The market for online learning platforms for coding is booming. As the world needs more and more skilled programmers, the possibility of a career in tech becomes more lucrative for many of us. But which resources should you use to learn coding? Is it a good idea to start an online coding course?
I learned how to code through online courses by myself. In just 5 months, I quit my job and started freelancing. 11 months in, I started my own business and became a full-time entrepreneur in web design and web development.
And to be honest, I’ve never looked back. The money I spent on online coding courses paid off in a matter of weeks. And my freelancing jobs pay my bills and then some. It definitely wasn’t a walk in the park exactly, but the freedom I’ve enjoyed ever since is something I believe you can achieve, too, if you wish.
If this sounds anything like you, keep reading!
Here are a couple of related posts you may want to read, too:
- The Best Websites to Learn Coding in 2019
- FAQ: How to Become a Web Developer? Careers, Salaries, and Skills
- Why Learn Coding? 12 Amazing Benefits from Learning Programming
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Are online coding courses really worth it?
Now, an online coding course isn’t going to solve your problems or land you your dream job.
The benefits from any course out there are only as big as you make them. Hence, what really matters for succeeding in learning coding from online courses is your determination and your motivation.
It’s not an online course that will make you successful – it’s you and what you create with the skills you learn from it.
Start by figuring out exactly what you wish to achieve with coding in the future. Are you in it to start a career as a professional developer, for instance? If so, then congrats! You are most probably on the right track and have a clear goal in mind.
Once you know your goals, it’s easier to find the necessary skills you need to learn to get there.
If you are a bit unsure about what you want to build, do some more research and find out what you enjoy the most and see yourself doing in the future.
To make things easier for you, make sure you check my previous post with 6 easy tips on how to start learning coding.
Once you’ve figured out what you wish to achieve with learning coding, you’re ready to choose and start an online coding course to get you one step closer to your goal.
Read also: 8 Things to Know Before Learning Programming
10 great reasons to start an online coding course
The following points are simply my favorite reasons why I keep going back to online coding courses.
Obviously, everyone has different preferences and you might feel that some points are not that relevant for yourself. Nevertheless, they are all definite pros of learning programming using an online course.
#1: Abundance of choice
When you start learning programming, there is one thing you need to figure out first: what are your goals? What do you wish to achieve with your soon-to-be coding skills?
Once you figure out what you want to build, you can start looking for the right resources for learning the necessary skills. And whatever that is, there is surely an online course for that. I promise. You will be bombarded with different learning platforms and course providers once you start looking.
I see new courses and learning platforms pop up all the time. The wide selection of resources is in fact a little overwhelming for a beginner.
That’s why I’ve gathered my favorite online coding courses here for you, which I can fully recommend: Recommended Coding Courses For Beginners.
#2: Affordable alternative to a degree
There are definitely industries and jobs where a college degree is worth its weight in gold – and more. Tech isn’t one of them.
Nowadays, potential employers want to see what you can actually do with your skills. Having a paper saying that you’ve finished your courses and fulfilled certain standardized requirements doesn’t say anything about what you can build in real life.
By no means do I suggest that a college degree is in vain – quite the opposite. However, when it comes to tech, all that matters is what you can do, not what you know.
Therefore, try to apply your coding skills on practical projects as early as possible. Go for courses that include projects, allowing you to learn by doing.
#3: Learn anytime, anywhere
Not feeling like sitting in a lecture hall all day long? Me neither!
As with any online resources, coding courses on the Web give you the freedom to learn anywhere you like. Also, you can always choose when you wish to learn. Not having the constraints for time and place is great for anyone who loves making their own decisions about when and where to do their learning.
For example, let’s assume you have a full-time job. When you start an online coding course, you can decide how much time you spend learning in the evening. On some days you might feel like not learning at all – and that’s perfectly fine.
It is worth mentioning, however, that this freedom of time and place surely comes with a good bunch of responsibility.
No one will be there to push you or to ask you why you missed a class last week. Therefore, don’t forget to bring your self-discipline with you when you start an online coding course!
#4: Supportive communities
Just like at any lecture in college, online coding courses are filled with like-minded fellow students. You just can’t see them in person.
But they’re there, so make sure you find out if your coding course has a discussion forum or a Slack channel, for example.
It’s a great idea to connect with your fellow coding enthusiasts, especially when you have a question you’d like to ask. In general, whenever you have a problem or a question, the chances are that someone else has already asked the same question and gotten an answer to it.
If you can’t find help within the course community, simply reach out to the all-mighty Google for a quick look-up.
And remember: the support and help in those communities go both ways – so don’t forget to give back to the people who help you out. Once you’re a bit familiar with the topic, look for a question in the discussion forum that you could answer for someone else.
