Indeed's "Best Jobs of 2020" ranked America's most highly prized careers based on demand, pay, and potential for growth. Some of these included: software architect (1), full-stack developer (2), Java developer (6), data scientist (7), and IT security specialist (9). That means that of the top ten best jobs in America, half of them required coding skills.
But, if you don't have coding skills, where do you go to learn them? Some may turn to their local library, and others may have the time and money to go back to school or a coding bootcamp.
Either way, you’re going to need to practice. Thanks to the abundance of resources online, you have everything you need at your fingertips. Whether you're looking to learn a new language or get into programming for the first time, these sites are some of the best at giving coding practice to beginners.
Coding is not a spectator sport. It's great to watch tutorials and read books on code, but to truly develop your programming proficiency, you need to write the language for yourself.
Here are some of the best places for you to practice your newfound coding skills.
When you begin to develop your coding skills, you may be unsure what to practice first. It helps to work on real-world problems that other coding professionals have faced — and Coderbyte has exactly that. With over 300 problems on front and back-end development, data structures, and algorithms that software professionals have faced in their interviews, you’ll be able to hone your skills on examples that really matter.
Coderbyte also lets you use 16 different programming languages and has a library of over 2 million user-submitted solutions, giving you all the practice you need.
While it’s designed for those with some background in coding already, HackerRank is one of the biggest competitive programming websites around. With challenges that can be finished online and leaderboards to see how you rank, this coding community can show you how your programming stacks up against the competition.
It’s not all a contest, though; HackerRank supplies you with plenty of tutorials and explanations to strengthen your skills — and since it’s designed to help developers get noticed by top tech companies, it may end up landing you a job.
Coding is as much an art as a science, so it’s fitting that the Codewars platform would have a martial arts motif. Choose between 29 programming languages as your coding style, solve community-generated challenges or katas, and move up the ranks as you gain programming wisdom. Once you’ve become a master, you can share your knowledge with other learners.
Wanna play a game? CodinGame lets you practice your coding through fun games and code challenges. With single round matches and both solo and multiplayer modes, this platform gives you a chance to practice your coding the fun way.
Competition can be the best motivator to learn, and CodeChef offers exactly that. This India-based platform is one of several that lets users measure their skills with challenging contests against other coders, which creates great coding practice for beginners. The competition is friendly, though, as participants often write posts and tutorials to help each other learn.
6. Project Euler
Project Euler offers a chance to solve challenging math problems with script. While you can't write your program directly into their editor, you can gain hands-on math and coding experience all in one.
A tight-knit community of elite programmers and developers, TopCoder is one of the most established platforms out there. On the learning side, they have an abundance of weekly challenges and explanations, along with challenging competitions that help you rise to the coding occasion.
On the earning side, coders who prove their expertise can earn money as freelancers solving pieces of digital projects for clients as elite as Harvard and NASA — and can even become project managers called Copilots.
Short for Sphere Online Judge, SPOJ is one of the most comprehensive coding libraries around — and it’s only getting bigger. This site has over 20,000 coding challenges, and sometimes even offers rewards like gift cards and prizes for winners. Their discussion boards are a great place to learn new coding techniques — though not every official coding solution is posted on the forum. And while you can use their editor to write your code, you can transfer it from your editor of choice if you prefer.
It may be more geared towards those with some degree of programming experience, but LeetCode is an excellent resource for developers looking to prepare for interviews or get noticed by top tech companies. Offering weekly and monthly challenges in everything from algorithms and system design to database and functional programming, this platform has more than 2,000 projects in 14 programming languages. They also work with companies to provide assessment and training tools to help programmers improve, and they offer interview preparation tools to prepare top prospects for the job.
With detailed solutions to their multiple-choice and peer-reviewed coding challenges, Geektastic has a wealth of resources for programmers of all skill levels. In addition to their interactive challenges and competitions, coders that rank high enough might even be allowed to join the review team. Members of this team get paid to review coding submissions for clients seeking a solution to their own coding projects.
11. Geeks for Geeks
Developed by developers for developers, Geeks for Geeks offers coding content for programmers of all skill levels. Exercises in data structures, machine learning, web development, and much more are available, and competitive challenges offer interactivity and a space to share coding solutions.
Similar to HackerRank, CodeEval is designed to help companies find and recruit top talent. That means that its content is primarily geared towards intermediate and advanced coders, but those who can climb their way up to the top of the leaderboard with the most efficient coding solutions may find themselves rewarded with a job.
Blogs to help you learn programming
They may be less interactive than competitions and online courses, but there are plenty of blogs available that help beginners gain programming proficiency. Here are some of our favorites.
1. The Crazy Programmer
This blog isn't designed to give hands-on coding experience, but there's a wealth of programming knowledge on pretty much everything else. From useful books and articles to tutorials and Q&A's, The Crazy Programmer is a great blog to follow for those just learning to code.
2. The Hackr.io Blog
If you're looking to find courses or content that will grow your coding skills, The Hackr.io Blog will help you look in the right places. Written by a community of programming professionals, this blog is devoted to grading the most useful coding content so that their followers will know they're relying on quality sources. They touch on a wide range of topics, though, so those looking for resources on a specific language may find their content hit-and-miss.
3. Better Programming
As its name suggests, this blog is devoted to improving your programming. With posts on a range of topics in web design and coding, Better Programming features content from multiple industry pros, and with introductory and advanced content, there's truly something for everyone. As with Hackr.io, though, those concentrating on a specific topic may want something more focused.
Flatiron School: the ultimate coding solution
The fact that coding is in such high demand means that there's no shortage of online resources to help new coders build the programming skills they need. Some platforms give hands-on experience with varying degrees of tutorial success, while others offer skill tracks and certificates for those willing to pay. Blogs are also a great place to learn from the pros, but content may be more scattered than some with a given focus are looking for.
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