Resources for self-taught programmers



Hi there, as a beginner, I would like to ask if any of you, be it novice or veteran coders, can recommend me some resources to better aid beginners like me who are struggling to start from scratch...

Here are some questions which I've came up with:

1. What are some static code analysis tools which don't require downloading? Or those that don't take up much storage space in the computer?
As far as I know, csslint can be used for CSS while jshint is for JavaScript. So what about for Python, Ruby, PHP and etc?

2. What are some of the textbooks which you use to learn programming? (preferably free, can be in the form of pdf files too)
It would cost a bomb if I were to buy a textbook for every programming language, so can any kind souls recommend me free online resources? hehe :kissing_closed_eyes:

3. Out of all these code editors, which one do you recommend the most, and why?
Currently I'm using CodePen, so I'll exclude CodePen from the list...
Note that this list is adapted from Which code editor do you use the most? by @zystvan

- Web based (Cloud9, collabedit, etc.)
- Brackets
- Atom
- Sublime text
- Notepad/ Notepad(++)
- Terminal based (Vim, Vi, Nano, etc.)
- Netbeans
- Visual Studio
- Eclipse
- Ed
- Others (please state)

4. Do you have any advice or additional resources for beginners?
Any help is greatly appreciated!

Last but not least, I would like to say that I really appreciate any help offered by you guys! Really, thank you very much, your help means a lot to me. For beginners like me, feel free to add on is you have any questions! Please also give a 'like :heart:' if this topic has helped you in any way.

I know you won't open this question. I told you!

Hey Fate,

Do a quick search, see what you find. Also, look through the list of plugins for your code editor. If it's Brackets, Atom, or Sublime Text, there should be linters for those languages :slightly_smiling: (Brackets comes with linters for at least a couple languages built in by default)

You don't need a textbook for every programming language; not even for just the ones you're interested in. Books are great, but they don't update to cover the most recent security vulnerability or the newest version of the language. That said, for real books, O'Reilly and Apress are both good publishers IMO. And is great for finding ebooks :slightly_smiling:

Brackets; it comes with a lot of plugins, is open source and free, works on all operating systems, and looks good. Atom is nice and also looks pretty good, but it comes with a bunch of plugins which I don't like preinstalled. And Sublime Text is also pretty good, but very expensive ($70)

  • is a good place if you need to minify or de-minify code in just about any language. It also has validators for several different languages, such as CSS & JavaScript
  • Learn to use a search engine. A lot of people ask questions which have been asked lots of times before (which is part of why I made the current version of LMDDGTFY), but they don't bother to do a search and so have to wait for an answer and the answerer has to take time to answer a question that's been asked before.
  • Find a local meetup, if possible. Being around other (more experienced) coders is a lot of fun and you'll learn a lot.
  • is a good web-related blog.
  • has lots of documentation on HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and developing Firefox addons.


I agree with @zystvan about Brackets - that's my preferred editor also.

MDN is good, and so is CSS-Tricks.


For javascript i find freecodecamp really good, there are other people who agree with me about w3schools, as you can read here. w3c is really nice to gain better understanding of html + css and web recommendations, they have a course now on edix

I will expand my answer tomorrow, it is 2am now. Time to go to bed


My favorite is Atom. Cause its just so easy to use and so fast. Personally i wont recommend brackets for codes you need many files and advanced javascript as it gets really slow and time consuming. Cloud9 is byfar in my oppinon the best collab editor which is also free!! Anways @f4te Great Topic!


That's bit of a joke.

vim has some big advantages as a general text editor:

  • runs nearly everywhere
  • makes you familiar with vi which might even be installed on your tv
  • non-commercial
  • highly customizable
  • runs in terminal, so can be used through ssh
  • common commands do not use ctrl combinations, for example just dd removes a line.


  • very difficult to use at first
  • isn't aware of your code unlike an IDE
  • outdated?

For big projects, particularly with certain languages where there are really advanced IDE's, an IDE would serve better. But for general editing, vim is great.

Emacs has similar properties, but all those key-commands, maan.. And my text editor doesn't need to include tetris and definitely doesn't need to be capable of being an OS. But I'm sure it's a fine editor, otherwise that crowd would just use vim instead.

vim gives the user a lot of power at their fingertips, but doesn't do very much by itself. So it's great for general editing, but other editors may offer more productivity for specific scenarios. This depends a great deal on who's using the editor though.


I use Notepad++ I love how the syntax shows..

I learnt HTML & CSS here at Codecademy,

and then I started with JavaScript & PHP, but I was finding it difficult to understand so what I did was go over to YouTube and watch videos on JavaScript I went to TheNewBoston (really good) and watched the video's hearing a person explain is easier to understand then read it and it was explained in detail, then I came over to CodeCademy and did it practically in the lessons I think it was a great way of learning ..

Other options other than Youtube is Udemy they have free courses as well as paid and lessons are in video..


I would never recommend w3schools. It is a last resort, and a poor one at that. It only parrots the rest of the best. Trust the docs. They are genuine.


w3c has a course in collaboration with edx about all the latest html5 and css3 featuers, recommendations and more, you can find part one here, i am sure you can find part two on your own


That led me to a dead page. I'm not buying anything from W3Schools, no matter who they partner up with. The real thing is too easy to find.


Oh, the course is archived, you can still take the course if you login. @mtf, is not the same thing as w3schools, right? I thought was good, did i miss something? I thought that was one of the reasons w3schools was bad, it might lead certain people to believe they are related to, and they refuse to mention that on there site or years


No connection whatever. w3_______ is riding the coattails of W3C. The bain of squatting. These people did it in spades and got top Google placement in the process, something that has probably been a sore spot for them (Google) as well.

W3Schools has been scrambling for legitmacy since it started. Nothing changes.


About the topic name - if you are learning on codecademy it's not self taught as you doing a course.. It goes for many other websites as well..


Adding to @zainabrawat point. Self-Taught programmers are people who research the docs by them selves , and like see other people projects to make one for them self too!


But one site can't cover it all, codecademy is a great resource. But there is more, so it is good to have other good resources as well


Yes definitely,

there's Udemy they have many courses free and paid.. They have a sale on at the moment all courses $10

there's advanced web development course with certification ..I bought it still need to start it though


I personally think you shouldnt go to udemy, or any other paid web that teach you coding. There are many free tutorials online that teach you how to code and very efficiently.


I have been doing free learning for almost two years, What I like about some paid courses is that you get certification, individual support, and I wanted an advanced course, it also has multiple languages involved in the course..

I hope I don't sound like an advertisement but its what I feel,

I possibly went on every free learning website, I love them, I recently discovered code camp which is also free


@zainabrawat i understand your point, but cant you like ask the questions on youtube comment section? The bad thing about that is that it takes long. But what takes care of that is either googling the question if its a basic one since its probably anwsered already, if not then is the go to.


Maybe I'm a bit lazy, looking and waiting for answers also, the point that information is easy to access, the course has multiple languages joined so you learn how to use them together, I'm a web developer more than anything