#5: Up-to-date tools and technologies
Compared to other learning resources – like programming books, for instance – online courses are an excellent medium for learning the latest technologies and tools.
Depending on your specialisation as a developer in the future, you might need to learn new skills every day to keep up with the evolution of the relevant tools.
However, printed books have their own advantages, too. For example, you might prefer to get a couple of comprehensive introductory books for future reference. It’s sometimes easier to have something tangible in your hands than browsing for an answer online. At the end of the day, it’s simply a matter of preference which resources you choose.
#6: Learn at your own pace
Need a break? No problem! Simply pause your video lecture and take a short walk or have a cup of coffee.
When you start an online coding course, you can determine how fast you wish to advance in your lectures and exercises. This flexibility is awesome if you wish to learn while working or studying full-time. All you need is just 30 minutes a day to keep things going.
If you feel like it’s difficult to find the time, check our my previous post about how to find time for learning programming.
However, with this freedom also comes great responsibility. The amount of new information and complex terminology simply requires regular practice.
If you are just starting out, make sure you practice every day.
If you aren’t feeling especially motivated or driven on a certain day, don’t make a big deal out of it. Simply do some revising or write down some ideas or questions for the following day. This will make your brain process these topics related to your learning process – and that’s all you need.
#7: Content updates and revisions
With most online learning resources, you get a lifetime access to the materials and contents when you start an online coding course.
If you have chosen wisely, the course instructor or teacher will keep the lectures and content up-to-date. Since the world of tech is constantly evolving, they might create new lectures or revise old ones with new, more optimal solutions for specific problems.
That way, you can always revisit a course, see what’s new, and keep your skills on par with current trends.
#8: Practice with building real-world projects
This is a point I can’t stress enough: choose a course with as many projects as possible.
Whatever learning platform you wish to use, make sure your online course of choice includes projects. They are the best way to deepen your understanding of any coding topic. Once you use your skills to create something “real”, it’s easier for you to grasp what your new skills are capable of.
Even with a beginner-level course, it’s important to start working on projects as soon as possible. Surely, they aren’t anything too advanced, but they’re projects nevertheless.
Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements every now and then, when you finish a project!
#9: Revisit lectures and content whenever
Forgot how to append items to an array? No worries!
When you start an online course, you can go and watch a video lecture again – anytime, anywhere.
If you choose a learning platform that gives you lifetime access to their courses, like Udemy, you can always go back and check how to solve a specific problem.
If you are a total beginner, remember that you don’t need to know everything by heart when you finish an online course. What matters more is that you know where to find the answers to your problems. Simply log in to your account and check how the instructor explained a certain topic.
#10: Learning coding is an great career decision
By this I don’t mean that you should aim at starting a career in tech or web development. But you’re free to do so, of course!
Learning new skills in programming is probably the single best thing you can do to improve your career opportunities.
Check out my article with the current trends in web developer salaries for more deets!
You can apply coding skills in almost any industry and in countless positions within an organization.
Even in your current job, you can boost your efficiency and productivity by knowing the basics of how to code:
- Sales and Marketing: improve your targeting and campaign conversion rates by better segmentation
- Product design: discover your customers’ needs more precisely and reflect them in your new products and services
- Accounting: save time and increase efficiency with streamlined, automated processes
- Human resources: automate your payrolls, benefits, and training for your employees
- Customer service: offer a better-quality experience with targeted, refined help articles and user-friendly phone support
- Creative design: create more realistic, responsive, and interactive prototypes and mockups for your digital content
There are countless applications for coding skills in almost any (office) job you can imagine.
Utilizing programming skills to augment your current career is a valuable prospect – not just for yourself but for your employer as well!
Final thoughts: Why you should start an online coding course
The bottom line here is that nowadays anyone can learn how to code by themselves.
You don’t need to invest your savings into an expensive 4-year college degree anymore to start a career as a professional developer. All that matters is what you can do, not what you know.
Therefore, your #1 priority should be to use your skills and knowledge as much as possible. Build your own projects and connect with like-minded coders for bigger adventures.
The fastest, easiest way to learn programming is to use an online coding course. Once you understand the basics, it’s easy to find the next course for some more in-depth learning and practice.
And the best part is: you can start making money while you’re still learning.
To help you get a flying start into learning coding, make sure you check out my with 5 of my favorite, hand-picked web development courses for beginners.
Here are a few helpful posts to get you started:
- How to Make Money Coding? 4 Ways to Make Money as a Developer
- 10 Tips for Learning Coding More Efficiently
- 14 Programming Languages Explained for Beginners
If you enjoyed this post on why you should start an online coding course, feel free to drop me a line in the comments below!
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