Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts. Nearly everywhere you look—from business management, to customer engagement, to product development—technology plays a massive role. As such, tech-related skills—and coding in particular—are excellent additions to nearly any professional’s resume.
A variety of books, apps and websites (Blogs & YouTube) make it easy for even busy professionals to get a start on learning the fundamentals of coding. But which entry-level resources are the most effective? You decide for yourself.
Table Of Contents:
1. Code Complete – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
The single best cornerstone book on good software development is Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve McConnell. Oftentimes new developers will get hung up on “The new technology X book,” which is a mistake. You need to understand the fundamentals before jumping into the technically advanced details. While this book has code examples, it focuses more on patterns and practices.
2. Lightbot – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
For the very young or those who have not yet had any experience with procedural abstraction, I would recommend the Lightbot site/app/game. This learning tool is fun and can identify problems with abstract thought processes. It is an excellent first attempt at understanding programming concepts without having to worry about language/syntax and all the other elements of a programming toolchain.
3. Wrox – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
You may have seen their red books at the bookstore or on the desks of your IT friends and co-workers. For over 25 years, developers have relied on Wrox books as effective tools for learning new programming languages and technologies. Start at the Wrox website. They have a staple of resources for all levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.
4. Pluralsight – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Previously known as the Code School, Pluralsight is an online resource for all types of coding tutorials and lessons. This resource has helped me stay updated so I can work with my team of developers.
5. The C Programming Language And Codea – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
In terms of learning how to code, the best book is The C Programming Language by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie. Even if C is not the language you’ll use (and likely you won’t), the book is elegantly simple in its explanation of core programming concepts like loops, arrays and conditionals. For an app, get Codea, an iPad app that helps you write code and execute it on the iPad.
6. Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
There are tons of online resources to learn how to code. There are far fewer resources, unfortunately, for learning to write code that is secure. One of the best resources for learning to write secure code is OWASP. It contains a wealth of information, guides, tools and conferences focused on secure coding.
8. freeCodeCamp – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
freeCodeCamp is a free online coding school that provides a proven code curriculum followed by hands-on projects for nonprofit organizations. It’s a great way to move beyond the books and tutorials and hone your skills on real projects while helping organizations that can’t afford the cost of deploying modern technology to deploy great applications. It frees your soul.
9. Codecademy and Hands On Machine Learning – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
For a complete novice, I highly recommend Codecademy. It’s approachable and builds from the basics. Quickly teach yourself the basics of Python. For learning something more on the cutting edge, Aurélien Géron’s book Hands-on Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn and TensorFlow will quickly get you writing machine learning algorithms using Python and other free tools.
10. Grasshopper – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
I believe everybody in this age should have at least basic knowledge of coding. Grasshopper is a good app to start with. Backed by Google, they’ve made it pretty fun. I think it’s important to start with very basic coding, and it’s important to make it fun so that the students don’t lose interest. Real-time feedback makes it easy to spot mistakes and fix them.
11. Khan Academy – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
With more than half the world connected to the internet, information is readily available to those who seek it. Khan Academy is not only a leader in the online education format, it is also a pioneer, having started in 2007. Their coding courses are interactive and a great resource to learn the basics. It also makes it a fun environment. If you are a visual learner this is a great avenue to take.
12. YouTube – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
I am a self-taught developer who picked up on programming at a young age. I explored a bunch of online resources, library books, coding apps and websites, but the ultimate and true and FREE resource that I’d always go back to is YouTube. The combination of code examples with visual demonstrations is powerful when learning to code. The breadth of videos to learn Swift is virtually unlimited on YouTube. In the toggle below is a list of YouTube channels for learning to code.
YouTube: Learn to Code by Watching the Experts – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
One of Travis Neilson’s YouTube channels. Focuses on web design and web development, with occasional live Q&As.
Topics taught: HTML, CSS, responsive design, development advice
My personal favorite. Web-development-focused videos made by Will Stern.
Topics taught: Sublime Text, Responsive Design, Node.js, Angular.js, Backbone.js, deployment strategies, and more
Over 4,000 videos on a range of programming languages, game development, and design. Has over one million subscribers.
Topics taught: Android development, C programming, MySQL, Python, and more.
