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Why You Should Learn To Code (And How To Actually Do It!)

In the Lost Interview with Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder said, “I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.”

I like to think of coding as applied math and sciences because it teaches us an iterative approach to solving problems and testing out our ideas. While I don’t consider myself a coder, apart from HMTL/CSS I don’t code in my daily work, I did find that learning the basics of how to code on CodeAcademy has done wonders for improving my problem-solving skills.

Now that software is eating the world by automating all kinds of routine jobs, the basic knowledge of how lines of code create the digital worlds we explore every day is becoming a fundamental digital literacy. Coding isn’t particularly easy to learn and that’s exactly why it’s so valuable.

It has never been easier to learn how to code. There are now many self-paced education platforms that make the difficult work of learning how to code much easier.

Even former President Obama think learning to code is a great idea! Perhaps President Trump agrees with him on this one.

How You Can Start Learning To Code:

There many different options for learning to code online. Here are some of your best free and premium options.

Affiliate Disclosure: You can freely audit all of these online courses. If you choose to purchase a course or specialization for the certification then we get a share of the revenue through our affiliate partners.


1. CodeAcademy – This education startup has done a lot of incredible work to make learning to code more accessible for everyone. On their interactive website, you can learn to code in HTML/CSS, Javascript, PHP, Python and Ruby on Rails through the building and executing your own code projects.


Code Org


This initiative backed by Silicon Valley heavyweights like Facebook, Google and Apple offers a number of excellent free beginner’s tutorials for learning how to code.


Harvard University Learn To Code

3. Introduction to Computer Science

If you want to really learn computer science from scratch then Harvard University’s David J. Malan is the guy to learn from. This course is the most popular course at Harvard. In this entry-level course, Malan teaches you how to think algorithmically and he guides you through the process of learning a broad range of programming languages such as C, PHP, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.


University of Toronto Learn To Code With Python

4. Launch Your Career in iOS

The future of applications is on mobile so why not learn to make your own apps? The University of Toronto’s new iOS development specialization gives you a strong foundation in app development for iPhones, iPad and Apple Watches. This 4-course online program includes a Capstone Project where you apply and showcase the skills, which will be invaluable in showcasing your abilities to startups and future employers.


Vanderbilt University

5. Launch Your Android App Development Career

With Android now powering more than 80% of mobile devices, the demand for Android developers is only going to grow. This new 4-course specialization in Android app development from Vanderbilt University teaches you the fundamentals for starting a career as an Android Developer. Like the iOS specialization, you must apply and showcase the skills you have learned in the courses in a Capstone Project at the end of the program.

While many coding bootcamps can costs $7,000-$10,000, you can learn much easier independently with these online courses. If want to learn how to improve your focus and self-motivation for learning online then I invite you to watch my latest webinar on Flow Psychology.

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  1. What else can one do with the knowledge of coding? I am a guy who enjoys working solo, I don’t want to work in a team or for an IT industry, but will like to tinker at home in my privacy, building things, but most people who learned coding end up in silicon valley, I am an introvert and I enjoy working solo. I do not want to work for google or any established IT industry, I want the autonomy to live free and create what I want and when I want it. Maybe establish a start -up someday.

    1. Well, you’re the perfect person to start coding then. You can create your own job and work from anywhere if you’re a good coder.

  2. Thanks a lot for this article. Totally agreed by the line “everybody should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think”. I always enjoyed coding and going deep into it because our future is going to be digitized. There is another website which I found as one of the best when it comes to learning to code. Keep posting more articles like this one 😀

  3. Thanks man! I probably live halfway around the world from you…and this is all really new to me. I googled ‘learn digital skills’ and that’s how I landed on your site! I’m gonna learn how to code!!!
    You’re making a difference – big up! 🙂

  4. Thank you for this great article! It really provided me with some new and useful input. Pages like this are really needed as I’m sure a lot of people have no clue where to begin. And I really don’t see what you negative commenters are trying to prove, it just says a lot about what kind of people you are: arrogant, insecure, generalizing and dumb. Go read the news or google it: we need more coders in this more digitalized world and I’m sorry but you negative commenters cannot be the only ones running that in the future.

