How to Practice Coding Online for Free
There’s no doubt that practice is the key to excellence. The more you code, the better developer you become. Today, there are multiple opportunities to practice online without spending money. We’ll discuss them in detail and give valuable tips on learning programming more efficiently.
Is Practice Really So Important?
Coding is a skill, not just an array of knowledge. Hence, you can’t become a programmer even if you learn all the concepts by heart. You need to solve tasks and train your brain to deal with coding problems. And eventually, you’ll master programming.
If you’re still not convinced, here are more reasons to start practicing coding as soon as possible:
- Implementing theoretical concepts helps understand them. Most often, you can grasp the essence of the concept by applying it much faster than by reading about it.
- Practice makes your code better. To become a good developer, you must learn how to code and increase the quality of your programs. Your code should be clean, error-free, and efficient. And there’s no other way to achieve it without extensive practice.
- Coding helps you learn debugging. It’s a critical skill for a developer, so you need to learn how to resolve errors. Later, you’ll be able to fix problems in your code more efficiently.
- You learn algorithmic thinking by practicing. Any programmer should know how to break a complex problem into smaller pieces and create an algorithm to solve them. When you write a program, you actually practice this skill.
- More practice – the better memory. When you repeat patterns, syntax, and other features of the programming language again and again, it helps you keep the knowledge fresh. Thus, you won’t forget what you’ve learned.
And here’s one bonus reason: practicing coding builds your confidence. As you write programs, create projects, and take part in coding challenges, you feel better about yourself. And eventually, it will help you to land a job.
Where To Practice?
So, we’ve established that practicing coding is a great way to improve your programming skills. What online resources can you use to become a better developer? And how to start?
- Code examples. If you don’t know where to begin, you can turn to the official documentation. It often contains not just a description of language concepts but many examples as well. You can start by retyping these short programs and watching them work. For a beginner, it’s an excellent way to learn the syntax quickly. Moreover, a significant benefit of official documentation is that it covers all the topics, from the easiest to the most complicated ones.
- Coding exercises. If you are ready to solve tasks, you may use different learning platforms to write programs. Frankly, it’s the best way to learn. It allows you to practice coding, error identification, debugging and get a real-life programmer’s experience. No developer was “born” without this step.
- Coding challenges. Participating in programming contests is an exciting way to learn. If challenges drive you, you should try it. You’ll build your programming skills, join a community of like-minded people, and get a better understanding of language concepts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced programmer, you’ll benefit from participating in coding challenges.
There are multiple platforms you can visit. For example, if you want to become a Java developer, you may get a lot of practice at CodeGym’s website: https://codegym.cc/java-coding-practice. It’s free and also provides an automatic verification of your solutions. Besides writing your own code, you can also practice correcting the existing code which may also be useful for an aspiring developer.
And if you want to learn Python, you can take a free course at Codecademy’s. Here, you’ll write three programs and practice simplifying your code.
Whatever programming language you choose, you definitely can find many free opportunities to practice coding. If you don’t know where to start with a language of your choice, you may visit course aggregators like Coursera.
Here are some of the websites you may use. LeetCode has a big collection of challenges, including algorithm and data structure problems. It also helps prepare for technical interviews. And GeeksforGeeks offers C++ coding challenges on various topics and data structures.
Don’t forget about online communities, like Stack Overflow. Here, you can get help when you’re stuck with a problem or valuable feedback on your code when you need it. After all, we are social creatures and learn better by communicating with others.
Final Tips For Learners
Now you know where to practice for free and seek help when needed. But how can you make the most of your coding sessions?
First, you must set clear and specific coding goals. It may be solving a certain number of tasks, mastering a particular topic, or creating a simple game or a project. The goal should have a deadline and criteria for achievement. Without it, you risk postponing practicing (we’re all swamped, and you’ll find enough excuses not to code).
Second, create a learning plan. It should include all the topics you want to master, with a gradual increase in complexity. You’ll need discipline to keep on track, but it’s worth it.
Third, try not to let learning overwhelm you. When you encounter a complex topic, it may seem impossible to comprehend. In this case, remember a programmer’s mindset and break it into smaller, achievable parts. Then, learn one piece at a time, and soon, you’ll find yourself freely managing things you’ve never thought you’d master.
Fourth, it’s important to make stops to look back and reflect. You should review the code you’ve written and the mistakes you’ve made and oversee your progress. What did you do good? What could you do better? What are you going to do next? Answering these questions helps keep your motivation high and prepares you for a future developer’s career with all the retrospective meetings.
And last but not least, you need persistence. Most likely, you’ll face difficulties and want to quit. Probably not once. When it happens, remember that it’s also a part of the learning process. If you proceed, you’ll overcome your doubts and fears and, eventually, achieve your dream of becoming a developer.