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Liz P
Liz P

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A Few (Free) Learning Resources

Being new to the developer world, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the resources out there for learning new skills or just keeping the ones we already have in top shape. I think, first, figuring out how you learn best is the first step, and it can be different for everyone. Personally, I like the ‘see one, do one’ method. I find I absorb more when I get to see the process someone else goes through to solve a problem and then tackle that same problem or something similar myself and fix things as needed. Videos, interactive tutorials and live (online) instruction have worked best for me. I love a good visual. Here are some free resources I’ve found helpful along the way.

1) Free Code Camp- I think this one is on everyone’s list and it’s easy to see why. I mean they say it right on their site- learn to code for free, build projects, earn certifications. Their structured lessons are great and you can most likely find an article (or 10) about whatever topic you’re trying to learn more about. (My current search is React Hooks- feel free to suggest articles/tutorials on this topic, thanks.)

2) Codecademy- another one that is usually on everyone’s list. They have a lot of free options- JavaScript, React, HTML, CSS, SQL, Ruby and more. It’s safe to say that you can find a free, beginner-friendly option that’s a fit. They also have a good variety of docs, cheatsheets and articles.

3) Codesmith- I can’t say enough good things about Codesmith! The instructors are all amazing, so knowledgeable and generally wonderful humans and their teaching style goes above and beyond. They have their own (FREE) online learning platform, CSX where you can learn the JS basics along with some more difficult concepts including Recursion and Closures. They also have weekly workshops that are interactive and their Slack community of friendly, helpful coders is just an added bonus.

4) LeetCode- they call themselves “the best platform to help you enhance your skills, expand your knowledge and prepare for technical interviews.” LeetCode has 2000+ practice questions which range in difficulty, so if you need to brush up on those data structures and algorithms, this is a good place to do it. They support a variety of different languages so you can practice in whichever you prefer. They also run contests where you can earn points, and their discussion boards are pretty good.

5) Codewars- is another great problem solving platform that supports 20+ languages and has challenges that vary in difficulty (which Codewars calls katas). You solve problems right in the browser and use their test cases. Solve a problem and then see how others in the community solved that same problem.

6) Edabit- this platform is fairly new, I believe. I discovered it about a year ago. As a super newbie, I was looking for something less intimidating than Codewars or LeetCode. Edabit answered the call. They boast 10,000+ interactive, “bite-sized” challenges. What I like most about them was after completing a problem they’ll ask you if you found it easy or challenging and based on your answer will give more problems at the same level if you had trouble or start advancing the difficulty if you breezed through the previous problem. I would call them very beginner friendly.

7) Code Signal- this one was suggested to me by a bootcamp instructor, so of course I needed to check it out. The Code Signal platform is “skills-based assessment platform.” They also have a good practice section that is set up like a game. You practice in the Arcade, get points but solving challenges, can use your points to unlock other features, and it shows you a grid much like Github that lights up your activity to motivate you! There is also a section to help prepare for technical interviews with commonly asked data structure and algorithm questions.

These are just a few of the many resources that are available for brushing up on interview skills, practicing problem solving and full-on tutorials for learning new skills. Please let me know what other resources I should check out, I’m always looking for new ones to add to my arsenal. Thanks for reading!

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