Begin coding with fun and useful tools

Published on 24 September 2013

[Updated on 04/10/2013]

« Coders are like musicians »…

 

I recently read that on a blog (french only, sorry). I fully aggree with that statement: you learn new techniques, new songs, you have to practice.

As for guitar with tablatures, you can step easily into coding with various apps and sites. I tried a few of them:

 

Codecademy

Codecademy is a learning site for futur web devs. Some will say that it’s the Guitar Hero for coding: because it’s very guided and doesn’t require a lot of skills. You can learn the basics of web programming languages and programmation. The exercices are in general quite simple but allow you to review a lot of notions. The strenght of the site is that it’s very very fun, with its badge system and it’s design. The execrices are structured in courses that you can start and finish later.

  • Very fun (over-achievers this site is made for you!)
  • A lot of exercices available
  • Nice (new) dark interface
  • Courses on APIs, such as youtube, soundcloud, twitter,…
  • Some execrices tend to repeat previous ones
  • Won’t make you an expert / isn’t enough
  • For who?

    For total beginners or for those we want to quickly learn a new language and get ready to start a project of their own.

     

    Programmr

    Unlike Codecademy, Programmr is less didactive. The execrices are more difficult and there are no tips/guideline to find the solution to the problem. In addition to that, each execrcie must finished in a time limit (pressure!). The exercices are a bit scholar though. Concerning the interface, it is less sexy than Codecademy’s but it is practical and it does the job.

  • A lot of languages, includind non web-based.
  • Challenging and mind teasing
  • Not so reliable (unavailability, problem with JVM when running code)
  • Weak results validation…
  • For who?

    For intermediate programmers and people who want the challenge!

     

    jsFiddle

    This is a not a learning site per say, it is more like a sandbox in wich you can learn how to build castles. A really neat interface for this alpha version that gives you the possibility to write few lines of code and instantly see the results. I love this site, you can create, modify and run code snippets and then you can of course share it via URL or social networks. A feature that I’d like to see on jsFiddle is an export to GitHub as files that would bring jsFiddle to be a great web-based IDE.

  • Various frameworks support (with version specific)
  • jsLint validation
  • Easy sharing
  • None! =P
  • I’m know that there are quite a lot of other tools around the corner, fell free to share yours 🙂

    [UPDATE]

    I presented only the tools I’ve been using regularly, you can find a more complete list on:

    http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/tools-to-coding-online/

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