From choosing which language to start with to learning a new skill, this page will get you started.


This might be your first hackday. Or you're just curious about programming and aren't quite sure where to start. Click on the button on the right to link to an infographic by Carl Cheo. It's laid out as a question and answer flowchart aimed at helping you figure out which language will suit you most. There are also some great Lord of the Rings references for the fans out there.

Which programming language should I learn first?

General

Treehouse is an online coding learning website which has a beautiful user interface and a massive library of video tutorials, challenges and quizzes. One really lovely thing about Treehouse is that it creates tracks for you so that you can take several courses leading towards an end goal. Treehouse is free for the first month, after which the monthly subscription price is either $25 or $49 per month. It is definitely worth subscribing if you are planning on committing approx 3 or more hours a week learning how to code. You can cancel your subscription at any time.

Codecademy is the most popular online resource for beginners who want to learn how to code. It's completely free and incredibly easy to get your head around. We'd definitely suggest it as your first port of call. Treehouse and Codecademy have tutorials for all the programming languages below. We have also added an independent resource for each langauge.

Codecademy link Treehouse link

HTML/CSS

HTML and CSS are the building blocks for web design. They’re also the perfect entry-point for anyone interested in Front-End Design. To be honest, it’s hard to think that you’d be able to build a website without knowledge of these two. Granted, it would be great to be proven wrong, but we still think this is a really useful competency to have. Have a crack at the Treehouse and Codecademy tutorials and supplement your understanding with the very technical but extremely useful w3schools tutorials.


JavaScript

JavaScript and jQuery make the web jazzy. JavaScript is the programming language of HTML and the web. jQuery is the most popular JavaScript library so it’s worth having a gander of the Codecademy and Treehouse tutorials. The Human Javascript tutorial gives a brief history of JavaScript whilst also encouraging you to create human readable code. It’s a great discipline to pick up and one that will definitely hold you in good stead.


Python

Python is a powerful language used to build sites like Dropbox and YouTube. There are endless (not literally, but lots) of applications. In order to really get your head around Python, it’s worth investing time to learning it step-by-step. Granted, you won’t learn ALL of Python, but this book (available free and online) is the perfect way to ground your understanding. It’s worth completing the Codecademy or Treehouse course first though.


Ruby

Ruby was written in the mid-1990s and focuses on simplicity and productivity. Apparently it’s ‘elegant’, all that means is that it’s natural to read and easy to write. Whilst some programming languages feel like they’re written for computers, Ruby feels like it was written with humans in mind. There are great resources online, but like Python, it’s worth getting your teeth sunk into a step-by-step guide. The tutorial in the link does just that.


Ruby on rails

Ruby on Rails is a web framework built in the early part of this century by a Danish engineer in his spare time. It’s gone on to become one of the most widely used custom web application frameworks. There’s a strong community of users which means that there’s a lot people writing about it, solving other people’s problems and creating really useful ‘gems’. Michael Hartl has written what’s considered to be the seminal guide for Ruby on Rails which can be found in the link.


PHP

A server-side, starter language used in Facebook and Wordpress. Ideal for dynamic and interactive pages, encrypting data, retrieval of data or controlled access. Processing is done on the server, not the users computer, and returned as HTML. A basic knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript is advised.


If you have any suggestions or have found the tutorials above useful it would be fantastic to get your feedback. We want to keep this page as a living document.

Its not just programmers that are needed: Creative ideas? Design flair?

Most importantly, Its about having fun and being part of something great.