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October 1st, 2012 by Aseem Kishore | File in: Reviews (http://helpdeskgeek.com/category/reviews/), Tools Review
If you’re in IT, you probably need to know how to code in at least one language. It’s always a good thing to be able to whip up
needed to brush up on my coding skills.
There are some cool free online tools you can use to practice your coding skills in different web programming languages. In
this article, I’ll go through a couple that I have used and can vouch for. If you have used a different site or service, feel free to
post a comment here and let us know.
This is probably the most popular online tool for learning to code. It’s completely free, has a ton of tutorials and is very social
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integrated. The best part about it is that it’s very hands-on. All the lessons include a coding window where you actually type in
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the code and can run it.
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and you can see how you are doing compared to them. Also, it has a very detailed tracking system that keeps track of your
progress, so you can come back at any time and start from where you left off.
Overall, it’s definitely one of the best ways to learn to code or to brush up on your coding skills. They provide full real-world
Khan Academy (http://www.khanacademy.org/cs/)
Khan Academy just recently added a whole new section on computer science. If you haven’t been to Khan Academy, it’s all
do a fantastic job. What’s really cool about this site is that it also has the code window, which you can use to type and run
code, but also has a video that plays along and dynamically adds code to the window as you play the video.
I found these synced video tutorials with the live coding box to be extremely helpful, even more so than using Codecademy. Of
course, Khan Academy doesn’t have nearly as many tutorials, but that’s because it’s just starting out. Give it a year or so and
they’ll probably be hundreds of tutorials on many different languages.
Treehouse is a paid site that I used while working at my company and it was pretty awesome, especially since I didn’t have to
pay for it. It costs either $25 a month or $50, depending on what services you want, but they have over 550 courses and a
very cool live coding engine like the other two sites mentioned above.
I liked Treehouse because it had a lot of real-world tutorials like building a simple version of Facebook, an e-commerce
website, building a responsive design website, etc. Of course, they also have in-depth tutorials on HTML 5, CSS 3, Ruby on
Rails, etc. If you are interested in Android or iOS programming, they also have courses on those topics.
Google Code University
After the three mentioned above, we now get into the standard text way of learning. There is no interactive coding window or
anything like that. There aren’t even any videos! It’s still a good resource, just boring since it’s mostly reading. Now that I’ve
gotten used to these interactive coding windows, it’s hard going back to just reading code and then having to type it in a code
editor, compile it, run it, etc, etc.
geared towards Google software and services, so if you want to program for Android or learn to use Google APIs, then this is a
good place to start.