A more comprehensive list of YouTube channels where you can learn to code: Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
- Google Developers – reports, reviews, tutorials
- Helping Develop – PHP, jQuery, HTML, CSS
- Sass Bites Podcast – Sass
- LevelUpTuts – HTML5, Stylus, CSS, Sass, WordPress
- DevTips – Foundation, CSS, RWD
- phpacademy – CSS, PHP, Sass, Node.js, Laravel
- andrewperk – Ruby on Rails, CakePHP, Laravel
- computttsmaster – PHP, Node.js
- fallendown2005 – Laravel
- TheDigiCraft – PHP, HTML5, CSS3
- Dr Richard Stibbard – PHP, WordPress, jQuery UI
- Michiel Wouters – ASP.net, PHP
- JREAM – NoSQL, PHP, jQuery
- easydevtuts – Bootstrap, Sass, Foundation
- WebDevMentors – Python, Bootstrap
- Lalit Bassi – Bootstrap, HTML5, CSS, Python
- Brad Hussey – Bootstrap, PHP
- Creativity Tuts – Laravel, Git, CSS, Gulp, Bootstrap
- Quentin Watt – jQuery, HTML5, CSS3, PHP
- livelessons – NodeJS, Python, AngularJS
13. Udemy, Code, And Computer Science Distilled – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Udemy offers an excellent range of high-quality courses taught by great instructors. I would also suggest reading Code by Charles Petzold, as it gives a fundamental understanding of how computers work, as well as Computer Science Distilled by Wladston Ferreira Filho.
14. Codewars – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Codewars is definitely a fun way to learn coding. With a martial-arts theme, the program is based on challenges called “kata.” Complete them to earn honor and progress to higher ranks.
15. Coursera – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Large online course library, where classes are taught by real university professors. All courses are free of charge, but you have the option to pay for a “Coursera Verified Certificate” to prove course completion. These cost between $30 and $100 depending on the course. Coursera also now has specializations, which you do have to pay for.
Topics taught: Many (far beyond your basic coding/computer science), but there are some great coding for beginners options.
16. edX – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
An open-source higher education program governed by MIT and Harvard. Offers 107 courses under the “computer science” category, teaching various coding languages.
Topics taught: Java, C#, Python, and many more
17. GA Dash – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
General Assembly’s free online learning platform. Entirely project-based. You build a “project” with each walk-through. They are one of the very few options that have a course on how to build a Tumblr theme from scratch.
18. Khan Academy – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Tons of subjects (as their front page says, “You can learn anything”), including many on computer programming. A few courses are offered for younger kids, too.
Topics taught: Many
19. MIT OpenCourseware – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Competition to get into MIT may be stiff, but accessing their course material has no minimum SAT score. They maintain an online library of every subject they teach, with no account required for access.
Topics taught: Many
20. The Odin Project – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Made by the creators of Viking Code School—a premiere online coding bootcamp. The Odin Project is their free coding bootcamp version. FYI: you can also work with others in in-person or online study groups.
21. Udacity – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Offers individual courses, as well as “nanodegrees” that train you for specific careers like front-end web developer or data analyst. Some course materials are free, but nanodegrees require a tuition fee.
Topics taught: Many
22. The Code Player – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
A compilation of video tutorials to help you walk through a process from start to finish. Good for learning “smaller” projects or tasks one at a time.
23. A List Apart – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Lots of authors. They write books, have events, and run a great development and design blog, which is easy to understand even if you’re new to this (and includes some great topics around coding for beginners). See all code topics here.
24. CSS-Tricks – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
25. David Walsh – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Run by David Walsh (a senior developer at Mozilla), although there are others who write on the site too. Tutorials, how-tos, demos, and more.
26. Scotch.io – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Covers lots of topics related to web development and workflow. To name a few: Angular, Node.js, Laravel, Sublime Text, and more.
27. SitePoint – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
28. Tuts+ – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Tons of free tutorials, as well as paid options like actual courses. Has over 570 expertly-instructed video courses (on all topics, not just computer-related). Also publishes eBooks.
29. Skillcrush’s Free Coding Bootcamp – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Skillcrush’s free coding bootcamp is a perfect place to start for absolute newbies. You’ll learn what it means to work in tech, get digestible definitions of common industry lingo, and get the chance to write your first lines of code.
30. Learn CSS Layout – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
This website will teach you CSS fundamentals that are used in setting up a website’s layout. It’s best for those who already have basic HTML and CSS know-how.
31. Marksheet.io – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
For beginners. Broken down into four chapters: The web, HTML5, CSS3, and Sass. It’s like an online ebook, but under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. So you can adapt it for your needs.
32. Mozilla Developer Network – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
33. HTML5 Dog – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
HTML beginner tutorial here. (They also offer intermediate and advanced HTML tutorials.) And ones on CSS.
34. Command Line Power User – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Free video series created by Wes Bos. More at an intermediate level, so not for total newbies.
35. Conquering the Command Line – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Free online book by Mark Bates. Very in-depth. Can purchase hard copy and screencasts.
36. Learn Command Line the Hard Way – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
Free online book by Zed Shaw.
37. Try Git – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
An interactive series of challenges to learn about and experiment with Git. Created by Code School.
38. Git Immersion – Coding Resources Recommended by Tech Experts
A guided tour to teach you the basics of Git. Set preferences and create your own projects.
Another online book, longer than most. It has big-tech financial backers like Mozilla and Hack Reactor (“the Harvard of coding bootcamps”).
