Learn to code: Free Code Camp

Let’s admit it: coding is the coolest part of the IB Computer Science course. But it can be intimidating as well and finding the right start can be hard. What programming language should I learn first? Which resources should I use? Wether you’re a programming veteran, assembly hacker or just starting off - Free Code Camp is a great site for learning to code.

Free Code Camp offers interactive web development courses for HTML, CSS, Javascript and some of the most used frameworks around it - for both front and back end. Each course consists of a series of challenges, which (for the front end part) can be solved directly in the browser and the site checks your solution automatically. In my opinion, this feature is specially important in the beginning, as it saves you all the hassle of getting some code to run locally. The course also follows a clearly structured course map, which allows to jump right into the appropriate level. Know HTML basics already? Skip it!

Free Code Camp Challenge

One of Free Code Camps challenges

But for me Free Code Camp is more than just a plain learning resource. It’s a welcoming community. It encourages to support non-profit organizations and the chat rooms on Gitter are full of learners and helpful people to give advice. Besides, its daily newsletter comes with interesting content and is probably the only newsletter I ever read.

Certainly the web is only one part of computer science. Classic programming languages such as Java, C++, Python or C# are still very important. From my personal experience, however, I found the web to be the perfect place to start. HTML and CSS provide immediate visual feedback and coding your own website can feel more advanced than a console line “Hello World!” program. I also think that JavaScript being a dynamically typed language will be easier in the beginning than trying to understand when to use which data type.

If you want to learn how to create websites or look to refine your web dev skills - I can warmly recommend Free Code Camp!