Resources to start programming (coding)

Here are some links which might help to start programming:

code club might be a good start: they do Scratch and then they do Python. I think python is a good start, if you can type moderately well.

When you have specific questions, searching on StackExchange can be fruitful.

If you don’t know how to start, try for example searching for ‘python getting started’ and you’ll get half a dozen free accessible stories to follow. At no point should this cost any money and probably you can avoid signing up to anything.

To do some coding online, not needing to install anything, try - they offer many languages:

where you can do some quick coding in python or javascript, onine, and share your coding projects with others, for collaboration or for mutual learning. I recommend python:

This seems to be a good start for Python, but have a look around for something which works for you.

Don’t confuse Java and JavaScript! Java is heavy and corporate (and good on a CV) but JavaScript is light and forgiving, and not a bad language to start with. (But you can get yourself into a mess because it wasn’t designed as a teaching language, so parts of it are quite muddled and obscure.) There is a for JavaScript, but it’s called Nodejs. (Not great for an absolute beginner.)


  • FreeCodeCamp has some great content - all free, some interactive, mostly practical/project-based. Leans towards web dev, but covering full stack and a few other useful topics.

  • Scrimba this one’s new to me - free, interactive courses (code in the browser) looks pretty awesome

  • Plenty of paid courses on Udemy (if you buy one, wait for a sale - most courses drop to ~ £9.99) can be decent.

  • The University backed MOOCs (massive open online couses) like Coursera, edX and FutureLearn all have high quality content - much of its available for free.

  • Udacity is worth a shout too - it’s largely paid courses these days, backed by big tech firms to help train up would-be-recruits, but there are some free courses on there.

Daily Online Resources

  • There’s also Github - people host their source code on there - much of which is licensed for reuse by anyone and all of it is free to browse for ideas and tips on how others have sided problems and there are plenty of excercise people have posted on there.

  • Stackoverflow is one of the most used resources for developers of all levels - if you run into a problem, there’s a fair chance someone else has already posted it on there - the answers/advice they get from the community is there to help you out whenever you need it.

  • For experimenting with web front-end dev and sharing ideas/benefiting from others shares, Codepen & JS Fiddle can be really useful

Code Editors

Specialist Areas

Machine Learning, AI & Data Science

  • Techshed forums thread
  • Kaggle - online data science community, with sharing of code, techniques, data sets etc. There’s a range of competitions run on Kaggle, usually with cash prizes, if you’re into that. They also run your code on their servers which can be useful (not having to have everything set up on your machine, more power etc.)
    • Code is run in iPython / Jupyter Notebooks which let you enter code from a web browser and have it run on the server. (renamed from iPython to Jupyter due to a conflict with some commercial project and the fact it supports more languages than just Python)
  • Collaboratory is another Jupyter Notebook service (from Google) with pretty generous resources to run your code for free
  • Github also has limited support for running Jupyter Notebooks

(Would like to make this a wiki post, but I don’t know how to!)

Edit: Forum admin can make a post into a wiki post, so just ask! Anyone can now edit the above post. We’ll see how well that works out.

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This looks interesting: the practical basic skills you need, which might not be taught:
The Missing Semester of Your CS Education
Contains course materials and lectures on YouTube.