Created by Code School. Quick and perfect for absolute beginners. (Warning: JS in real life is a lot tougher.) 9 mini-lessons. At the end, it points you to more in-depth JS learning materials.
It’s like a single-webpage book broken down into sections. Created by programmer Max Ogden. Filled with non-cat gifs but has cat pics at the end. Just because. Lol.
42. Learn JS
Go through lessons, type in the window at the bottom. Created by the same folks who make learnpython.org.
Has in-person workshops and events all over the world, as well as an active web presence. See online tutorials here.
44. That JS Dude
Written by Manuel Kiessling, this book targets people who have some experience in other programming languages. While the free version online is a shortened version of the full book, it still teaches a lot about Node.
Recordings of live WordCamp lectures around the world. Created by Automattic.
Website for beginner WP users. Great WP glossary of terms, plus coupon deals, video tutorials, and a blog which publishes useful articles by different authors.
48. A Byte of Python
Free online book for beginners. Can choose to download it as a PDF for free or invest in the hard copy.
Interactive online tutorial to learn Python coding. Has a little window at the bottom where you can write your code as you go through the lessons.
The book costs money, but the website is free. Written by Zed Shaw. (I used the book when I first started learning.)
51. Python Spot
Beginner and intermediate Python tutorials. Most come in a written form. There’s also some tutorials on game development, databases, and more. All using Python, of course.
Free HTML version of the book online. Buying the hard copy also gets you access to videos. Another book written by Zed Shaw.
An interactive way to learn Ruby on Rails right in your browser. (This is a better choice for people who know some Ruby already.) Created by Code School.
54. Rails Tutorial
12-chapter book by Michael Hartl. Can purchase ebooks, screencasts from author, and more. Or just read it for free online.
Entirely free, though you have the option to donate. Based on interactive tutorials, where you read a lesson and type in code. Lastly, “run” it. RubyMonk has one beginner course option, two intermediate, and one advanced.
56. Try Ruby
Also created by Code School, this is a better option for beginners. Type into an in-browser prompt window as you go through the exercises.
Another resource created by Zed Shaw. This free online book takes you through 33 exercises. By the end, you should understand SQL, how to design data, and know a bit about database optimization. You don’t need to know how to program to work through the book, but it helps.
Courses on MongoDB. Lessons come in video form. There are also quizzes and graded exercises along the way. Courses last seven weeks, but you can work through at your own pace. As of now, 200,000+ people have already taken courses on MongoDB University.
Offers a range of MySQL tutorials including how to use MySQL as a developer and database administrator. They offer over ten different MySQL tutorials in total.
Free digital book created by renowned computer science professor at MIT, Philip Greenspun. It contains 16 sections including data modeling, simple queries, transactions, trees, and more.
This free platform has three different SQL courses: SQL Queries, Operating on Data in SQL, and Creating Tables in SQL. On Vertabelo you’ll learn in an interactive code editor, table, and console.
HackDesign is, “an easy to follow design course for people who do amazing things.” There are 50 lessons total, all taught by different instructors. Topics include typography, interaction design, front-end design, and more. You can get a design lesson delivered to your inbox once a week or you can view all the lessons on their site.
63. UX Apprentice
Created by Theresa Neil and the team at Balsamiq. This is like a UX 101 course — perfect for beginners. Three main parts: discovery, strategy, and design. As you go through, you are quizzed and shown related resources.
While UXPin has paid offerings, there are a variety of free UX books available on the site. All you need to do is provide your email to access the material. They have books on minimalism, color theory, flat design, interaction design, and more.
Learn with others in peer-to-peer organized Google Hangouts. Great for those who want to study with others or do pair programming. CodeBuddies also has a Slack chatroom as well as Facebook group where people can congregate and ask questions.
CodeNewbie has a variety of tools for beginners including a Slack community where you can ask questions, a Twitter chat every Wednesday, a weekly podcast, and more. Now there are also some in-person meetups – like in Atlanta.
Full disclosure: Newbie Coder Warehouse is my Facebook group of 2,200+ self-taught coders (and counting!). It’s a great place to ask questions as well as connect with others. And it’s super simple to join: all you need is a Facebook profile!
codebar’s goal is enable underrepresented groups to learn how to code. They do this by offering free weekly workshops and events. Keep in mind codebar is based in the UK.
69. Girl Develop It
Girl Develop It (GDI) has chapters across the US and Canada. While most of GDI’s in-person workshops cost money, all of their course materials are readily available online for free. GDI also has free events, like their Code & Coffee meetup.
70. Women Who Code
Women Who Code is a non-profit with networks around the world. They have different events and workshops, all relating to code.
Relying on free courses and books is great when you’re just starting out. However, they can only get you so far. You must practice coding in order to build on your knowledge and retain.