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How to Learn to Code and Program Quickly and Effectively: Make apps, websites, games and more...

Updated on October 13, 2013
Moving quickly into the future, we are heavily relying on technology.
Moving quickly into the future, we are heavily relying on technology. | Source

I know what you are thinking. You probably think that only geniuses and prodigies can learn how to code. Or perhaps you saw a pile of code running on your computer and you think, 'Geez, what the heck!?. Yeah, we've all been there but believe it or not we can all learn how to code regardless of age or learning ability. But, before you click out of this hub, frightened to death, let me tell you something. I am not a nerd, geek or techie. I am simply a person who learned how to code and now reap the benefits.

In this article, I'll be telling you why you should learn to code and how. It's easy to start making your own apps, websites and games in no time.

Why Should I Learn?

There are hundreds of reasons on why you should learn. Although you may be thinking when you'll ever need to know when to code. Besides, you can't really show off to your friends that you know how to code. Maybe a few bizarre looks but that's all you'll ever get.

Well, that's beside the point. Coding is a very (note, the emphasis) very, very empowering skill to learn. Think about it, we all depend on technologies; Facebook, SmartPhones, the device you are using to read this hub, medical devices, apps, games, websites, the list goes on forever, it's clear how much we depend on technology in our everyday lives. We are all moving ever forward into the future, with all of us depending more and more on technology. And you know what? None of us know how to read and write code!

One of the main and best benefits is all the jobs. You know how to code? You will easily get a job in software companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, SAP, Amazon or Oracle. The coolest thing about working in these companies is the perks. You get free food, massages, spas and better maternity leave. The offices are top-class. There are over 1 million software engineering jobs that are unfilled in the United States.

Another great thing is that if you know how to make your own apps or games, you can put them on the Android Marketplace and make a load of money if people buy them.

Check out the awesome video below which gives you all the details.

How Do I Learn?

So how do you actually learn? That's a good question. There are many ways you can learn to code from tutorials on the internet to books that go through it with you. I've gone through all the books and websites and I have picked out the best ones that are bulletproof and effectively teach you how to code. Read further for more.

Codecademy

Codecademy is a website which teaches you how to code step by step using tutorials which start off very basic to getting very advanced, all for free.. It has the instructions on the left hand side of the page, a code editor in the centre, where you write your code. Then, when you run the code, it has a 'shell' on the right which shows you what actually happens when you run your code. The tutorials are made by professionals and expert software engineers who make it easy and fun. You have to sign up for an account with virtually a username and a password, or you can sign using your Google Account. The sign-up process is very easy, taking a couple of seconds really.

They teach you languages from JavaScript, Python, HTML 5, CSS, PHP and Ruby and many more. Each language is like a course which is divided into chunks. I have tried and tested making my own website using HTML and it was very easy and a lot of fun.

After learning the basics, you can start making your own games and interactive websites using JavaScript. You will also begin learning how to make apps which check your tweets, send messages and lots more. You will become an established coder and programmer in no time!

The proof isn't just in this review, the site has received positive feedback and great ratings from blogs, websites and newspapers such as TechCrunch and The New York Times. And that's not all, the site had 550,000 users who had completed over 600 million exercises. So why not have a go? It will be worth your while.

AppInventor.org

AppInventor.org is a website and editor which teaches you how to make your own apps using their editor. It is a lot easier to use than if you were to use the Android editor (could take a full year before you start making a very basic app). First of all, you design the interface of your app. Then you program it with easy to use event blocks (example: If they touch the button, the song will play). Once you have your app programmed, you can connect it to your Android device or use their emulator and play the app. The first app you make is the HelloPurr app. Touch the kitty and it will meow! Yes, it is basic but a huge milestone for budding app creators! After creating that app, you can start making navigation apps using GPS, note takers, magic 8 balls, paint and drawing apps and lots more. There is a wide variety of components you can use in your apps such as:

  • Buttons
  • Navigation Sensors
  • Orientation Sensors
  • Canvas
  • Text to Speech capability
  • Sound and Player

To use appinventor, you don't need to know how to code at all. There are plenty of tutorials which go through the invention of the app step by step. The only drawback is that Google Play and the Apple App Store might not accept your app into their marketplace if it isn't actually 'coded' using Java. At least you can make highly advanced and fully functional apps with little knowledge of coding.

New - Coursera: One Of The Best Places To Learn

Another fantastic place to learn programming is Coursera, a free, educational website which offers courses from universities around the globe. This is not your usual educational website, the courses are of an extremely high standard and the course is taught by some of the best lecturers and professors in the world. This website has been praised by Oprah Winfrey in her O Magazine and you need to sign up to avail of the courses. The courses are similar to that of any university course, you are given lecture videos, homework, assignments etc. The assignments have to be given in by a certain due date and usually there is a final exam at the end. I have done programming courses on Coursera and I have found them absolutely excellent. Plus, you get a certificate at the end if you got at least a pass in the course.

If you want to do some courses to add to your CV, you can do signature tracks. These courses give you a proper certificate at the end in which your identity has been certified by Coursera and you have an official diploma.

