Learning to code is hard.

I can compare it to another challenging endeavour, the four years I spent learning Mandarin Chinese. Coding is even harder than that.

Getting started is one of the biggest hurdles. There are so many obstacles awaiting the newbie coder. Such as, deciding which kind of code to learn first! The array of choice can baffle many people.

Should I go for the rather trendy Ruby, with all those courses and fun pages with cute cats promising to teach me? Or what about Python with its flourishing global community of aficionados? Or should I just start with good old boring JavaScript?

Ah but what about all those other things I’ve heard of? Cue random long list: C#, Perl, Sass, Java, HTML, CSS, Markdown, Liquid, PHP, Objective-C, Node.js, React.js, Angular, jQuery, Bootstrap, WordPress, Django….etc etc etc.

Aaaaargh! Stop. Focus. Forget all those things for a moment.

Start with HTML and CSS. They’re fairly friendly for beginners. Learning the basics gives you the satisfaction of being able to construct a static web page. That’s fun. Then, consider JavaScript as your first step into real programming.

WordPress is a good platform to learn, as you can quickly use your knowledge to start building sites for people as a freelancer. Lots of sites out there run on WordPress. You’d be amazed at how many.

Useful stuff

Here, in no particular order, are some resources that I’ve been using during the last year or so.


A comprehensive free resource that takes you through the basics. They have an on-screen editor where you can practice code. And they teach a wide variety of different skills.


I followed their WordPress developer track. It cost me around 200 USD. The course took me all the way from the basics into a deep dive, then finally a chance to use my skills on a practice project. It also helped me to learn Git. Well worth considering.

Free Code Camp

The best structured free coding school that I’ve found on the web. They try to replicate the intensive bootcamp experience offered by expensive coding schools.But instead of shelling out 15k USD and moving to New York City, FCC allows you to learn from anywhere.

The courses are well-structured, focusing on Javascript.Mapping it out like this really helps you understand how the skills fit together. FCC offers good support from a lively community, both on the forums and in-person at worldwide meetups. I used to go to their Coffee & Code meetings in NYC.

The Odin Project

The full bootcamp experience, including Rails, Javascript and a host of other skills, delivered from the comfort of your browser. Created by a graduate of one of the biggest on-site bootcamps in the US. Most importantly, all material on the Odin Project is freely available.


A plethora of online courses can be found here, with regular updates amid a vibrant community. Treehouse has a diverse curriculum that includes tech career advice along with topics on starting your own business. The site also offers topics covering a wide range of the latest and greatest technologies.

Zed Shaw’s Command Line the Hard Way

A no-fluff guide to an essential developers skill.

Blogs worth reading

Mackenzie Child

Learn to Code with Me

Joyce Akiko


The Geeky Hustle

Zoe Rooney

I’ll add more soon…

Other useful things


Great tool for code wrangling and seeing instant results with HTML, CSS and Javascript.


As above, but focusing on Javascript.

Git for Beginners

Git is notoriously tricky, but I found this tutorial one of the easiest to follow.

Oh yeah, get yourself a GitHub account ASAP!