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Top 12 Online Resources for Total Coding Beginners

Top 12 Online Resources for Total Coding Beginners

Learning a new skill can be overwhelming, to say the least. And with a complex and constantly evolving skill like coding, it can seem impossible to figure out where to begin. Thankfully, there are many high quality – and free! – online resources that are ideal for even the most novice programmer. Follow along for my list of top 10 online resources for beginners learning to code, tried and tested by our very own team of star developers.

Turtle Academy. This web-based tutorial teaches programming in a fun and very simple way by helping you write code through moving a turtle around the screen. Turtle Academy is a great way to introduce yourself to programming and get familiar with the basic paradigms.
Price: Free

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    Lego Mindstorms

    . Through “Learn to Program” on Lego’s website, you complete 25 “missions” with their free software. It’s a great introduction to some programming principles, and really quite fun. As they say on the website, “make your robot do exactly what you want it to do!” – whether that’s move, drive or respond to touch.
    Price: Free

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      Udacity. 

      Udacity gives you a huge online library of courses for all levels and all kinds of subjects. Click on “Intro to Computer Science” or “Developing Android Apps” – or any one in a big roster of classes to help you hone your skills and develop your training.
      Price: Free access to course materials, pricing structure for more

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        Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers.  This video game-style game is educational and fun, and works for all levels. Go from beginner to coder extraordinaire while also having fun. You’ll learn the ins and outs of JavaScript while also engaging in head-to-head robot wars on the battlefield. Only drawback? The app has been known to be a bit buggy, but recent updates seem to have resolved many of the lingering issues.
        Price: Free on iTunes, Free on Android

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          My Robot Friend. While this app for iPhone & iPad is much more geared towards kids, it’s still very informative and gets the basics across. Anyone can benefit from a number of games and puzzles that introduce you to programming and gradually build on those skills.
          Price: $3.99

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            Project Euler. While this website is geared towards those with a grasp of the basics, it’s a great place to keep learning and push yourself. Solve a series of mathematical and computer programming problems and grow your skills in the process.
            Price: Free

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              CodeCombat. Leading with the idea that the best way to learn is to do, CodeCombat gives you a fun and interactive way to learn how to program. It also introduces a multiplayer element, so there’s a built-in community as well as an edge of competition for head-to-head programming wars.
              Price: Free

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                L2Code CSS. A very beginner-friendly crash course in CSS that you can easily access and use on your mobile on the go, or sitting at a desk. This app is available on both iOS and Android and gives very clear lessons, examples and step-by-step instructions.
                Price: $4.99 on iOS and Android

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                  Codea .While Codea is only available on iPad and is on the more expensive end of things, it’s an excellent resource for those who are really willing to roll their sleeves up and dig in. The guidance is a bit limited – so be prepared to really pay attention and teach yourself at parts – but if you’re willing to push through, you’ll learn a lot. Bonus? You can export what you build and sell it on the App Store!
                  Price: $9.99 on iPad

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                    Cato’s Hike. This is a great app for those who learn visually. Program Cato’s movements around the map to make sure he can move and get out of different situations. While it’s definitely a bit more for the kids, this is a very thorough tutorial and you can learn a lot of fundamentals. Light and fun.
                    Price: $4.99 on iOS

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                      iPad and iPhone Application Development. This free course through iTunes gives you a series of audio podcasts that take you through what you need to know to develop on the iOS platform. Very thorough explanations, and a great course – used by some of our own iOS devs.
                      Price: Free

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                        W3Schools. W3Schools is a practical introduction to web development that anyone can follow. Full of examples, it covers how different things work together. While other programming tutorials can be abstract and vague on how to apply the things you learn, that is simply not the case with W3Schools.
                        Price: Free

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                          Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK. Bonus resource! While this is clearly not an online resource, sometimes there’s something to be said for being able to hold the resource in your hands and really make it your own. This is an easy to follow read that’s written in very friendly, beginner language. A fantastic resource for beginners to iPhone development!
                          Price: $8.33 on Amazon

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                            What resources have you been using as you learn to code? Let me know and keep me posted on how it goes with these resources in the comments!

                            Featured photo credit: Cindy J Grady via freerangestock.com

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                            Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                            How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

                            How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

                            Typing is a lot of fun, especially if you’re the type of person who loves to write. Whenever an idea comes to your head or you just want to communicate something, the feeling of scribbling things down in a computer is awesome.