Now, in October, November and December 2013, is currently a course which teaches you interactive programming in Python and is an introductory course, so no programming experience is needed. Rice University in the U.S is teaching this. Over 50,000 people are taking this course and it can be great fun too.

Hello World: The Best Book for Coding on the Market

As the title suggests, this is the best book for learning how to code on the market. It teaches you how to actually code using a common language called Python. It goes through the set up process which is very easy and begins step by step on teaching you how to write that language. By the end of the book, not only will you have a great software terminology which is useful for any language such as Java but you will be creating games too. The language is simple so that any random person can understand it and it's snazzy and catchy language will delight any one, no matter what age.

Conclusion

So, after this article, it is great to know that learning to code and make apps is easy if you know where to go and what to do. Warning: Learning to code takes stamina and endurance so you will not be a whizz at it overnight but as you practise and learn, you will get better and better at it over time. The best age to start would be when you are still a child as you can absorb languages quickly and easily but even if you are an adult, you can still learn. I hope you enjoyed this hub and please leave your feedback below. I will be delighted to answer you!

After this hub, would you like to learn how to code or make apps?

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    • Clinton1998 profile image

      Abla Hulla 3 years ago from China

      Thanks for the hub. But I don't like how you make it sound easy. You write like as if you can make a running app next friday from these tutorials. Programming is a highly logical work (you already know that) and only coding syntaxes isn't going to make you a programmer. Anyway, the hub was good and I personally like w3schools.com for all web development tutorials.

    • electronician profile image

      Dean Walsh 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

      CodeAcademy is a great place to start because the courses are fairly easy and don't take long to complete. Coursera looks great too - I haven't tried any of the courses yet but I'm definitely planning to as soon as I can find the time!

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 4 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Thank you for reading, howtobeasuccess! I am glad this hub helped you on your journey with learning to code.

    • howtobeasuccess profile image

      How to be a Success 4 years ago from The Land of Hope

      thank you so much for this one.. it is really a big help.. VERY USEFUL..

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 4 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Hi Kathyrn,

      Thank you for reading and for the wonderful comment, yes you are right, Codecademy is a pretty good website and is improving steadily every year. You will start to see some social features unfold, such as various clubs and societies dedicated to various aspects of coding from HTML to Ruby to Developing Apps for Android and so many more. I am glad that you may start learning to code again, it is an invaluable skill to have in today's digital and electronic era! Thanks again for reading and have an excellent day. ~ Susan W.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      This is very useful to me. My boyfriend has a high-tech job, and knows how to do a lot of coding. Because of that, I have become curious. He sent me a link to CodeAcademy last year, and I started the Ruby On Rails course. It's a pretty good site, and I was making headway. It's definitely not a "hurry up and learn" type of skill, as you mention. It takes time and dedication. I stopped a while ago, but I intend on working on it again. One of my New Year's Resolutions was to start learning how to Code.

      The other site, and the book both sound interesting, too.

      Thanks for sharing this with us, and have a wonderful day.

      ~ Kathryn

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 4 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Your welcome. :)

    • denden mangubat profile image

      denden mangubat 4 years ago from liloan, cebu, philippines

      thanks for your help

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 4 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      @denden mangubat,

      Thank you for asking your question about Codecademy. Codecademy teaches you how to code, it does not give you the editors and tools you need to sell applications. It gives you the skills you need to be able to code, you will have to find the editors on the internet yourself. Try learning 'Python' and search for 'python.org' on Google. You can then download the Python editor and use the skills you learned from Codecademy to make an application.

    • denden mangubat profile image

      denden mangubat 4 years ago from liloan, cebu, philippines

      i just want to ask if codecademy has IDE for free to use and sell the applications i made.can i sell applications through codecademy?

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 4 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Hi Claire,

      Thank you for the great comments, I am glad you like it! Yes, self-teaching yourself how to code is pretty hard but if you have websites like Codecademy to guide you there, coding can be fun to learn.

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 4 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Thanks for voting up, denden mangubat!

    • denden mangubat profile image

      denden mangubat 4 years ago from liloan, cebu, philippines

      hello! voted up.

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 4 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Thanks for the visit, Casimiro! Check out Codecademy, you'll love it! Its great for kids too if they want to learn how to code.

    • profile image

      Casimiro 4 years ago

      Nice hub susi10! I spent 20 years in the software industry, writing mostly C and C++ code, but I'd still like to visit CodeAcademy to see what they offer. Voted up.

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 4 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Hi Examiner-1,

      HTML isn't really coding but you still have to know 'how' to code but the code is a lot easier to do than Java or PHP. With HTML, you make tags and put your text in between those tags.

    • profile image

      The Examiner-1 4 years ago

      Is HTML coding? I have intended to learn HTML - from books if I had to - and looked at jobs asking for it, but to be experienced enough you also had to know PHP, Java, and about four or five others which I can not even remember the names of. That is what turned me off of it.

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 4 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Thanks for reading! Codecademy is a really fun place to learn coding and with Appinventor you can make your own apps without code. I appreciate your feedback, drpennypincher.

    • drpennypincher profile image

      Dr Penny Pincher 4 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Interesting- I'll check out Codeacademy and AppInventor. This sounds more fun than learning Fortran from a textbook like I did in college!