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#NewCoderMotivation | Freelance Chronicles | Helpful Coding

I want to code! But where to start?

August 30, 2017

A common question that gets asked a lot: I want to learn to code, but where do I start? Should I take a class at a college? Do a bootcamp? Take online courses? Buy textbooks? There are so many options!

Yes, there is. However, the good news is that these choices aren’t as difficult as you think. I’m going to narrow down the three common paths that coders take and weigh the pros and cons. By the time I’m finished with this, making a choice on where you want to start will be a lot easier on you.

College Courses

Pros: College courses take place in a traditional setting, there is a professor there to help out, you go on pace with the course and get to utilize the college resources if needed. Ideal for someone that likes the classroom type setting.

Cons: This could be a costly option for some people. Also, if you want to learn multiple skills, you may have to take multiple courses which will definitely end up costing even more in the long run.


Pros: This is becoming a very popular option for people who are looking to transition in coding. Ideal for people who want to take on coding as a career (mainly Software Engineers) this option involves an intensive 10+ hour a day, five days a week commitment, you have mentors to help you out along the day, and most of these bootcamps will help you find a job once you graduate. Some of them won’t even make you pay tuition until you you have a job.

Cons: Bootcamps are intensive, so if you have the money to shell out (you may need to make a hefty deposit to claim your spot) and are willing to commit the time required (you cannot have a full-time job while doing these) then this may be an option for you. Also, the majority of bootcamps require you to at least know front-end development in order to get in (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) so you would need to devote some time learning that before you apply.

Online Courses

Pros: A very popular option, you basically take a online course and learn at your own pace. Highly recommended for people who are just starting out or showing an interest in coding. Majority of the courses are free, and it will give you an idea on whether coding is for you are not. There are some good paid courses as well if you want that option. There are different learning options, from watching videos to coding along with the course

Cons: There is no mentor to help out for most of these courses apart from some online forums (and you’ll have to really search sometimes to get the answer you are looking for). Obviously this is online, so if not being in a classroom setting bothers you, I wouldn’t recommend this route.

So there you have it. I will say that for me personally, that pretty much all of my learning took place through online courses. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll share some of my favorite online courses (free and paid) and what I got from each of them. Note that even though I’ve taken courses online, this may not be the best route for you and that’s okay. We all have our different learning styles, and it is important to figure out what works best for you.

Now it’s your turn: What learning style have you used to help get started with learning how to code? Which ones have benefited you the most?

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