                            Do you know that being able to type faster makes you more productive? In fact, it’ll save you 21 days every year just by typing faster!

                            Many people look up to master typists and wish that to handle a keyboard like they do. The truth is that none of them started that way, and they had to learn.

                            In this piece, you’ll learn how to type faster with some useful tips and techniques:

                            1. Work on Your Workspace and Typing Area

                            A lot of people believe that fast and correct typing will start when you can master the keyboard. But the truth is, you will need to begin with getting a workspace that is clean, properly ventilated, and comfortable. Also, for optimal typing, you will need to get a table and not out your laptop or computer on your lap.

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                            If you will be working for an extended period, make sure that you’re comfortable.

                            2. Fix Your Posture

                            If you want to type well, the correct posture will be seated, straight backed, and with your feet planted a little apart, flat on the ground. You wrists should also be positioned in such a way that your fingers can cover the keyboard. Tilt your head a bit as you can look at the screen properly as well.

                            Adjust your office chair so you’ll be able to easily play with the seat and get a proper posture.

                            3. Hold Your Posture

                            It is also very important that you keep this position as you type. Ensure that your posture is good, and this way, you will be able to avoid getting aches on your wrists. These aches have a way of slowing you down and keeping you out of rhythm.

                            Keep your back and shoulders from hunching, and while relaxation should be your key goal as you work on, also be sure to stay upright.

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                            4. Familiarize Yourself with the Keyboard

                            The keyboard is your tool here, so you will need to get to know it. Fortunately for you, most keyboards that you see will make use of the same layout; the QWERTY layout. It is called that because of the letters that make the top left corner. You’ll also find that a lot of keyboards have keys around these main ones that do several tings.

                            Here’s a nice video to help you familiarize yourself with the keyboard:

                            So, work on memorizing the positions of the letter keys, as well as some of the most used punctuation marks. You will need to understand where they are without looking at the keyboard. This is the only way you can learn to type fast.

                            5. Close Your Eyes and Say the Keys out Loud as You Press Them

                            Another great way to get to know the positions of these letters is to look away from them and directly at the screen. Then, pronounce the keys as you press them and see if you’re correct. This step will go a long way in helping you to memorize the keys, and it can easily help you

                            6. Start Slowly with Touch-Typing

                            Improving your speed as you type is a matter of developing your skill over time. However, the quickest way to master typing will be touch typing. If this is your first time with touch typing, then you might spend a lot of time on this step. However, once you can type without looking at the keys, your speed will increase.

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                            Now, this typing method might feel a bit alien, but you’ll improve with time.

                            7. Stick with It and Don’t Look at Your Hands

                            The whole essence of this step is to keep you from looking at your keyboard as you type, so that your fingers are made to learn how the keys work.

                            Again, you might find that your speed reduces when you begin, but just stick to it. Touch typing will help you to reach higher speeds and master it.

                            8. Practice, Practice, Practice

                            Mastering the touch typing technique will prove to be a bit finicky, but once your posture is up and you get your fingers where they should be, you can only improve by practicing.

                            Spare some time on a daily basis to practice and master both accuracy and speed. With continuous practice, you will also notice that you make fewer errors with time.

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                            9. Check out Some Online Games

                            There are also some websites that can help you with your practicing. They score you and record your words per minute, so you can try improving your record and competing with others as well. Here’re some of the nice sites:

                            10. Dictation Practice

                            If you don’t know what you can type, another alternative to getting good practice is to listen to something and try to type as you hear the words. There is no limit to the kind of things you can type, and you can even make the practice process more fun. So, get an e-book, an online lecture, or listen to a talk show and type. You could watch a TV show as well.

                            11. Monitor Your Progress

                            Ensure that you keep track of the progress you make as you go on. But it is important that you don’t get obsessed with how many words you are able to type in a minute. Rather, ensure that you stay comfortable while you type. With time, your words per minute will increase, and you’ll be able to clock up some high numbers.

                            12. Get Some Formal Training If You Want

                            There are actually a lot of specially designed courses and programs that will boost your typing ability. If you’re willing to improve your skill, get any of these and see how well they work for you:

                            Don’t just finish reading this article and expect that you’ll type faster. You do need to work on your skills. It takes time to type fast but, practice makes perfect!

                            More Tips About Typing Faster

                            Featured photo credit: Cytonn Photography via unsplash.com

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