Is writing a piece of code a complex process? It depends. Today, the majority of people want to learn to code and build careers as successful programmers.

Others believe that coding is utterly complex work that involves genius-like skills. Therefore, certain questions need to be answered.

Like many other professions and jobs, coding has many misconceptions and misinterpretations. However, when you know the questions, you should know whom to ask.

We thought about all of you who seek advice and decided to share our experience and knowledge with you. 

For the first time learners, to begin is perhaps the hardest part of the learning process, given numerous online sources and websites.

So, what are the best online sources to learn to code

W3Schools

W3Schools offers precise and simple to understand tutorials and guides related to web development topics.

This is where you can learn basics about web programming, including HTML, XHTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript, PHP, ASP, SQL and more, through practice.

As a great source for newcomers, W3schools teaches you things need to remember, and due to good reference purposes, it will be easier for you to move on to harder lessons.

HTML Dog

If you wish to learn HTML or CSS, HTML Dog is another great source for beginners.

This is a tutorial website with a massive archive of examples of the CSS, HTML and JavaScript, in three categories, for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners. The guides offered are easy to follow and easy to read.

The website also offers publications and books related to the subject, covering more great examples and practice. HTML Dog: The Best Practice Guide to XHTML and CSS  is a great publication that delivers specific aspects of XHTML and CSS. It provides the most common web design techniques in a concise and clear writing style. It is a reliable reference book that answers the most common questions.

HTML.com

The HTML.com has a 368,000-word guide for both newbie & experienced web developers.

The site’s been recommended by the WordPress team and the UK government and you may find both interesting and useful lessons there.

GitHub

GitHub is a social networking site for developers and a code and sharing publishing service.

It is an open-source project mostly used for coding.

However, whether you are interested in improving your skill through coding or reading, or you wish to find an open-source project to contribute to and collaborate or share your own project, GitHub is where you start.

Git Hub screenshot

Moreover, this is probably the best place to search for examples of open source code that you can later reuse on your own projects.

Lastly, GitHub offers a place for your professional portfolio and it is a great community for every programmer-to-be.

CSS Wizardry

Maintained by Harry Roberts and located on the GitHub software development collaborative, CSS Wizardry is home of inuit.css framework.

Harry writes about the topics of CSS offering high-level guidelines for writing maintainable CSS.

CSS -Tricks

Due to the great content, Chris Coyer’s blog is more than just a blog, and with more topics than just CSS, although it is his primary focus.

CSS Tricks screenshot

CSS-Tricks is a place where one can find useful information on CSS, jQuery and web design techniques, where one can find tutorials on web-related topics, free screencasts-instructional tutorials, and it is also a forum for knowledge-hungry web learners.

Sitepoint, 

  • Another great place packed with useful articles on numerous web-related topics.

Apart from great content, Sitepoint, as a company, specializes in book publishing. It covers various topics (web design, web marketing, web programming, and business online) and offers a broad range of instructional content through their online platform Learnable. This is great for those who prefer learning via reading.

Learnable has a large community and offers guides on HTML, CSS, Ruby, JavaScript, APS.NET, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, PHP, SQL, and more.

Symfony

  • For those who want to start learning Symfony PHP framework

If you decide to work with the Symfony PHP framework, this is the best source where you can get all information, documentation, tips, and learn everything related to open source projects.

Symfony home page screenshot

We take part in Symfony PHP conferences every year whether as sponsors or visitors. That is also a great way to learn to code from others and be part of the community eager to share.

WebDesignTuts + 

  • for those who are new to web design

To learn more about web design, you should visit Web Design Tuts+, a blog dedicated to web design tutorials. The blog publishes articles focusing on the visual side of web design, showcasing the best practice.

It offers techniques and tricks to maximize every aspect of web design. Apart from the tutorials, you can also find e-books and courses.

