If you are not a techie yourself, it can be rather overwhelming and confusing to sort through all the options for learning to code.  And what exactly what is "learning to code."?

Quick Start Guide

There are so many different types of coding to learn and so many ways to do it.  What's the best way?  There probably isn't just one.  But, we've spent a lot of time going through the various resources and using them to teach children (including our own).  So, here are our guidelines.

If your child is third grade or older you can skip Step 1 or just do an abbreviated version of it.  Course 2 and 3 from Code.org would fit the bill!

1. Basic Concepts

Using graphical programming tools, children can learn the basics of coding including how to design a program, how loops & conditionals work, what variables are and more.  Some good tools include Scratch, Hopscotch and Code.org.  You can see a more exhaustive list here.

2. Web Site Development

Starting in 4th or 5th grade - learn basic website development in this order:

  • Basic HTML
  • CSS including page layout
  • JavaScript
  • Maybe add in some JQuery which is a library built in JavaScript to simplify tasks.
  • HTML Forms and beginning PHP

3. Real Coding

Start with either Python or Ruby to learn a solid programming language with skills that will allow you to develop complex websites and programs.

Then, if app development is calling start with Swift - Apples new development tool and should be easier for kids to learn than Objective-C or Cocoa.  Access to a Mac is required.

Tutorial Websites

These are all sites that are aimed at teaching you how to code via interactive environments on their web site.  These sites cover the gamut from Programming Concepts to HTML to JavaScript to Python to SQL and more.

Too Vague?

If you want a list of tutorials to try for some of the above sites - check out the links in the boxes below.

How to Learn Website Development

If you look at the sites above - there are many great online sites to learn from.  Take a look at these in particular:

How to Get Started with "Real" Coding

Again - many of the sites above not only teach website development but also delve into programming and are a great place to start.  Take a look at these in particular:

As you get more advanced you should also check out sites like treehouse.com, udacity.com and coursera.com.