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Learning how to code is no longer a feat that only hackers and skilled uber brains are privy. NERD ALERT! Well times have changed, no longer is the ability to code a secret held solely by such Einstein-ian minds (insert evil laugh) because in today’s tech-powered world learning the basics of coding is as simple as signing up for one of the many free (yes, I said FREE) resources available online.


Created by General Assembly, Dash teaches HTML, CSS, and JavaScript via browser-based activities and exercises, meaning you can see the changes update in real-time as you go about learning to code. Here’s a screenshot of me completing a lesson. Yes, I’m on my way to coding stardom!


Personally, this is one of my favorite options out there because it is pretty much “idiot proof” perhaps too idiot proof as this Reddit user points out. It does however provide a great foundation for learning the basics of programming.

Khan Academy

This breaks it down similar to an online college course. Khan also offers a plethora of areas to study outside of coding, but rest assured they have a Programming 101 course. Lessons combine a mix of game-like projects, video walk-through lessons, and student projects.

Big League Options

Perhaps you already have some knowledge and want a mid-level “Bring it on” learning experience.  For those ambitious code-seekers I suggest HTML5 Rocks . This Google project brings you the latest updates, resource guides, and slide decks for all things HTML5.  For those ANDROID lovers out there who want to learn mobile app development, check out Google Android Developer site.

Even IVY league schools such as Harvard and MIT have jumped on the bandwagon and now offer free online courses to the public.  A bonus to this: You can impress your date by telling them that you’re “currently taking a course at HAAAAARRRVAAARRDDD”.  Technically (pun intended) it’s true.

Harvard’s CS50: Introduction to Computer Science, taught by David J. Malan, focuses on ‘programming languages’ (a term you will become familiar with) C, PHP, and JavaScript plus SQL, CSS, and HTML.

MIT’s Open Courseware offers Introduction to Programming in Java , Introduction to Computer Science and Programming, and Practical Programming in C.

Why Learn?

I don’t really need to explain to you the benefits of learning even basic code, I mean today’s world pretty much runs on technology which essentially is just a bunch of underlying coding and programming. Maybe you’re looking to create a unique website for yourself and aren’t too fond of the standard templates offered for free via sites like WordPress or Moonfruit, knowing the ground level basics of coding will help you spruce things up and customize those standard offerings to your liking.

Another positive is it can save you the hundreds to thousands of dollars you might have spent hiring a professional agency to create it for you … although for more complex and or time sensitive projects I fully advise hiring a pro.