Free Online Computer Coding Programs for learning during the shutdown. Is it worth it?

I'd like to try this! I'm concerned, however, that at middle-age, it might be too daunting a task, with very little hope of any type of financial return...but wouldn't this be an AWESOME mid-life career change?? Am I wrong in this?

Anyone who has ever learned, or ever even attempted to learn, computer programming---front or back end--- please chime in?

My reason for wanting to learn at least the basics of this are twofold: I'd like to design my own website, where I can write blog entries, ebooks, and sell things I've made; and, more importantly, I'd like to be the one who introduced my grandbabies to the dynamic, creative world of Computer Programming! :)

Any help/insight/encouragement/guidance/warnings will be appreciated!



  • Some encouragement and suggestions ahead. I'd say you're never too old to start learning something. Are you passionate about this? Or think that it will lead to your passion? Then go for it!

    Even if it doesn't make you some decent money, it can help you in your overall life and in some careers that list those skills as assets. Though be aware that you just might become the go-to lady in the office whenever the printer malfunctions, and when you fix it, you'll probably get tons of compliments and be expected to fix things that might be way out of your field. Jajajaja. Alternatively you can look into gaining other skills, such as in: cooking, yoga, lingustics, etc. I'd also advice looking into careers that might be in demand when this issue hopefully lessens or goes away: maybe mental health or relationship counseling.

    While you can probably get started for free with anything, at some point you might need to spend some or quite a bit of money. So I'd keep that in mind too.

  • I've heard there are numerous coding boot camps but their very intense and time demanding. Be sure to do your research first!

  • @Lovelight and @Lovemycats~ Thank you, both, for the wisdom AND the encouragement! I've been surfing around the 'net, looking at some of the sites and MY. BRAIN. HURTS!!!! lol Wow... It's like learning a whole new language!! Or four! lol

    What the heck is a "Boolean?" A Star Trek character??? lol I really want to do this, though. LMC- I've seen a couple of those coding camps, and there are at least two of them that are FREE!! And LL, I hear you about how it could end up costing money to go further, so I'll keep a tab on my level of "passion"----right now, though, it's pretty high!

    When you type in the dry, drab code, it looks like Scrabble had a fight with itself. But-BOOM- you hit that browser button, and IT'S LIKE MAGIC!!!! OOOooooooooo....preeeeetttyyy!!! lol I'll keep looking around...we'll see how this goes. I've got nothin' but time, right now! lol


  • for the month of april you can sign up for a membership at Pluralsight for free. its a great sight for learning web development

  • @Afrochemist wow thanks! Do you know if it requires any payment info?

  • @ImajenMoon what website can you go to for this free training?

  • @Drop_the_Mike if you want to learn full stack javascript then you should go to

  • edited April 7

    @ImajenMoon that sounds splendid, I find YouTube helps if you're ever feeling overwhelmed, there are some good channels that with a bit of work to find them, can help you out. I think it's better to figure out what you actually want to do with these skills first, then you'll be better able to look for the skills needed to get there. We don't want to be learning Japanese thinking it'll lead us to become a French translator. Ya'know. Then you can look into the pros and cons of the field in general, it's programming language(s), etc., on platforms such as YouTube. Also, joining programming (or whatever field you decided on) communities can help. You also might find the Socratic app handy: asking what things are, or finding resources.

  • edited April 7

    Unappreciated so deleted.

  • edited April 7

    Unappreciated so deleted.

  • @UKGuy yes, it's an ever changing field and I hear needs life long learning. Which can be a pro or a con depending on different factors and the individual's needs/wants. Competitive, and perhaps fast paced too.

    I think OP was being retorical with that question, and maybe giving us a sense of where she's at in her journey.

  • I taught myself how to program when I was in high school. Perhaps my only suggestion would be to start off learning it yourself(there are heaps of free resources) and if you're still liking it after a while then you can look at courses. You will not only know what you're looking for better but also have a better chance of not wasting money on something you end up not liking.

  • There are many online learning tool which is helped in financial freedom. So It is need to search according to your ability

  • edited April 7

    I'm a game programmer, and it's awesome to hear you thinking of learning about computer programming! I'm in the field, but I don't think I could have been a pure software engineer without the video games part -- it would have been too boring for me, haha!

    1. Looking It Up:
    Overall though, it boils down to: are you willing to Google everything every time you come across a term you don't know? (or use whatever search engine you'd like). There will be hundreds and thousands of terms you don't know, "boolean" being a great example! However, with the power of searching it up every time, even if you only take away 50% or less of the info first time, you will be much stronger the next time and whenever you see that word again.

    If you don't feel the motivation to search up terms like that every time, I'd reconsider learning programming, since it is a very hard skill to learn. I don't mean that to demoralize you though, programming can be a very rewarding experience!

    2. Web Programming vs. Game Programming
    Also note that the type of programming I do is vastly different from website programming (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, etc.). Web programming is generally focused on structuring/displaying information in web pages over the internet.

    What I do is called OOP (Object-Oriented Programming), and the language I use is primarily C# (similar to Java and C++). The focus here is not so much displaying info on webpages/websites, but more about functionally doing something. For example:

    • Calculate the sum of all numbers from 1 to 50,000 and print it back to the user
    • Draw a 3D model of a squirrel character to the screen starting around the 100th pixel horizontally and 600th pixel vertically
    • Every 5.2 seconds, decrease the player's health by 4 and show a poison visual effect around them.

    3. Common Languages in Web Programming
    JavaScript is kind of similar to what I do, but is often embedded into web pages to give the page some extra "life" to it with functionality.

    PHP is only seen behind the scenes on the server, so you normally never see what it does on your computer. It "does some magic" with the web page you're about _to receive, and _then the server sends it after that processing.

