4 Free and Low-Cost Online Resources for Practicing Code

“The only way to get better at programming is to actually program. Don’t let an analysis paralysis prevent you from ever starting.” That’s the first piece of advice CTO Ken Mazaika has for aspiring software developers and programmers. Practice is a must if you ever want to become proficient. But many coders are unsure where to start, especially if a heavy investment isn’t feasible. 

Whether you have some coding experience, or you’re just starting to consider a career in the field, there are a lot of online resources for putting your skills to the test. We compiled a list of some of our favorite online resources for low-cost (and free!) ways to practice code that require little-to-no preparation.

1. TheCodePlayer

Where to find it: http://thecodeplayer.com/

What you can do: This simple, straightforward website allows you to dive right in and practice a number of programming languages, from JavaScript, CSS, HTML5, and more. 

Why we like it: This a web-based way to sharpen your coding skills by viewing screencasts from other coders. No account or log-in is needed; just visit the site and pick a category to begin watching or streaming a video. You can play the video start to finish as often as you like, and you can view the code after. Keep in mind, however, this resource is often better suited for those that already do have some coding experience. 

Cost: Free

2. CheckiO

Where to find it: https://checkio.org

What you can do: If you’ve ever wanted to create a video game from scratch, this is a great way to get some practice in. CheckiO offers game coding practice for coders of all levels, and coders can practice either Python or JavaScript. 

Why we like it: Creating an account is free and easy; you have the choice of creating one with CheckiO or logging in with your Facebook, Google+, or Github account. Once you’re in, you can begin practicing right in your web browser. 

Cost: Free

3. CodinGame 

Where to find it: http://codingame.com

What you can do: CodinGame is another great way to practice your coding skills by creating video games. Their website boasts that users can create games in the programming language of their choice, including Java, JavaScript, Python, Swift, Kotlin, Scala, PHP, Bash, C, C++, C#, Ruby, Perl, and many others. Users also have the opportunity to showcase their work and seek out employment opportunities. 

Other things to know: Currently, Google Chrome is the only supported browser for CodinGame. Users will need to first download the CodinGame Sync App and the CodinGame Sync Ext from the Chrome Web Store. CodinGame is also still currently in Beta. 

Cost: Free 

4. Simplilearn

Where to find it: https://www.simplilearn.com/mobile-and-software-development/

What you can do: No matter what language you’re attempting to master, Simplilearn’s programming courses include a lab environment where students can practice their coding alongside instructors in real-time and can practice on their own 24/7 after the class is finished. 

Instructors aren’t monitoring in the lab, so practice is stress-free, while still providing instant feedback. The labs are built right into the learning management system, so no additional login or download is necessary. 

Most of Simplilearn’s programming courses also include several interactive projects that generate auto-graded reports with code quality scores.

Other things to know: Labs and projects are included in Simplilearn’s Advanced Java, Core Java, Python, C#, Scala, Perl, Ruby on Rails, C, Advanced CSS, CSS3 Fundamentals, Data Science with R, Data Science with Python, and many other certification training courses. 

Unlike the other training sources, Simplilearn brings together a convenient online classroom with an unlimited-access practice environment for a deep understanding of the programming language. Teaching assistants are available for additional help whenever students need support. 

Cost: Varies per course. 

Here’s a full list of the courses provided by Simplilearn. 


 

About the Author

Pankaj KumarPankaj Kumar

Pankaj Kumar is an Associate Product Manager at Simplilearn, with 5+ years of experience. He is a transformation leader with rich experience in Project Management, Account Management, Business Development and Product Management.

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