Prior to working as a recruiter to recruit technical talent, I assumed that coding was boring. I failed to understand the actual purpose of coding, whether an app, a product, or a machine, and I failed to grasp the enjoyment behind it. In my head, I pictured a stereotypical software engineer hunched over at a desk in a dark room with giant headphones on, furiously typing away random lines of letters and numbers on their computer while muttering something about hacking.
Well, my misconceptions might not have been entirely wrong, but throughout my career, I have begun to discover a new wonder for coding. When I interview engineering candidates, I smile when they describe coding as creative. When I speak with engineers who are also artists, I’m inspired by the way they weave their artistic mindset into their code. I’ve since learned that coding is all about building blocks, interweaving puzzles as you build from the ground up.
While I will likely never be a software engineer (no matter how much I might wish I was when I give out those six-figure offers), recruiting technical talent has inspired me to learn some basics. Partly out of my own curiosity while working in the tech world, partly to try to keep up when speaking with engineers. While I have yet to fully master any one language, I have managed to learn some solid basics which, if desired, could be the foundation of an engineering career. After experimenting around, here are the 5 sites I recommend to learn the basics of coding for free!
This one is likely no surprise. Headquartered in New York, but with users worldwide, CodeAcademy offers free coding classes in twelve different languages (including transferrable basics like Python and Java). CodeAcademy has been around since 2011, and since then has continuously modified its product offerings to include classes for additional languages, as well as a pro version for anyone looking to invest money into their coding journey. The company was acquired by Skillsoft earlier this year but continues to provide free coding offerings for its millions of users.
I may be biased since I actually have a Coursera membership, but I’m a huge fan of their technical learning options. I’m currently taking a Google…