit, you have the opportunity to play a game in order to repeat and consolidate what you have learned. On Code Avengers you will find courses on Python, JavaScript, HTML and CSS, design, computer science, web and game development. There are also separate junior learning paths for kids aged 5 to 14.

For $29 a month, you get access to over 500 courses, over 100 quizzes, and a Slack channel, among other things. During a seven-day, free test phase, you can decide whether this is worth the rather high amount.

Good video content for aspiring coders: Treehouse

(Screenshot: Treehouse/t3n)

tree house offers over 1,000 videos from the fields of web design, coding, business and many more. The collection is constantly updated with the latest technologies so that participants are always up to date. It is explained with video tutorials, followed by example exercises. Those who have performed well receive an award – a gamification approach is followed here.

Unfortunately, there is only a seven-day test version, for which you have to store all the data. A full membership costs $25 a month or $250 a year.

Learning to code: offers videos for “badass web developers”

(Screenshot: Egghead/t3n)

Egghead offers “video tutorials for badass web developers”. Egghead is not for absolute coding newbies, but if you are looking for a well-founded introduction to a framework that is new to you, for example, you are definitely well advised to take the online courses.

The learning bundles often include additional materials such as course notes and guides or access to live coding sessions and podcasts. A Pro membership costs $250 a year. If you don’t want to commit yourself for a whole year, you can pay $25 a month.

Interested bargain hunters can keep their eyes open for price reductions that are available from time to time – during such a campaign, the annual bundle can sometimes be had for half the regular price.

With level-up tutorials to the next level of knowledge

(Screenshot: Level up/t3n)

Level-up Tutorials is a platform created by web developer great Scott Tolinski. There you will find tutorials on individual technologies such as GraphQL or Svelte. The whole thing is structured according to levels, so that users can find the right tutorial for them depending on their level of knowledge.

While the introductory courses are free, you currently pay $225 per year for full access to all courses.

Learn programming as a guessing game: Sololearn

(Screenshot: Sololearn/t3n)

Sololearn is a platform that wants to bring you closer to programming languages ​​and concepts in the form of small quizzes – often in multiple choice format. The platform offers learning paths to common programming languages ​​such as Python, JavaScript, PHP or Java, the concepts and syntax of which are brought closer to the learners, primarily through explanatory text and example code that prospective developers can try out, as well as a final quiz to check their learning.

Sololearn is free, and it also comes in the form of a mobile app for iOSiPadOS and Android on the go. Sololearn is probably the programming counterpart to the Duolingo Owl. Anyone who allows push notifications can enjoy daily reminders with the mobile app. If you get stuck solving a challenge, you can get help and inspiration from other users via the associated forum.

Envatotuts: Guides for budding coders and designers

(Screenshot: Envatotuts/t3n)

At Envatotuts, the marketplace for pretty much everything that has to do with the web, you can take numerous training courses. In addition to programming courses, the portal also offers courses for illustrations, web design and business. You can choose from over 1,000 tutorials on various programming topics, including Git and GitHub.

While the offer used to be subject to a fee, you can now access the courses without a subscription.

Udemy: Well-known learning platform also teaches you programming

(Screenshot: Udemy/t3n)

Of course, programming newbies will also find what they are looking for on Udemy. The platform offers video tutorials and courses on all sorts of topics, including programming languages, of course. But be careful when choosing, the quality of the courses can vary.

Before you decide on a course, you can use the preview to get an idea of ​​the instructors. Courses that are a bit older are often available for a fraction of the original price. Before you invest time and money in such a course, you should pay close attention to whether the content taught is still up to date.

For example, Colt Steele’s The Web Development Bootcamp is available at a greatly reduced price – the course is regularly updated and supplemented, but still includes some lessons based on outdated software versions, such as Bootstrap 3. For those who don’t mind, the If necessary, following tutorials with a newer version – in this case Bootstrap 4 – in a modified form can definitely invest the 9.99 euros with a clear conscience.

The German-language alternative: developer hero

(Screenshot: developer hero/t3n)

Developer hero is a German-language platform on which (prospective) developers can try out different programming languages, including JavaScript, Python, PHP, Java, C# and C++, after registering for coding challenges. Registration is free, you only have to enter your e-mail address.

In a code editor embedded in the web interface, the platform provides registered users with tasks sorted by level of difficulty. The first challenge is the well-known fizzbuzz problem. Users can choose whether they only want to solve the task for practice or whether their result should be visible to companies that may be using the platform for the purpose of talent searches.

As a special gamification incentive, developer heroes, as the platform calls its users, have the opportunity to collect rewards by solving tasks, which can then be exchanged for an Amazon voucher, for example. The platform is not for complete newbies, but for anyone who has already acquired a basic knowledge of the language to be deepened and is perhaps even looking for a job, Developer Hero is definitely worth a click.

For (prospective) data scientists: Data Camp

(Screenshot: Datacamp/t3n)

Datacamp offers learning paths in technologies and programming languages ​​that belong in the repertoire of a data scientist or data analyst, including Python, R and SQL. Those who want to learn can get a taste of the first chapter of a course free of charge, if you want to complete a complete course, you have to pay 25 dollars for a standard account or 33 dollars for a premium account.

Learning from the creators of Firefox: Mozilla Developer Network

The MDN Web Docs will serve as joint documentation from Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and the W3C in the future. (Screenshot: Mozilla/t3n)

The Mozilla Developer Network is a wiki in which resources on various web technologies are collected. Similar to Wikipedia, anyone can write on it. MDN, as the wiki is also called, is an indispensable reference work for experienced users and beginners. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the German version: The English version is often much more detailed.

This article is regularly updated by the editors.

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