  5. Wow Kyle I’d like to give u an applaud of how professional and humble you are even though there are people who are so ignorant & posting negative post &coming at you as if talking about coding is a threat ,it seems like coding has already threatening…..
    ….thank you for such an amazing article too bad I just saw it recently damn you are so right and guess what? Next week I’ll be starting with my web developing course ohhh can’t wait
    Thanks again K

  6. I agree that you like many other articles mention some great resources but the reason most people fail to learn to code isn’t for lack of free resources, I would say that it’s more a lack of motivation, feeling lost or no accountability. I have got myself a code coach from and my code coach helps me stick to a plan and to focus on my learning. I am in no way affiliate with them but I really think that so far the service I have received has been invaluable and without it I would probably have gave up after a short while.

  7. I am not a techie but learning new skills is always good and I enjoy keeping busy by learning something new. Surely going to give it a try. Good luck everyone!

  8. The negative ninnies leaving inane comments are weird little stuck up snots. I have a friend who wants to start coding. Should he give up because he has to start with a ten week course beginning with Hello World? How did you start, sir genius? Everybody starts at the bottom, including you little babies who have no respect for people who aren’t as experienced as you. Shame on you for being so snotty and arrogant. I met a bunch of stuck up coders like you at Google. I quit after being there for 3 months. You think you know everything. Shut up and help someone to code you little jerks.

  9. Most of our decisions we take in real life depends on logic. If / else and the thing we execute. It might seem obsolete in this century, but somehow you are a slave of natures logic in big scale. So, thumbs up to coding. Unless you think someone making you a slave, use your coding skill to learn something new.

    Nothing in the universe moves randomly, coding is a key part to understand that.

  10. Thank you for the great post! Really motivated me–the only careers that students are following nowadays are engineering and medicine. It’s great to show young students other options such as computer programming and remind them that you can make money anywhere. I think I’ll learn code sometime, I’m actually quite shocked that there are so many negative comments on this.

  11. I don’t understand the negative comments either. Learning to code will teach you how to think, and it will also help develop you in other ways: learning how to focus, problem-solve, overcome challenges, perseverance, etc. Those are all really good traits to develop, and if you can learn really valuable tangible skills while also developing these traits, you’ll be much better off.

  12. Thanks for taking the time to provide this info. I appreciate it and have saved it to my references. I am determined to take my IT Career to the next level, thus I need to learn how to code in order to do so! Thanks again for this great post! 🙂

  13. I don’t understand the negative comments here Mr. Pearce. You are providing a valuable reference site and should be respected for doing so. Thank you for taking the time necessary to build an excellent web site.

  14. Hey, great post! Can I translate to portuguese and put on my blog? (I´ll put the references) 🙂
    Please, send-me an e-mail telling if I can.

  15. Great, just what real programmers need is a bunch of clueless people who think they can code after taking a measly 10 week course of “Hello World”.

    1. Sure, but people have to start somewhere.

  16. Computer programming is a useful skill in some circumstances but justifying it on the grounds that it teaches you how to think is just as stupid as promoting study of the classics for the same reason.

    It is about time that people stopped promoting things on the grounds that they would have the side effect of doing something else.

    If you want to teach people how to think then make thinking the object not some other activity in the hope that this other activity will somehow cause the effect you desire. It would be much more useful to teach those who program how to think because it is quite obvious that many of them have only slight accomplishment in this field.

    1. Learning to code teaches people to solve problems in a logical, step-by-step way, which is a really useful skill to develop in today’s digital world. I agree with your point though, there is a huge different between the critical thinking skills taught in the liberal arts and the logical problem solving approach used to write and troubleshoot code.

    2. Actually, world-renowned neurophysiologist Baroness Susan Greenfield has done pioneering work in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders. She began her undergraduate studies in… GUESS WHAT — The Classics. To this day she attributes much of her success that followed to the foundational analytical abilities entailed in learning the languages of Classical Antiquity and a parsing of the texts composed by Virgil, et al.

  17. asshole steve jobs comment that coding teaches you how to think is typical bull.
    what can be said is that coding teaches you how to think in a CERTAIN SORT OF WAY.
    The scientiest that invented the technology (vacuum tubes and transistors) that makes coding possibly knew how to think before this particular twist came along.

    1. Agreed. It teaches you to think it a certain kind of way that a guy like Steve Jobs valued because he wanted to hire people like that. Regardless, the fundamentals of coding is a digital literacy that everyone would benefit from learning.

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