Learn To Code For Free With These Websites
If only someone had told me to learn how to program at a young age. I would have been miles ahead of everyone else in college. The lucky kids who want to pursue a technical degree and learn some basic programming knowledge before entering college will be forever grateful they took the early initiative. Home educators are in a particularly wonderful position to teach their kids early.
Nowadays, there are a lot of websites that can teach you how to code/program for free. Here is my current list of recommendations. I haven't included every website, just the ones that I think are the best and most appropriate.
But first -- What is the best programming language to learn first?
MIT's Scratch is potentially the best place to start. Scratch helps you learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. (These are the fundamental qualities of a programmer.) Scratch teaches beginners to program their own interactive stories, games, and animations.
Code Academy - If you've read other lists, I'm sure you've seen Code Academy listed somewhere. Like it, or hate it, it is one of the most popular free options available. Code Academy will teach you just about any language you want to learn.
Code.org - Their mission is that, "Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science."
Open Course Websites - There are a number of free open course websites that offer free programming classes. Check out edX, Coursera, and Udemy. Although MIT Open Courseware is generally advanced, they have a great Intro to Java Programming class. Students may also be interested in their Intro to Computer Science & Programming class.
Try Ruby - This is a great site for learning Ruby. Ruby is not universally recommended as a 'first' programming language, but there is no perfect first programming language. Although I also recommend Java and Python as a first language, Ruby is one of the best ways to start out and there is no right or wrong choice between those three. I want to learn Ruby also lists many options for learning Ruby -- use these as well, instead, or as supplements.
Rails for Zombies - This is a course for learning Ruby on Rails. Ruby on Rails is a web framework that is becoming increasingly popular. The best thing about Rails for Zombies is that every bit of the Rails programming is done in your browser. Configuring the Rails and Ruby on Rails environment can be tricky.
Lynda offers many development and coding classes. Although Lynda is normally a paid subscription service, you can get Lynda.com membership for free.
The New Boston - Started as a YouTube channel and is now a full fledged website. There are many tutorials and I love Bucky Roberts (the developer who produces the videos). They have personality and are genuinely fun.