3 Learning Tools for Coders

If you feel the desire to write a book, what would it be about?
Photographer: Glenn Carstens-Peters | Source: Unsplash

Are you a beginner that has decided to pick up coding? Or an experienced programmer finding something to add to your repertoire? These three learning tools will help you greatly in your journey.


Codecademy – 1st of 3 Learning Tools

Codecademy Learning Tools
Catalog of Codecademy

Codecademy is an online interactive platform that offers plenty of free courses on various programming languages. It's an excellent way to get a sense of what coding is like and how it works. It is a great starting point for new coders. Codecademy also offers a "Pro" subscription that will give you access to realistic projects, quizzes, and learning plans that all have been tailored for you.

Pros

It Is Free

There is no need to sign up for a monthly subscription or pay for each class. When you are just starting and don't know whether coding or a language is for you or not, free courses are very appealing. You can only choose and try out different courses with no loss to you.

Plenty of Languages and Topics

One of Codecademy's best features is its wide range of programming languages and IT-related subjects. It offers languages such as HTML, PHP, Python, JavaScript, C#, Go, Ruby, and Kotlin, to name a few. Along with languages, there are tutorials on many subjects, which will build upon the knowledge gained from learning the languages. The subjects consist of web development, machine learning, game development, computer science, mobile development and many more.

There are more than enough to keep you busy and give you a taste of what you can do with coding. With this many options comes many opportunities for you to find out whether coding is right for you.

Beginner Friendly

No setup needed—one of the most frustrating things about coding to set up your machine. Depending on the language you chose to learn. You may need to install the correct packages and dependencies, reconfigure different files and settings and get a server running, to name a few. For a beginner, all this will probably make them lose their desire to learn how to code.

However, Codecademy has made it possible for you to learn the language via your web browser's interactive experience. You can start learning straight away and see real-time results along the way.

Cons

Fast Teaching Speed and No Backtrack

Codecademy's way of teaching is fast-paced. It will teach you a topic, make you complete a challenge, and may never revisit that topic. If you want to see what the language is like, Codecademy will give you that. But, if you're going to learn and use the language properly, you need to practice outside of Codecademy. Learn by doing.

No Instructor Bio

There is little info about the instructors who created the courses you will learn from. You would not know whether your instructor has experience in the language you are learning about.

Not Accredited

Codecademy's course is not accredited. This means though they give you a certificate of completion, they hold little weight. If you want an accredited certificate, you need to find and use another platform, most likely to require money.


Udemy – 2nd of 3 Learning Tools

Udemy Learning Tools
Programming Courses of Udemy

Udemy is a massive open online course provider. It offers numerous courses on many topics in over 65 languages. Some of these courses focus on professional skills, while others focus on learning hobbies. Anyone can create their own course and sell it on Udemy.

Pros

Wide Variety of Courses

For you as a coder, new or experienced, there are many courses to choose from, all with different instructors. These courses are video courses. So, the instructor will and you can follow along and do it. If you do not like the way they teach, move on another. Find one that is right for you, one that will help you learn.

Affordable

Courses can be free or paid, depending on the instructor. Some may make a free teaser course that leads to a paid one. Paid courses range from $13.99 to $199.99, making them accessible for most. If the course you bought was not for you and it has not been 30 days since you got it, you can get a refund, no questions asked. They are also often 100% discounts on many paid courses that happen throughout the year.

Lifetime Access

After you have enrolled in a course, free or paid, you will have lifetime access to that course. You can enrol in as many classes as you want and then take your time going through them.

Cons

Low-Quality Courses

Udemy does not create its own courses. The instructors themselves create all content. This dramatically affects the quality of the course. Many instructors are not teachers or may not have taught anyone before. The way they teach may only be suitable for a select few. The resources they use and reference may be outdated or obsolete. This means you need to spend some time (and maybe money) finding the right course that will teach you what you need to know about coding.

Slow-paced

Some of the courses on Udemy are slow; they take their time going on and on. While it's good to go in-depth about a topic, you may spend more time you would like going through the courses for you who may only want a taste or learn the syntax. You would need to commit some time out of your day to complete some of these courses.

Non-Accredited Certificates

After completing a course, you will be given a certificate of completion, which has not been officially accredited. Furthermore, only paid courses give out certificates. If you are looking for official certification, Udemy is not for you.


Codewars – Last of 3 Learning Tools

Codewars
Codewars

Of all the learning tools, Codewars is more like a game than a course. It is an educational community for computer programming. Using the concept of martial arts, a coder will train on programming challenges known as kata on the platform. These katas have been designed and created by other coders. On Codewars, the community and challenge progression has been gamified. Meaning users earn ranks and honour for completing kata, making kata, and have quality solutions.

Pros

Great Content

Codewars offer a ton of coding puzzles and games for many different programming languages. These challenges are enjoyable to do and will give you a taste of how fun coding can be. Codewars is a great place to practice and reinforce your knowledge and skills. With the content creators being coders themselves, the content is designed for coders. You will learn a lot and be up-to-date with how professionals are using the language.

Countless Given Solutions

After you solve a kata or give up and click the 'Unlock Solutions' button, Codewars will take you to a page with all the solutions submitted by other coders. There are so many. Going through them can improve your skills. See how other coders solved the problem. Learn new ways to approach a problem; maybe there was an existing function you could have used.

Competition

Competition is the core of Codewars. Coders can complete with each other. To see who can solve challenges faster or come up with a better solution. After collecting enough points, a coder will move up the ranks. It can be fun to compete with your friends, colleagues, and the community.

Cons

Poorly Written Problems

Some of this problem have been written poorly. With bad grammar, confusing details, or use cases that do not relate to today. Also, some problems may have a trick to them and maybe time-consuming to figure out. You may waste valuable study time on figuring out a problem and not learning how to code.

Too Many Options

Having too many options can be a bad thing. You would not know which problems will improve your skills and teach you the right things. You can spend time on something that is not being used today or only has one specific function when you can improve your skills. Be wary of these.

Competition

Competition is not everyone's cup of tea. It can be intimidating to measure your skills against others. For new coders, it can be discouraging and move them away from learning how to coding. It may also set a bad precedent; faster is not always better.


The Next Step

After reading all this, go and try these learning tools. See which is right for you. Maybe you want to code and see your results straightaway? Perhaps you want to watch videos? Or maybe you want to play games and compete while you learn? The most crucial step is to do it, get started by jumping into one of these tools.

Maybe you have an idea, and you want to bring that idea to life, but you need to know how to code. Suppose coding is not right for you. Let us at Fonseka Innovations do it for you. We will help you bring that idea to life. Contact us now to innovate with us! We are here to support you!

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