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National Coding Week: Learning how to code

Author: Zac Donlon
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Did you know it’s National Coding Week?

Set up in 2014, it is an entire week where adults can get free access to resources to learn digital skills, including coding. These free resources are available in a load of places such as libraries, schools, businesses - everywhere you can think of.

I’m constantly reminded of my meagre coding skills, as CodeAcademy email me at least once a day telling me to get back on the horse and add some more numbers together.

So for anyone else who feels that they should do the same that poses the question, how do you get access to learning materials during the other much less publicised 51 weeks of the year?

To remedy that, I’ve tried to put a handy list together, some of my own recommendations, and some from people who actually write this stuff for a living. Each one has its own way of teaching, some online, some in person, but each with the same end goal, get everyone coding!

https://www.codecademy.com/ - My choice to start coding. There is a pretty good structure to take you through each module, building responsive pages’ step-by-step, like Lego blocks. It’s free and you can upgrade to a PRO version for extra added content.

https://www.codeclub.org.uk/ - A network of volunteers who donate their time to upskilling children aged 9-13 who’re really keen to get into coding. Based all over the UK, there are currently 9,676 coding clubs across the country.

https://www.pluralsight.com/ - Probably the most well-known and widely used by a number of professional devs. There’s a chunky $100 per month subscription to think about, however it is an absolute plethora of learning material.

https://codebar.io/ - Kind of a meet-up learning session for people to come together in different locations, those at both ends of the junior > senior spectrum to mentor and get your head around the real technical skills required.

https://teamtreehouse.com/ - Another online coding tutorial website, covering any language, framework, library you can think of. Their focus is to break down all the potential barriers to technology and allow anyone with the desire and access to a computer, to learn to code.

https://www.freecodecamp.org/ - Does what it says on the tin really, there’s a full syllabus, mainly focused around Frontend development to get you up and running. It might take a bit of time; each module is estimated to be about 300hrs! But I imagine you’ll be at absolute expert level if you do all of those!

https://instituteofcoding.org/ - Run by the University of Bath, this immersive coding experience is a series of hands on learning, run by guests and a lot of technical authorities to get you up to speed in no time.

https://www.udemy.com/ - Probably one of the biggest online resources of teaching material, not only for coding but also a ton of other topics, all focused around digital and online. There’s an astonishing 80,000 courses on there.

https://mcr.codes/ - Nice and local, MCR Codes is a part-time coding school, that’ll take you all the way from minimal JavaScript skills (necessary to start) to being a full blown dev in little less than 6 months. Courses are about £3k, and you’ll get hands on teaching with an immediate feedback loop for any questions you have.

https://northcoders.com/ - Manchester’s finest junior developer school. They run a number of courses, from mere taster sessions to a full coding school, that you literally attend every day like genuine school. You’ll go from <div> to <class> in no time with their intensive JavaScript centric coding school.

All of these sites, groups and organisations share a similar goal of allowing people their first access into the coding world. They’re resources for the next, great generation of developers, the ones who want to upskill, the ones with an undiscovered interest and the ones who have solved a problem that doesn’t exist yet.

I should do more of it, so should you! #nationalcodingweek

Zac Donlon is a Senior Consultant at Forward Role, specialising in contract developer roles across the North West. He can be found tweeting at @zacdonlon_fr and on LinkedIn.

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