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?4 free and easy ways to learn the basics of coding

By George Kiongo | September 18th 2019

Last week, we looked at why coding is increasingly becoming an in-demand skill, and not just for software developers. It is difficult to stand out these days without at least a basic understanding of what it takes to build a website, an app or any one of the technologies that make it easier to connect with customers in ways they understand.

So if you don’t quite have the time to learn anything highly skilled, but are keen on grasping the basics of coding, here are four online classes that will help get you started.  

1. Skillshare: How to make apps with no programming experience

Skillshare is an online learning platform with a host of educational videos. While the courses aren’t accredited, you can use them to pick up new skills, interact with users like yourself and learn new concepts by completing a project.

If you have a great app idea but don’t have the money to outsource its production to a developer, you may want to consider learning enough to build a prototype that you can then pitch to an investor – or even use to identify partners who can turn your idea into a product. In just 14 videos ranging in length from eight minutes to 20, you could learn to turn that app idea into reality in just one day.

2. Codeacademy: Python

In just 25 hours and 12 topics, this Codeacademy course promises to teach you the basics of Python, one of the easiest-to-use programming languages around. You could use your knowledge of Python to pivot on to more complex languages if you wanted to, or just be happy enough with it. Python is useful for both web and software development.

Should you want to advance your programming skills, you can keep using Codeacademy, which offers free coding lessons in 12 different programming languages altogether, including JavaScript, Ruby, SQL, C++ and Sass.

3. Skillshare: Introduction to programming

Alternatively, if you’re not too comfortable going into learning Python without an idea of what programming actually is, you may want to start with this 35-minute Skillshare course.

It teaches you the basics of programming, walks you through code samples and illustrates various data types. Only the first chapter of the course is free, but you could sign up for a free one-month trial. Or just understand the basics of programming then move on to learning Python from Codeacademy.

4. Udemy: Beginner web development

If you’re looking to start a side gig, it would be important to learn how to create a simple website for it that allows customers online to find your products, contact details and testimonials. And you could learn how to do this in just three hours!

Udemy, the world’s largest portal of online courses, has a course that promises to teach you the basics of web creation in exactly three hours and four minutes. Over the course of a combined 38 lectures, you’ll learn about two pillars of web development, HTML and CSS, and how they help form websites. By the end of the course, you should be able to create a web page, add images, construct lists, change font colours and add content boxes to web pages. 

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