If you're interested in learning to code, you've come to the right place. This guide will walk through why you should learn to code, the "best" language to learn, and quick guides so you can build your first project in under an hour.
Why should you learn to code anyway?
There are an estimated 26.9 million developers in the world. That's around 0.34% of the world population. Only a very small percentage of the world are builders, yet they're responsible for almost all technology we use on a day-to-day basis. Learning to code will give you the ability to build the products you want to see in the world.
The truth is you don't need to be a genius to code. Anyone can code. You don't need a particular skill set or IQ level. You just need to be curious. Like everything else in life, learning to code is intimidating at first. Once you jump in, you'll realize it's not as bad as it first seemed.
What is the best language to learn first?
The answer is: it's complicated. It ultimately depends on what you'd like to build. I'll shout out a few languages you can start with below and why they'd be good fits. To be honest, it's more important to make the choice to start learning a language than picking the "perfect" language. Don't let the fear of picking the wrong language stop you from learning to code in the first place.
Python's easy-to-read syntax and versatility make it a great first language to learn. Python code can also often read like English making it easier to learn fundamental concepts. It's one of the world's most popular programming languages and much of what you'd be interested in building can be built with Python.
HTML & CSS
HTML and CSS are the frameworks used to build websites. They are great starting languages if you're interested in front-end or web development. They're sibling languages and HTML dictates what content appears on a web page, while CSS dictates how that content appears. If you're solely interested in building websites, learning HTML & CSS are a great first choice.
How to start coding?
There are almost limitless options when it comes to learning to code. You could join a coding bootcamp, read books, or even jump into a community. The issue is all of these cost money or require a high upfront commitment. One of the best ways to learn to code is to simply start building. I've listed out below the 10 best resources to get you started. Feel free to pick the resource that interests you the most.
This guide was created by freeCodeCamp. It walks you through building the Discord Bot step by step and explains the code snippets along the way. It has both a written and video tutorial, so you can choose whichever fits your learning style.
Note: Replit now has private repls so you won't need to IMPORT OS or create a .env file for your private bot token. This will make more sense if you choose this guide.
This 10-minute video showcases how to build a Slack bot with Replit. It won't teach you the fundamentals of Python, but you can build something pretty cool with only 15 minutes of free time.
This guide walks you through how to build your first website with Replit. It's a great choice if you're interested in coding websites from scratch or front-end development in general.
This written doc will help you build your very own Mario clone. It has sprite files included so you won't need to design any characters or items. It also uses Kaboom.js like the snake game above.
In this video, you'll learn how to make a simple game (a flappy bird clone) with Kaboom.js on Replit. Like the Mario guide, it includes sprite files so you won't have to design any characters or pipes.
This video was created by Maya Bello. It's a great guide if you've never coded a single line in Python. In it you'll learn the print, input, and type functions as well as variables.
This free ebook is broken down into 30 separate chapters. It will walk you through the fundamentals of Python and how to think like a computer scientist. It's a great starting point if you're interested in learning Python, but want lessons broken down into manageable pieces.
This series of tutorials will take you from beginner to expert in coding with Replit. While these lessons are designed to be taken in order, they each make sense on their own too, so feel free to jump in wherever looks the most interesting to you.
There's No Perfect Starting Point
If all these options feel like a lot or you still don't know where to start, that's okay. There's no right or wrong project and there's no perfect language. The most important next decision you can make is to simply start coding. Anyone can code, including you.