The Zen of

My Favorite Free Resources for New Programmers

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

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!


Ali Spittel

Hi! Welcome to the Zen of Programming where I talk about programming and my life surrounding it!