    PHP is sort of similar to JavaScript, just that JavaScript runs on YOUR computer, and PHP runs on the SERVER's computer. But you can write functional logic in both JavaScript and PHP (make it actually DO stuff, calculate things, etc.).

    In HTML/CSS, you can only set up data -- like writing a Microsoft Word document. You have the structure of the page (HTML), and can make it look pretty (CSS), but you can't functionally calculate/perform any operations with it until you use some other languages together with it.

    4. Don't Be Too Discouraged!
    If you're curious and want to learn, to heck with the age requirement! ;) You're always young enough, and never too old! I wish my dad would realize this. But maybe you can. I know it's a lot, but if you're curious, see where it takes you! Don't rush, just do a little each week if that helps ease into all the terminology. And if you end up not super interested in it, no fret! Anyway, I hope this long description helps. Goodluck :).

  • Not sure if this route is still good to follow and if it's relevant to your goals. Though might still help:

    If you or others you know want this as a career, I'd recommend making your own stuff first: sites, apps, etc. Then doing some volunteering to gain wider experience and some customer service experience in the relevant field.

  • Wow!!! THANK YOU ALL FOR THE FEEDBACK!!! LOVE when this happens!!!
    Thank you, personally, @Lovelight, for having the social skills and emotional wisdom to recognize what my comment about "Boolean" REALLY was! Sheeesh! And some people wonder why they spend their time ALONE...

    @Afrochemist~ thanks for the input! WHY ARE YOU NOT CLOSER???? lol We'd be cuddling and coding!!!
    @Drop_the_Mike ~ Afrochemist is right---That's the one I've signed up for, along with getting definitions on the Mozilla website. They explain the terms and, as a JargoNaut, if I can get the WORDS, I can get the concepts!

    @JasonCuddles ~THAT was some "news I could use"! I like that you took it upon yourself to learn what was needed. As a Life-long Learner, myself, I get the "giddies" every time I see my little "Scrabble fight code" turn into a pretty, colorful web page! I'm definitely going to keep this up! :)

    @Scure1994 ~ Thanks for chiming in! I have to admit, the payscale in this industry is OUT OF THIS WORLD... and would allow me to do my real love, RENOVATING SAFE HOUSING FOR women with children! We'll see if my "hidden Nerd" can handle it!

    @2kCarlos ~ You're not "demoralizing" me, but I think you should be careful of whose interpretation you work with. I'm naturally inquisitive, by nature, and the hours I've spent researching FOR THE SAKE OF LEARNING NEW THINGS, you could never know.
    I was using the Boolean question to poke fun at just how "alien to regular knowledge" programming can seem---not as an indication of my unwillingness to search for information. Thanks for chiming in with that long, informative post!

    I appreciate all of you who are willing to share your knowledge of the field with me! Because I'm reeeeeeeeaaallllyyyy interested in how you can type in a whole bunch of gobbledygook, over here, and then get to see it be transformed into something AWESOME AND BEAUTIFUL at the click of a button!!!! ~MAGIC~ lol

    I think that, when all this "shelter at home" stuff is done, we ought to have a "Computer Cuddle"-- I'll bring my laptop and zebra-striped Onesie, and you all can come to my giant-ass house, eat pizza, and we can teach each other to code while we cuddle!!! lol

    Thanks for the ideas, People!


    P.S., @UKGuy I KNOW I COULD LOOK UP THE TERMS ON THE INTERNET. Quit acting like Jeff Goldblum's merciless creature on the movie "The Fly." Your rather snide, unnecessary jab at me will assure that, from now on, I'll be treating you like he advised the female lead to treat him!
    P.P.S., Thanks, @Lovelight !

  • @ImajenMoon no worries, all the best.

    Stay well everyone. :)

  • I JUST SPENT FIVE HOURS AT FREECODECAMP!!! I MADE MY WORDS CHANGE COLORS!!!! This stuff is BETTER THAN MEDITATION!!! I'm LIKING IT!!! Now, I've got to get my hands on a few books... Any suggestions on titles would be appreciated!

    Thanks for all the info, too. I had NO IDEA how much difference a semi-colon could make! lol


  • edited April 8

    @ImajenMoon I made a note of these 3 which I recently came across:


    • Cracking the Coding Interview
    • Elements of Programming
    • Effective Java by Josh Bloch

    Tips about online contents*:

    You might be able to find them for free in PDF/audio book format. Or at the local library, whatever suits you best. If I find any books for free online, I'd also try to find them at the library. So that I can compare the number of pages and ensure that the content is also legit. Because sometimes the online version can be incomplete, not legit, etc. Alternatively, you might be able to check other credible online sources for verification purposes. Also be careful not to download any viruses on your device when trying to get free content online, follow your gut and research skills.

    If you come across any "free online courses" research them first. If they are asking for your financial info, that's a red flag! They can charge you even after you cancel your account a week before the "free" trial ends.

    Downloading Flash Card (especially SRS based) apps might also help you. There are quite a bit out there, so you can test to find which one or two work best for you.

  • @Lovelight ~ I AM FEELING VERY TOUCHED, HONORED, AND CARED FOR, RIGHT NOW!!!! I don't know which I appreciate more: your posting these very interesting-looking resources, or the fact that you bothered to remember my questions, during your busy day!!! SO touched by this!! THANK YOU! :)

    You dropped some Truth in that Spoiler, too. I'm being careful about the materials I download and about the sites I visit. I'm tucking all this wisdom into the pocket of my Brand-New-Coding Folder!! I'm still choking my way through HTML5 and CSS3, but I'll have this info (because of You!) when I'm big and bad enough to use it! lol

    Thank you for this very, very kind support! It IS appreciated! So awesomely cool!! :)


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