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Free Online Coding Courses + My Coding Journal

Do you want to learn to code but have no idea where to start? I want to share with you some awesome free online coding courses and resources that I’ve found very helpful in my learning journey.

This is also going to be a coding journal so I can update when I’ve learned something cool and you know what to expect from each course before signing up.

Free Online Coding Courses

Top tip: Try to pick the right course for you and stick to it. This is something I’ve learned the hard way. When I first started learning to code I was giddy with excitement, signed up to every free coding class and course I could find, then got seriously overwhelmed.

Free Online Coding Courses

If you are studying other things at the same time, (for example I’m studying Spanish and Digital Marketing) it’s better to keep it simple and stick to one coding course, complete it and then onto the next.

As I’m currently working through the curriculum in Free Code Camp, that’s where we are going to start.


Back in December 2017 I discovered the 100 Days of Code challenge after signing up at FreeCodeCamp.org

As the name suggests, it’s free and there are even certificates at the end of each course because who doesn’t like certificates. ????
Freecodecamp provide over 8,000 resources for learning including lessons, videos and articles. The curriculum is broken down into modules, 300 hours of work each which sounds a lot but the lessons are very bite-sized and easy to follow.

freecodecamp curriculum | learn to code for free

As you can see the lessons start off with Basic HTML and CSS but you can totally start further ahead if you are a seasoned coder.

Responsive Web Design Certification – FreeCodeCamp

I’m currently working through the Responsive Web Design Certification with freecodecamp. Although I have basic knowledge of HTML, I am still picking up lots of terms and tricks here and there. My confidence is building as a result especially when I need to fix something here on my website, I don’t feel as intimidated by CSS as I once did.

An hour or two of intense coding each evening works for me. I tend to make silly mistakes involving missing curly brackets {} or additional round brackets (). Your whole code can be messed up just because of these guys! ????

The Applied Visual Design section has been my favourite so far. It’s been fun playing with linear gradients and @keyframes.

Applied Accessibility covers how to optimize webpages and make them accessible for everyone. This section has really made me think and consider how a site would be read by a screen reader or other technology that may be used by people with visual, auditory, mobility, or cognitive disabilities.

I knew that alt tags for images were important for SEO results and if the image didn’t load for some reason but it’s also important for screen readers to pick it up to allow blind or visually impaired users to access the content.

Build a Tribute Page

There are 5 projects to complete in order to receive the certification. After a bumpy start and watching a dozen videos on how to use CodePen this is what I came up with. It’s a very basic tribute page to Pikachu. Building a project is very different to following along with the freeCodeCamp lessons. The training wheels have come off and now I know I need to go back and restudy a few CSS modules.

See the Pen Pikachu by Cuteek (@cuteek) on CodePen.

JavaScript and Dyscalculia

So instead of moving onto the next project in freeCodeCamp, I opened up the JavaScript course and had my first real encounter. The first couple of lessons are sort of easy as you are just copying the examples but then my head just got completely scrambled.

I was never diagnosed but I have a suspicion that I have Dyscalculia aka ‘Maths dyslexia’. Since I was a kid, no matter how hard I tried, numbers and estimations like distance and time have been difficult for me. Even now I get nervous at the supermarket when I pay for things with cash.

So in conclusion, although I think that JavaScript is evil, I admire that people can work with it daily and enjoy the language. Despite my encounter, I won’t be giving up on my coding journey that easily. I’ve decided to finish off the projects in order to achieve the Responsive Web Design Certification and I will move on to Codecademy’s HTML and CSS course.

Coding Books

I’m reading an old SitePoint book Build Your Own Web Site the Right Way Using HTML & CSS by Ian Lloyd. It’s outdated but I’m picking out little nuggets of information as I go. I like to highlight certain terms, then jot them down in a notebook so I’m really taking in the information. This is nice for when I feel like some time away from screens. I also picked up Get Coding! by Young Rewired State, an illustrated coding book aimed at younger coders. I’ll be making a review on this soon, I really like it.


I learned what URL stands for! (Uniform Resource Locator) Did you know that?

W3C stands for World Wide Web Consortium. They are the community responsible for developing the standards for the World Wide Web. All I can picture in my head is the Jedi High Council members majestically discussing the laws of the internet. ????

Policy of Privacy, updated it is. – W3C Council Member Yoda

SoloLearn App

Instead of scrolling through Facebook on my iPhone I now head to the SoloLearn App where I’ve earned my HTML Fundamentals certificate and am currently working on CSS Fundamentals. It’s presented like a game, almost like Duolingo but for learning code. As you work through the lessons you can test them out and progress.

SoloLearn App

The app itself is mind blowing when it comes to how many challenges and lessons there are. The top row of the app is just for learning the basics, HTML Fundamentals, CSS Fundamentals, Javascript Tutorial and C++ Tutorials. If you tap on view more, it will show more courses with the amount of users so you can see which is most or least popular. Once a course is complete you will unlock the corresponding certificate.

The HTML course in SoloLearn is a different approach to FreeCodeCamp which I actually like because it’s good to be learning different things. The one thing that worries me is that because I’m using the app while I’m waiting in traffic (as a passenger) or passing some time waiting, that I may not be as focused as I am on desktop. Some of the lessons did mention that a knowledge of Javascript was needed which as of the time of writing, I do not have any.

One advantage is that if you do feel more focused at your desk then you can pick up where you left off on the desktop version of SoloLearn.


I first dabbled with Codecademy back in 2015, again I only touched on the basics of HTML but like with most languages, if you don’t use it every day, it can easily be forgotten.

So far I have completed the HTML course, I’m enjoying the free content and going over the basics again but there is a PRO version with more intense courses if you want to take it further.

Codecademy Courses | Learn to Code

Here’s a sample of the Codecademy courses:

There are also other languages available such as JavaScript, Python, Java, SQL, Bash/Shell and Ruby.

One thing I’ve noticed is that late night coding does not agree with me at all. After a little shifting round with my daily schedule, I’ve placed learning to code in the afternoon. My sleep was being affected, so I’m quite excited to get back to reading a few pages of a book at night and giving my eyes a rest from the screens.

I’m enjoying playing with SVG, Canvas, animations and freecodecamp’s penguin.

According to what I’ve learned so far, Canvas will be what I will use to build my point and click game in the future.

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