Why I’m Learning To Code & 8 Free Websites Where To Get Started

if-kids-in-third-grade-can-handle-coding-so-can-you[1]For the last year, I was working full time on building an online business.

To grow any online business, you need traffic.

You can get traffic in two ways:

You can use free methods (social media, forums, blogging, etc.) to get traffic or you can pay to get traffic( Facebook ads, AdWords, etc.).

Free Traffic = Waste Of Time

The problem with free traffic methods is that they’re highly inefficient, except for some methods where you need to be extremely skilled to pull them off. It’s far better to find a minimum wage job and spend the money on buying traffic rather than using the free methods.

For example, a rather effective free traffic method of forum posting can get you 10 visitors, or a single lead after 2 – 3 hours of posting on the forum. So, in a day you could generate 4 leads (this is just theoretical math).

If you get a minimum wage job in Lithuania and if you live with your parents and have zero expenses like I did, then you can spend 10EU($11) a day on buying traffic. So, if you buy a solo ad for $0,4 per click, that gets you roughly 30 clicks and solo ad traffic converts much higher so at a 40% conversion you get 12 leads.

Realizing that, I started freelancing on Fiverr, I wrote several posts about that, but in the end I didn’t manage to earn any more than a minimum wage.

So, I started thinking to either go abroad where wages are 3 times higher so I had more money to invest or go back to school so, I could get a higher paying job here in Lithuania.

Because of some peer pressure I picked getting back to school, but what the hell should I study?

Something that’s in demand in the whole world, pays good money and interests me – coding or formally computer science.

University only starts in fall so, I had good 3 months of time and I wanted to start right away so, I started looking for different resources to learn coding, there’s a lot of them, I think they will be beneficial for anyone who wants to learn as well:

Code.org

This was the first site that I stumbled upon, their flagship tutorials are called An Hour Of Code. They are quite simple and most of them are targeted for kids, but usually the best material is created for kids so, even if it looks childish try it out to grasp what is this coding all about or if you have children, then force them once in a while to open this page and learn, they will thank you later (in 5 -10 years).

Harvard CS50

The next thing I stumbled upon was a Harvard CS50 course on edx.org . I had a hard time believing it’s free. If I understand correctly it’s the same material you would learn in Harvard, if you took the class, better yet, if you finish it you can get a certificate either from EDX or from Harvard (costs money).

The course is great if you’re just getting started and don’t know nothing about programming because you will learn everything from the beginning, but it gets difficult quickly. I’m currently stuck on week 5, but don’t worry about getting stuck, because there’s tons of support on social media where you can share your code and get help with it.

I highly recommend this, because I’m loving this course and the certification can be a great addition to your CV.

Stanford CS 101 Class

I’m pretty sure that this Stanford course is similar in nature as the Harvard course so, I would recommend picking just one of them. I guess they are both great.

Codecademy

The Harvard and Stanford courses can really be difficult and maybe all that you want is to learn how to build a simple web page or learn how to edit your current one.

Well, codecademy  is just for you because it’s built to teach you some simple web programming skills like HTML, CSS and more. I really enjoy them because you can turn it on even if you have like 20 minutes of free time and you will still make some progress, where as for the Harvard course you need to block out at least 2 hours to make any meaningful progress, because it’s far more complicated.

TeachingTree

If you are already familiar with coding, but there are some topics you would like to learn more about, then check out TeachingTree. It has videos on many different programming topics, but there’s no structure so, it’s not particularly useful for getting started, because you will get parts of the jigsaw puzzle and you will struggle putting it all together.

Learn Code The Hard Way

If you want to learn C, Python, Ruby, SQL or Regex, then this site will do the trick for you. Here you will dive in deep into the programming language you chose, it’s good if you know what you want, because you will learn a single language that you choose.

Now, when you go to Learn Code The Hard Way you will see sales pages for the courses, but if you scroll down to the bottom you can see that you can access them for free, if you don’t have the money. Of course, I encourage you to buy them, if you find them useful 🙂

HTML5 Rocks

This is a Google project where you can find a lot of separate tutorials, most of them on more advanced topics. So, if you already know how to code HTML 5 Rocks will help you to expand your knowledge.

KHAN Academy

KHAN Academy is not just for learning programming, you can also find courses on Math, which you need to know for programming, there’s also science, economics and finance, and arts.

Now, there’s not a lot of material for programming, but you can learn the basics of HTML, JS, SQL and CSS.

Extra From Alex – W3Schools

As Alex in the comments mentioned w3schools. Here you can learn the main web programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, SQL, jQuery.

Wrapping It Up

So, there you have it a list of resources to learn how to code. The list might be a bit overwhelming so just pick what you like, try out, if you like it use it, if not go to another website, which might fit your learning style more.

Not sure if you have experienced it, but whenever I mention coding to anyone, they immediatelly say oh that’s so hard, which don’t get me wrong it’s, but it’s not impossible, you might not get it right from the first time, not everything might be clear, but eventually, if you put in the time you will learn it, you just need to work.

2 Comments
  1. August 20, 2015 | Reply
    • Liudas Butkus
      August 20, 2015 | Reply

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