Learning To Code

I attended the Burlington IT Coffee Group yesterday and one of the questions was about coding. Some of us have done coding in the past and want to update it or want to learn a little bit about it. I started to post a discussion on LinkedIn and thought, “Why not blog about it?”. So here are some of the websites, events and resources that can help you on your way to coding, whether you are completely new to it or need to update.



  1. Codecademy: This is a website dedicated to teaching you how to code. I’ve only been through a lesson or two over the last few days, but it’s good for a start. The descriptions aren’t the best I’ve seen, but they do take you through step by step. Adding the badges for achievement as well as competing against friends gives me enough motivation to keep going for a while. I’ll let you know how this works out for me.
  2. Ladies Learning Code: This group is dedicated to teaching women how to code, usually in one day workshops. It’s not a long time, but it gives people a taste of coding to show them it isn’t as hard as you might think and helps build the confidence of the attendees. You walk away with a small project that you’ve built yourself.  They’ve covered topics from JavaScript to HTML/CSS and WordPress and keep the ratios low. They also host Girls Learning Code camps during the summer and March Break and have just launched HackerYou, with lead instructor Wes Bos, which is a longer course teaching both men and women to code.
  3. CoderCamp: This Hamilton-based initiative hosted by Software Hamilton is a great place to come and talk about code. This is a little more advanced, but if you ever wanted to see what’s out there and what people are doing with code, this is the place to be. Amazing what you learn about languages that are in existence but not in regular use or those that are made up just for fun. And you thought Pig Latin was useless? What about LOLCode? Show up and find out.
  4. DevTO: This is the place to be even if you’re not a coder/programmer. Their philosophy is that coders/programmers and other types of business, such as marketing and HR should be in the same room together. Someday, we might all have to work with them, so why not get to know them especially over a cold beer (which they usually have sponsored as well as the pizza!)? They’ve come a long way in just over a year, gaining sponsorship from Headstart Solutions, Microsoft and Rogers to name a few. Their talks are always informative and it’s a great place to socialize and feel welcome.
  5. O’Reilly: It started with books and has now developed into videos, chats and more. They have the widest range of programming books around and though I’ve not been through one, I know many a programmer that has these on their shelves. They offer more than just coding books, but they are definitely the first one to go to for programming.

UPDATE: I wanted to put the Khan Academy on the list thinking that they also had a programming area on their site. I was mistaken… or did I just see into the future? They now have Computer Programming.


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