“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.
Where to find it: http://thecodeplayer.com/
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.
Where to find it: https://checkio.org
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.
Where to find it: http://codingame.com
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.
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.