Learning how to code online is a great idea if you cannot attend physical lessons. Sometimes online platforms are the only available option when the schools in your area do not cover the lessons you need.
Online coding lessons provide you with the flexibility of working and studying at the same time among other advantages.
However, the quality of education that you receive depends on the platform that you choose. For a new student, it may be difficult to choose one given the numerous ads online.
Every platform promises the best but some are out to make an extra dollar. With this guide, you can pick the right platform that will help you achieve your career goals.
1. Course components
Before you go into discussions about class schedules and fee, consider the lessons covered in each course.
Be wary of schools that promise to provide the course outline after you pay or join a class. Such information should be readily available on the platform for all visitors.
If not, ask for a course outline for the lesson you are interested in. Ask if all lessons are covered within the fee charged.
Some platforms will offer a part of the course at no cost and then charge for advanced classes.
Have your career and learning goals set before you start looking for an online school. Determine what you need to achieve the goals beforehand.
Otherwise, the numerous options for online coding lessons will be confusing.
They say that if you do not know where you are going, any road will get you there.
2. Learning styles
What is your preferred style of learning? What works best for you?
Schools will often combine the major learning styles include textual, audio, and visual styles of teaching.
One tutor might decide to provide all the notes in text form and then post videos to help you understand the notes.
Other lessons are purely visual and require you to take notes as you learn. Go for lessons that give a near class experience as much as possible.
For instance, you can interact with the tutor, ask questions, take notes, take and submit assignments.
Coding lessons require visual learning. You cannot learn how to use a program by just looking at written codes.
You need to follow and practice writing codes with both visual and textual learning materials.
Another thing to consider is the cost of the learning materials. Will incur an extra cost of acquiring the materials? What does the school provide?
What do you need to acquire? For instance, you need to install some programs and collaborative tools on your computer.
3. Project-based learning
Kwetu Hub emphasizes this aspect of learning to code for both online and physical classes.
You cannot learn to develop software through dummy projects. You will start there as you practice writing codes from scratch.
However, you need to solve real problems with software. The best platform should allow you to learn by applying the codes.
At least 80% of the time you are learning to code should go to creating projects or solving problems.
Tutors might not tell you this upfront. Read reviews from other students to ascertain the mode of learning.
Use social media to reach out to other students and learn their experience where possible.
Online coding lessons are not just about learning to code from a tutor. It is more than watching one video tutorial to another.
Collaboration with your tutors is important. However, you also need to collaborate with other students on the same journey as you.
You need to be part of a community of developers as opposed to learning alone.
The process can be frustrating when you encounter challenges and need help.
Be part of an online community, especially one with both experienced and upcoming developers.
The best coding schools offer such opportunities to meet other developers online.
With video conferencing tools, holding meetings with other online students is easy.
Social media offers alternative ways of joining communities of developers.
How do you determine if you are making progress or not? The easiest lessons provide loads of information with simple and sometimes no test.
Other online platforms give you a certificate within a month after back-to-back lessons.
With such schools, you have no way of knowing for sure that you have learnt to code.
It takes quite a while to master coding especially if you are learning coding from scratch.
You must start by learning the programming languages to writing simple codes.
It takes months and sometimes years before you can become a full-stack developer.
Everyone learns at their pace. You know your pace by now. Choose a school that allows you to learn at a comfortable pace.
The school should also offer certification or tests to mark each milestone.
Many free bootcamps have come up that promise to teach you to code like certified schools.
The downside of relying on free lessons is that they attract thousands of students.
The schools cannot meet the individual needs of thousands of students.
Since you have not paid anything to join the school, you cannot make any demands on the quality of lessons or languages used.
You simply take what is provided even if the information is outdated.
That said, some schools offer free basics lessons and then charge advanced online coding lessons. That is a different case.
Your choice of a school should be based on high-quality education within your budget.
A cheap school is not necessarily the solution to a low budget. Some schools will allow you to pay the required fee in instalments.
Learning online gives you a bit of control over the time you take the lessons. You can learn from distance colleges and universities and get the highest quality of education in any field. Online coding lessons are not different. Choosing the right school is the most important decision you will ever make for your career. The tips outlined in this article make it so easy to narrow down to the best school or platform.