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Ali Spittel
Ali Spittel

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

My Favorite Free Resources for New Programmers

Last week, I shared my tips for new developers and how to start coding. I also wanted to share my favorite free resources for learning how to code. I have used or gone through each of these personally, so I can vouch for them being good quality and beginner friendly!

For HTML and CSS

For JavaScript

For other Programming Languages and Concepts

  • This site has it all -- from HTML, CSS, and JS through frameworks and other programming languages. It has a unique REPL tutorial format: Code Academy - this would be my top recommendation for where to start.
  • Learn a web framework -- from the command line through Python and Django and through HTML and CSS -- all in roughly a day: Django Girls - their online tutorial was where web development clicked for me -- it was very pivotal in my career!
  • Try Ruby code directly in your browser: Try Ruby
  • Github has a series of tutorials for learning both Git and GitHub directly in the browser: Try Git
  • A full list of resources for learning Python

For Computer Science

  • A series of illustrated guides to computer science fundamentals: BaseCS - there are also podcast and video versions of some of these articles!
  • A bunch of cheat sheets I wrote when studying for interviews: Coding Cheat Sheets
  • Video versions of a lot of classes including computer science classes: MIT on YouTube

For Code Challenges

  • Tons of challenges with difficulties attached: CodeWars
  • Another code challenge site with more consistency: HackerRank
  • Mathematical coding problems: Project Euler

Awesome beginner Libraries

  • Build art with JavaScript: P5 JS
  • Build a customized map with JavaScript: Leaflet
  • Build virtual reality applications with HTML: A-Frame
  • Build a JavaScript game: Phaser


  • Ask questions with the #explainlikeimfive, #help, and #meta tags
  • Participate in Twitter chats, listen to awesome motivational podcasts, and read helpful blog posts: CodeNewbies - they also have a Slack group!

Your Favorites

Again, these are the resources that I have used myself or gone at least gone through, so I can definitely recommend them. Since I do mostly Python and JavaScript development, these lean pretty heavily in that direction! Tweet me your favorite resources! If you liked this article, subscribe to my weekly mailing list with my favorite links from the week and all of my writing from that week!

Top comments (54)

d1p profile image
Debashis Dip

Personally I felt like most of the resources we find online are great, However Harvards CS50 course teaches a student from the ground to the top. Great emphasis on algorithm, thinking and in some ways teaching how to learn and think in cs.

foodogsquared profile image
Gabriel Arazas

Currently taking it (on Week 4 wherein they elaborate a bit on data structures) and all I can say that it is good stuff. The problem sets they give are also quite of a challenge (at least for me). Depends on how you approach the problem, anyway.

I definitely recommend only if you have the time. My progress with CS50 is becoming a lot slower now that the concepts introduced and the problem sets is becoming harder and I'm also studying the gist of electronics now so my time is divided (not to mention some stuff outside of those things).

I also heard wherein some of the takers in CS50 completed it in a year so there's another consideration for you.

davidchase profile image
David Chase

Thats a really good one :)

cjbuckethead profile image
Charles Joseph

Could you drop a link to this? Thank you

d1p profile image
Debashis Dip
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abdifatahdev profile image
Abdifatah Mo

Do know where to find this course in youtube?

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d1p profile image
Debashis Dip
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tux0r profile image

I usually recommend to check the "awesome list" for your programming language:

ssharizal profile image

FreeCodeCamp should be here.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I'll also toss in as a tool. Obviously I'm biased, but If you come actively seeking help, you will find it comes to you a lot of the time.

Check out @brendazam for an example of someone using the platform really well in this regard.

[deleted user] image

[Deleted User]

brendalimon profile image
Brenda Limón

Been a beginner learning online is hard, too many questions and a lot of information. Having a community as allows me to ask without been judged and get the support that I need to stay focused. Ben and Ali you both are an inspiration, thanks for all your content. Hugs & Husky love 🐶👩🏻‍💻

aspittel profile image
Ali Spittel

Totally agree! Going to add in a communities section right now!

jdkoeppen profile image
JustinK • Edited

I added a Google custom search for, it's a really handy resource full of documentation for pretty much every language or framework. Plus it works offline!

Also, is basically the Netflix of dev videos, very handy.

And once you're ready to start looking for a coding job, I recommend, which pairs you up with other students to practice interview-style coding challenges.

blackmg27 profile image
Ogechi Ike

I would add Practical Javascript and MongoDB University to the list. Gordon Zhu's course is one of the best introductions to Javascript that I've ever came across and MongoDB University is great source for intro to NoSQL databases.

donita profile image

I love watch and code! It helped me drastically!

ssharizal profile image

Free Programming books from StackOverflow

sereiodobrejo profile image

Wow !
I never heard about it before !
Thanks a lot!

bgadrian profile image
Adrian B.G. • Edited

I have some folders of bookmarks for this purpose, as I don't have the time now to go trough them I would like to add:

Do not throw all these resources to a new starter, filter them based on on the developer experience and future, and share them when needed.

I have 2 main categories or mentees:

  • devs that have the time, resources and desire to want a career - spend at least a few months to learn CS and a strong typed language, before jumping in the web chaos ecosystem
  • devs that want to land a job and get a quick start: help them choose one language and crashcourse it, jump quickly to libraries and "real" projects.

The main idea is that, CS and other soft skills will add value on the long run, and they can build a strong foundation to build upon. The downside is that it will not bring much value at the beginning, unless you aim for a big tech company that build tools for other devs, and work at a more low level (instead of building products for end consumers).

Also some big categories are missing from here I think (not much just the big picture):

  • environment and tools (how linux and browsers works, bash, Git, linters, IDE's vs editors, etc)
  • security - unfortunately most courses and tutorials do not touch this subject so we have to supply the info as the newbie advances.
  • team work - how software teams and projects are organized
dechamp profile image

Been coding for 24 years now, start at age 11 and now 35. Love that I still learn new things from new programmers. Really appreciate you sharing your resources!

I would love to suggest adding Udemy to the list. They always have "sales" where you can get their courses for less than $20 bucks. They are highly well done and an amazing resource.

shripathy profile image
Shripathy 🚀

Awesome resources but I think this is going to be one of those article that's gonna be in my bookmarks but I rarely open it. Thanks for the list :)

devlorenzo profile image
thejavascriptninja profile image
The Javascript Ninja • Edited

Great list of resources; well researched. In addition, my blog,, has some awesome Javascript learning content that you might want to check out if you're interested. Awesome job, keep up the great work.

chiangs profile image
Stephen Chiang

I like You don't know JS . Great free reading from your phone while queuing.

martouta profile image

I like and would recommend some of the already mentioned. Others I didn't know them. If you speak Spanish, I'd also recommend CodigoFacilito 😊

jhossyd3v profile image
Jhossymar Contreras is another site for Code Challenges

lkreimann profile image
Lea Reimann 🦄

Jep, I wanted to recommend that too :D Challenging and fun at the same time! :)

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