Just as there are numerous languages for humans, computers also have a set language that tells them what functions to perform or how web pages should look. This language is called coding. If a person not trained in coding looks at this language, they wouldn’t know what it means or what it is meant to do. However, a computer programmer is proficient in coding language and can quickly understand the code, what it is telling the computer to do, and where there may be issues within it. Coding can be used to create anything from computer programs to video games and is an exciting skill to delve into.
HTML & CSS
One Stanford University lesson states that HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is used to create simple things like fonts, colors, graphics, and hyperlinks. While this is not a computer language, it is a set of “tags” that are placed around an image or text. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and is used to create the presentation of a website, as in fitting content to different sized screens and printers.
To learn more, visit:
- Mozilla Developer Network: Introduction to HTML
- W3C: CSS and HTML tutorial
- Website Setup: HMTL beginners’ tutorial
- University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire: HTML coding
- University of San Francisco: HTML basic codes
- Meta Tags: Meta tags code generator
- University of Washington: CSS tutorial
- Zvon: CSS tutorial
To learn more, go to:
- HTML 5 Hive: JQuery and AJAX video tutorial for beginners
- Net Beans: Using JQuery to enhance the appearance and usability of a webpage
Getting More Advanced
Once you have mastered the basics of coding language, there is a large array of more complex coding to take your program, website, or game to a new level. Some programs are completely free to download, re-work, and use.
For more information, go to:
- WordPress: Getting started with PHP for WordPress development
- Web Design Degree Center: Learn to code
- Cosmo Learning: PHP tutorial for absolute beginners
- Blue Shoes: PHP cheat sheet
- Simple Machines: Parham PHP lessons
- California State University: PHP samples
- MIT Sloan School of Management: PHP code style guide
According to Wikipedia, Python’s language is easy to use and is ideal for prototype development and other simple tasks. It is similar to Ruby. However, it is not as complex when it comes to its coding. Python’s coding is very matter-of-fact and is probably the easiest to learn. Python can be used with any operating system, such as MAC OS X, Windows, or Linux. It has a large standard library of code that supports common tasks such as connecting to web servers or reading and modifying files. Python is used for testing microchips at Intel, powering Instagram, and making games with PyGame.
For more information and tutorials, go to:
- Python: Tutorial
- Learn Python the Hard Way: Tutorial
- Rensselaer: Python cheat sheet
- Python Future: Cheat sheet
- Northwestern University: Mini programming projects for the Python beginner
- Practice Python: Practice for Python
- Raspberry PI: Python
- University of Florida: Basics of Python
Ruby was created by blending the coding languages of several programs to make a new language to balance functional programming with imperative programming, according to the Official Ruby Website. It is object-oriented, which is based on objects instead of functions and procedures. Ruby has a flexible coding language where you can remove or edit parts of Ruby without causing issues. It can be more challenging to learn as the coding language can be manipulated easily. It is also a completely free program to use. Ruby is best used for creating web applications.
For information and tutorials, visit:
- Ruby Learning: Ruby tutorial
- Ruby for Beginners: Information
- Try Ruby: Ruby demonstration
- Cheat Sheet: Ruby
- Testing Education: Ruby cheat sheet
- Ruby Documentation: Help and resources for Ruby
- University of California: Ruby programming language
- Fincher: Ruby tutorial with code samples
C is a high-level programming language that was created in the 1970s. Originally, it was used for Unix programs but can now be used on various platforms. C++ coding language was built from C language. Both syntaxes are almost identical. However, C++ has object-oriented features to it which make it easier to use. Most software programs are written in C++.
To learn more about C and C++, visit:
- Gillius’ Programming: C tutorial
- University of Alabama: C++ for dummies
- William Paterson University: Visual C++ tutorial
- Michigan State University: C++ quick reference
- Drexel University: C language tutorial
- KLDP: C++ in 21 days
- Washington University in St. Louis: C++ tutorial
Additional Resources for Kids
It is never too early to begin learning how to code!
- Edutopia has a list of helpful apps to get you started: 7 apps that teach children coding.
- Common Sense Media suggests apps as well as websites: Cool coding apps and websites.
- KQED also has a short list of tools: 5 tools to introduce programming to kids.
- Common Sense suggests additional resources: The best apps and websites for learning programming.
- Code has courses for students, teachers, and parents to explore: Official site
- Change X has resources for learning to code in communities around the nation and globe: Coder dojo.
- Kars 4 Kids also has helpful information: Coding for kids.
Additional Resources for Teens and Young Adults
- Yes We Code is a national initiative to get young people into coding: Official website.
- Computer Science Online has a list of educational resources: CS programs before college.
- Simmons College suggest video games that help with learning coding: Video games for teaching coding.
- Digital Inspiration discusses learning coding at home: Learn coding online.
- Lifehack talks about money-saving ways to learn about coding: Learn coding for free.
- Learn Angular is an interactive website for learning Angular: Official website.
- Oppia offers a collection of lessons: Algorithms and computing.