Top 12 Online Resources for Beginners Learning to Code

Learning a new skill can be overwhelming, to say the least. And with a complex and constantly evolving skill like coding, it can seem impossible to figure out where to begin. Thankfully, there are many high quality – and free! – online resources that are ideal for even the most novice programmer. Follow along for my list of top 10 online resources for beginners learning to code, tried and tested by our very own team of star developers.

Turtle Academy. This web-based tutorial teaches programming in a fun and very simple way by helping you write code through moving a turtle around the screen. Turtle Academy is a great way to introduce yourself to programming and get familiar with the basic paradigms.
Price: Free

Lego Mindstorms

. Through “Learn to Program” on Lego’s website, you complete 25 “missions” with their free software. It’s a great introduction to some programming principles, and really quite fun. As they say on the website, “make your robot do exactly what you want it to do!” – whether that’s move, drive or respond to touch.
Price: Free

Udacity.

Udacity gives you a huge online library of courses for all levels and all kinds of subjects. Click on “Intro to Computer Science” or “Developing Android Apps” – or any one in a big roster of classes to help you hone your skills and develop your training.
Price: Free access to course materials, pricing structure for more

Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers.  This video game-style game is educational and fun, and works for all levels. Go from beginner to coder extraordinaire while also having fun. You’ll learn the ins and outs of JavaScript while also engaging in head-to-head robot wars on the battlefield. Only drawback? The app has been known to be a bit buggy, but recent updates seem to have resolved many of the lingering issues.
Price: Free on iTunes, Free on Android

My Robot Friend. While this app for iPhone & iPad is much more geared towards kids, it’s still very informative and gets the basics across. Anyone can benefit from a number of games and puzzles that introduce you to programming and gradually build on those skills.
Price: $3.99

Project Euler. While this website is geared towards those with a grasp of the basics, it’s a great place to keep learning and push yourself. Solve a series of mathematical and computer programming problems and grow your skills in the process.
Price: Free

CodeCombat. Leading with the idea that the best way to learn is to do, CodeCombat gives you a fun and interactive way to learn how to program. It also introduces a multiplayer element, so there’s a built-in community as well as an edge of competition for head-to-head programming wars.
Price: Free

L2Code CSS. A very beginner-friendly crash course in CSS that you can easily access and use on your mobile on the go, or sitting at a desk. This app is available on both iOS and Android and gives very clear lessons, examples and step-by-step instructions.
Price: $4.99 on iOS and Android

Codea .While Codea is only available on iPad and is on the more expensive end of things, it’s an excellent resource for those who are really willing to roll their sleeves up and dig in. The guidance is a bit limited – so be prepared to really pay attention and teach yourself at parts – but if you’re willing to push through, you’ll learn a lot. Bonus? You can export what you build and sell it on the App Store!
Price: $9.99 on iPad

Cato’s Hike. This is a great app for those who learn visually. Program Cato’s movements around the map to make sure he can move and get out of different situations. While it’s definitely a bit more for the kids, this is a very thorough tutorial and you can learn a lot of fundamentals. Light and fun.
Price: $4.99 on iOS

iPad and iPhone Application Development. This free course through iTunes gives you a series of audio podcasts that take you through what you need to know to develop on the iOS platform. Very thorough explanations, and a great course – used by some of our own iOS devs.
Price: Free

W3Schools. W3Schools is a practical introduction to web development that anyone can follow. Full of examples, it covers how different things work together. While other programming tutorials can be abstract and vague on how to apply the things you learn, that is simply not the case with W3Schools.
Price: Free

Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK. Bonus resource! While this is clearly not an online resource, sometimes there’s something to be said for being able to hold the resource in your hands and really make it your own. This is an easy to follow read that’s written in very friendly, beginner language. A fantastic resource for beginners to iPhone development!
Price: $8.33 on Amazon

What resources have you been using as you learn to code? Let me know and keep me posted on how it goes with these resources in the comments!

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