So you want to start coding from scratch…
Before you read this, just let me be clear: I’ll assume that you are more or less like me:
- You are starting from total zero (you’ve heard about this or you saw some other people doing code and became interested in it).
- You come from a completely different career or professional background (Linguistics and Literature in my case). Follow this link to know more about me and why I started to code.
- You were really bad or just plain bad at Maths in school, but you have always enjoyed solving riddles or those lateral thinking puzzles in which some reasoning and common sense are required.
That being the case for me, I got really curious about coding and the immense amount of possibilities to build and create interesting things that this skill could give me. But let me tell you about the tools that I used to test the waters and get befriended with coding before actually taking the decision to change careers (Just a heads-up: this article is not sponsored in any way. It’s just my honest opinion).
1. Mimo app
This app was my first coding love 💖. It made it just so practical and handy to squeeze 5 minutes of coding practice into my routine! I used it while on the metro going to and coming back from my Danish lessons. The friendly graphics and explanations really hooked me up and I signed in for the 1 year subscription for €24 euros. It didn’t really teach me how to code, but helped me break the ice from being completely clueless to somehow knowing what was going on. So worth it!
A big plus was the copywriting. I don’t know who wrote it, but it was hilarious. Look at this example:
My rating: I give it five (5) esteficodes 👩💻👩💻👩💻👩💻
Sololearn was sooo practical and a little bit more down-to earth.
The desktop version looks more similar to Mimo’s app, but in this case I dared to solve more quizzes and started writing more functions, though I missed Mimo’s funny content.
On the plus side: They are very active on social networks and cheer for #womenintech. 💪 I can see and feel their support:
My rating: I give it four (4) esteficodes 👩💻👩💻👩💻👩💻 because the UI could use some spice and better copy.
3. FreeCode Camp
What can I say about this amazing site that hasn’t already been said? It’s just wonderful. 🧠
- It’s free (though I think they waaay deserve those $5 dollars a month they suggest we should donate to them).
- The explanations are clear and beginner-proof.
- Solutions are provided in case you are really stuck. For the first courses (HTML and CSS), they also include a short explanatory video. How cool is that?
- Extra points for making me understand and befriend Regular expressions. Regex just wasn’t the enemy anymore after their awesome chapter on them.
My rating: I give it five (5) esteficodes 👩💻👩💻👩💻👩💻👩💻 they are extremely good and have a history of people getting job-ready and/or hired by important companies like Google or Facebook just by studying on their platform.
This is the to-go platform to learn how to code starting from zero. Do I like it more than Freecode Camp? Not necessarily, they both have their own charm. But that is probably a topic that deserves a whole article.
- Amazing graphics. The design is it’s strong side. Learning with them it’s just eye-candy.
- The pro version is not expensive and probably really worth-it.
My rating: I give it four (4) esteficodes 👩💻👩💻👩💻👩💻 because in my opinion, they could have at least the unit quizzes for free.
Though I think I can totally do without this one, I still find it very helpful. It helps me refresh some concepts. It’s divided into three levels according to complexity: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
As they state on their site:
It’s not bad and it made me really happy when I was able to pass some of the Intermediate level questions. It’s a good time-filler for those dead minutes while you are waiting for your turn at the dentist’s or the hairdresser’s.
My rating: I give it three (3) esteficodes 👩💻👩💻👩💻
Edabit was suggested by the coding bootcamp I’m currently on (more on this topic to come) because it makes a great exercises source. In fact, it has done wonders for my problem solving skills and now I can’t live without trying to solve at least one exercise a day (not that I’m always successful hahaha).
On the down side: it doesn’t have a mobile version, so you need to sit straight at your desktop like a good student. No hanging out at the bus stop with edabit.
It has a limit once you reach a certain amount of exercises. But to me, the pro version was very worth the price (around €20 euros if you pay per month, can stop at anytime; around a €100 euros if you pay per year).
My rating: I give it four (4) esteficodes 👩💻👩💻👩💻👩💻
Would like to know more about coding sources? Would you like to read another beginner’s guide? Then hit that follow button and pop your comment/question below. I’ll see you around!