Your first three months of code

Your first three months of codePreview: Your first three months of code

So, you're thinking about learning to code? Maybe you want to start a new career? Or want to launch a project? Or maybe you just think it looks fun?
Learning to code isn't easy. It requires grit, determination and time. But it can also be incredibly rewarding and potentially life-changing.

Why Javascript

We teach Javascript for a reason. It's on fire at the moment, since it's the ONLY programming language that can be used on the front end (to build websites like this one) and the back end (the infrastructure that runs everything). It's reasonably straightforward, and can be run immediately from any browser, no set up or compiling required.

Four Steps

  1. Codecademy's Javascript Course - Possibly the most common first venture for new coders, Codecademy is a free, interactive site that is good for introducing new concepts. Write things down in a notebook as you go along, they'll be invaluable while you find your feet. Once you've picked up a key concept, play with it in your browser (right click, hit inspect and go to console!) and in JSBin to consolidate your knowledge.
    This is a good time to download a text editor. There's a few good ones out there - Sublime Text, VS Code, Atom. We recommend Microsoft's VS Code, which is built on top of Atom but has a few extra plugins and features.
  • Optional - if you are particularly interested in building websites, this is a great time to take a couple of weeks to look into HTML and CSS. HTML describes the structure of websites, whilst CSS defines its appearance. We like these resources, but nothing matches building your own site! It doesn't need to be a work of art but try to make it look nice, challenge yourself to add a navigation bar and a couple of links which lead to other pages.
  1. Treehouse - Treehouse combines videos, quizzes and code challenges to provide a really great learning experience which is generally right up-to-date. These guys only offer 2 weeks free before you need to pay (but the investment might be worth it!) - otherwise, make the most of the two weeks and then move on to.
  2. Free Code Camp - This is arguably more advanced and in-depth and a great chance to reinforce your knowledge and test yourself. You'll have to be a bit more self-reliant to get through it, but that's good, you'll need to solve problems like a programmer! There's a heck of a lot of material, so we recommend taking a look at their Basic Javascript course and their Object Oriented and Functional Programming course.
  3. Codewars - Ready for a challenge? Codewars helps you rapidly build your confidence in solving problems. You build your ability through challenges ('katas') for which you can earn points ('honor'). As in martial arts, you will begin on 8 Kyu and move through the ranks (1 Kyu being the highest!) Start with some simple 8 Kyu kata and try something harder as and when you feel ready.
    For example:
  • Multiply
  • Even or Odd
  • Remove Exclamation Marks
  • Reversing Words

    Lots to do..!
    If you can pack a fair chunk of each of these suggestions into three months, you're doing an amazing job. By this time, you will:
  • Know how to structure websites using HTML
  • Be confident styling your pages CSS
  • Have a good knowledge of some key programming concepts
  • Know the important parts of the Javascript syntax
  • Be well on your way to achieving your coding goals!
    Good luck!