One answer: start where you are, keep an open mind, and keep trying new ways to learn until you get the hang of it. You will need access to a computer and internet. It is usually helpful to have support from someone who is further along than you – a mentor, buddy, or instructor. Most libraries have books that teach code by explaining the principles and showing examples.

Many people prefer learning from video. Since continual learning from online resources is a large part of life for software developers, it’s worth getting used to online resources. There are a number of free online courses, most of which have a start point for people with absolutely no coding experience.

Keep an open mind. If you don’t like one course – because it’s too fast or too slow, too abstract or too specific, too much writing or too many videos – try another one. If you’re motivated, there’s no harm in checking them all out.

Treehouse is the online course provider that Albany Can Code works most closely with. We picked them because their videos, quizzes and challenges are friendly for newcomers. Not too hard, but not as easy as some other online courses. Also, their course library is large and current. Finally, they work with a lot of educators and grassroots programs like Albany Can Code.

The Odin Project which is the introductory part of Viking School. is like the voice of a buddy who walks you through, telling you what to expect, and providing a lot of links to free online videos, blogs, and other resources. They want you to complete a project and a portfolio so that you can get hired as a web developer. There isn’t hand-holding in providing code for copy.

The Khan Academy has courses focused on animation and design, and database programming. Mainly video based.

Code School is a video based learning environment with a lot of “tracks.” It’s useful for people who already know how to program but want to learn a new language. The first few video & challenge segments of each track are free. Students needs to pay a $39/month subscription fee to access the intermediate and advanced segments of any track.

CodeCademy has a number of courses, all of them free.