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Where to learn coding

4 min, 44 sec read
15:49 PM | 25 October 2013
by Adam Oldfield
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Making products and improving lives is an instinctive human trait. The tradespeople of old – carpenters, brick layers, bakers and brewers are still relevant, but coding is the new craft of the modern age. It's taking over the world we live in and making our lives better by the day.

Whether it's the mobile in your pocket, your laptop, connected TV or some wearable tech, code is behind it all. It's a language that delivers our tweets, saves our information to the cloud and allows us to interact with someone on the other side of the world. 

Learning how to build platforms, applications, websites and software (or at least having a basic understanding of the elements involved) has become an irreplaceable skill helpful to most careers. 

Once you start playing with code and figuring out how all the pieces fit together, it's like riding a bike – the bare essentials will always be with you. Here's a few reasons why you should learn to code:

Your home is the classroom

You don't need to leave the house.

Landing the job

You're more likely to land a job if you have some coding knowledge over the next person with no experience.

Design thinking in action

Since I began dabbling in code for projects, I have learned to appreciate the finer touches that designers include to improve user experience.

Deeper understanding

You don't need to become an accomplished coder. Basic knowledge and understanding of code can help you talk with developers and lead on projects.

Coders are the new rockstars

It's where some of the best paid jobs at the moment reside – starting salary for coders exceed £50,000.

These are just a few reasons you should at least look into building your knowledge of code. Below are some of the best sites around that offer great video lessons, challenges and games to help you learn for free or at little cost.

Code Academy

Age group: everyone
Areas: APIs, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby
Cost: free

Code Academy was set up by a team of hackers who make it their mission to turn people into empowered builders. You can learn about the languages behind code and use frameworks to practice your skills. They also set up Code Year to help you reach your goals of learning to build a website or a game within a set timeframe.

Code Club

Age group: 9–11 years
Areas: CSS, HTML, Python, Scratch
Cost: free

Code Club was established by Clare Sutcliffe and Linda Sandvik to help school kids across the UK learn how to code from an early age. Their mission is to put a Code Club in every one of the 21,000 primary schools across the UK.

Code School

Age group: everyone
Areas: CSS, HTML, Objective C, JavaScript, Ruby
Cost: £16 per month / £160 per year

Along with the courses they charge for, there are also plenty of free courses to try, such as one for Objective C, the basis for all iOS apps.

Coding for Good

Age group: beginners
Areas: APIs, Canvas, CSS, HTML, JavaScript
Cost: free

This course was established in 2012 as part of a competition, but the free tutorials are live so you can still test your skills. There are a total of 16 coding lessons to get involved with.


Age group: everyone
Areas: CSS, HTML, JavaScript, jQuery
Cost: £750 – £1,850

Decoded offers in-person one-day courses in coding, as well as other lessons in social data and data visualisation. This is definitely a route for companies looking to shape up their talent with coding skills. In partnership with O2 Learn, they have released
The Sixteen Steps, which offers basic lessons. A good place to start if you have no clue about code.

Kahn Academy

Age group: everyone
Areas: Python, JavaScript, QBasic
Cost: free

Kahn Academy offers classes in the fundamentals of computer sciences. Within their programming environment, you can learn to build graphics, animations and interactive visualisations for mobile, games and websites.

Rails Girls

Age group: everyone
Areas: Ruby on Rails
Cost: free

Rails Girls have produced an outstanding list of guides for Ruby on Rails. Born in Finland, the classes have now spread internationally. Anyone can take part over the two day course, and all the materials are open for you to start up your own classes.


Age group: everyone
Areas: Android, CSS, HTML, iOS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, WordPress
Cost: subscriptions start from £16

We love Treehouse and what they stand for – it's very similar to our mission. The guys at Treehouse want to bring affordable technology education to everyone, in order to achieve their dreams and make the world a nicer place. The courses on offer here are wide ranging and in-depth.

Tuts+ Premium

Age group: everyone
Areas: APIs, CSS, HTML, Java, jQuery, PHP, Responsive Design, Ruby
Cost: subscriptions start from £12

Tuts+ is a staggering resource – not just for coding but for all design packages, from Adobe Creative Suite to motion graphics and craft skills.


Age group: everyone
Areas: HTML, Java
Cost: free

Udacity offer loads of credible courses. Some that include coding HTML5 for game development plus basic courses that introduce you to things like setting up a blog or basic mobile development.


With all of these in mind, pick a project or something you've always wanted to make and set yourself daily targets to build your own website, platform or app.

You never know: this could turn into a new career or money earner on the side. But as code becomes vital to every industry, the coding you learn could become an extra skillset that lands you a job over the next person.

If you feel that we've missed another resource that should be shared, let us know.

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