StackOverflow

  • a community of programmers

It is a question and answer site for professionals and enthusiasts, and it is especially good for beginners. Just reading and browsing through questions may also increase your curiosity towards programming and in time increase your coding skills.

The big community that tackles questions from all web-related industries is a great asset for programmers.

Stack overflow screenshots

Google and Google Groups are a good source of information

With a few query tricks, such as -inurl:htm -inurl:html intitle:”index of” +(“/ebooks”|”/book”) +(chm|pdf|zip) “python”, Google will find book or e-book directory with Python books in them, in different formats.

Some people prefer learning from books or blogs 

Every book is good if it’s focused on the subject and topic you are looking for, and searching Google for relevant books can certainly point you in the right direction, however, reading without practice and test projects is hardly enough to improve your skills.

In the list above you will find great blogs you should be checking out every day, and if you read on, we have chosen some titles we recommend reading (and practicing).

Erica Sadun’s Books

Given that she has written, co-written and contributed to dozens of books on technology (programming and digital media in particular), any of Sadun’s book you choose will offer a great learning experience.

As an author of iOS Developer’s Cookbook series and writer on TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) Sadun can successfully introduce you to the iOS world.

iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide

by Joe Conway and Aaron Hillegass

An excellent source for experienced developers, though confident beginners can also use it to expand their knowledge (gurus can learn more as well).

The book covers essential concepts, tools and techniques for developing iOS applications and other high levels of topics. When you are done with it, you should be able to move easily into programming applications and learn to code more along the way.

AngularJS

by Brad Green and Shyam Seshardi

A great book, which is an introduction to AngularJS by two engineers who worked at Google. It teaches you how to build AngularJS applications. You can find more great books by the same publisher, O’Reilly Media.

jQuery Cookbook: Solutions & Examples for jQuery Developers

In 435 pages, you will find it covers more than 150 jQuery and JavaScript common problems from nineteen jQquery community experts and leading developers.

It is good for beginners because it starts with the basics and moves on to more complex topics, giving great information and good examples along the way.

Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice to Professional

by W Jason Gilmore

A well-written, well-organized book offers clear and useful examples that one can easily adapt.

With 500 code examples, it is written for web developers who are searching for powerful solutions to create powerful web sites.

Smashing Magazine Library is another great source of quality books on different web-related topics.

That being said, there is more to come. As a programmer-to-be, certain things should always be on your mind and you should nurture certain behaviors to succeed and improve your skills.

To get on the right path and learn to code, read on to find out several pieces of advice from Eton Digital developers and programmers. 

  • Similarly as with saying Res Non Verba, theory without practice is a road to nowhere.
  • Accept challenges; go out of your comfort zone.
  • Mistakes are inevitable, and surely, mistakes make you better. Moreover, even advanced programmers make common mistakes when trying to be faster and more efficient.
  • When something goes wrong, take a break, ask your friend or colleague, or start over.
  • Sharing is caring, so share your code, help your friends/colleagues and value will come back when needed.
  • Every documentation (usually) is kind of a book; read it.
  • Be yourself; do not try to make everyone happy.
  • Work, work and work. If programming is what turns you on, you will not hate Mondays and you will not love Fridays that much.
  • Try to make your micro world better every day, don’t just focus on yourself; that way you (and your micro world) will rise up.
  • Programming is not for individuals, it is a team effort. A programmer is as good as the team he works in.
  • Find yourself a job. It doesn’t matter if it’s paid or not, as the experience you are getting is the most valuable thing you could get.
  • Take a 10-minute break after every 50 minutes of work and engage in physical activity.
  • Giving up is the biggest mistake.

To wrap up

Working in the IT sector has many advantages. However, coding is not a routine, it involves great mental effort and strength.

You should not underestimate that effort, but rather decide whether you are ready to invest great effort and learn to code properly.

Experience is mandatory and crucial and theory without practice will lead to giving up easily.

But, with devotion and patience, and good courses about programming and developing, you can enter the programming world.