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The best computer science resources in 2022: Apps, podcasts, and more

We've rounded up the best online educational resources for computer science beginners, majors, and professionals.
Written by Matthew Sweeney, Contributing Writer

(Image: Shutterstock)

There are many online educational resources that tailor to helping computer science students and professionals. Many computer science resources are available completely for free. 

You can leverage mobile apps, open online courses, websites, podcasts, and blogs to supplement computer science degree materials. Free resources such as blogs and podcasts can also help with continuing computer science education. 

It pays to keep abreast of real-world industry news and discussion in the fast-moving world of computer scientists and technology.

9 apps to learn and practice coding

Available on: Android and iOS

Learn: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, Node, React, Java, Swift

Description: Codemurai uses thousands of mini-lessons created by industry leaders to teach all the most popular coding languages, including JavaScript, Python, and HTML, along with over a dozen more. Lessons cover the foundations of web, game, and mobile app development.

Available on: Android and iOS

Learn: Java

Description: Easy Coder is a mobile app for learning Java that utilizes short, interactive lessons, quizzes, and programming challenges to teach fundamental programming concepts. The app's built-in Java compiler allows learners to instantly test code as they learn.

Available on: Android and iOS

Learn: Python, JavaScript, HTML, CSS

Description: Encode is an Android-only app that teaches the major coding languages, consisting of short mini-lessons followed by interactive challenges. The app does not require an internet connection to run, allowing learners to use it virtually anywhere.

Available on: Android and iOS

Learn: JavaScript, Java, Python, React, SQL

Description: Enki is a popular free app for learning how to code, designed for daily use in short sessions. Lessons, practices, and quizzes use spaced repetition algorithms that adapt to learners' individual needs. Learners can also buy a subscription plan to access certain advanced lessons.

Available on: Android, iOS, Desktop

Learn: JavaScript

Description: Grasshopper teaches beginner to intermediate level JavaScript using a game-like structure. The app uses interactive visual puzzles and real-time feedback to supplement short lessons and quizzes and to boost problem-solving skills. Learners can even collect virtual achievements as they develop their skills.

Available on: Android and iOS

Learn: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL, C++, Swift, Python

Description: Mimo is an app for teaching beginner-level coding fundamentals through interactive mini-lessons designed for daily use in short blocks. The app's structure often resembles a game, with various achievements and badges offered for positive reinforcement as learners progress.

Available on: Android and iOS

Learn: HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, JavaScript

Description: Programming Hero teaches coding fundamentals for web, mobile app, and game development using a combination of self-guided mini-projects and game-like design features. While users complete short programming projects, challenges, and exercises, they can design their own game from scratch.

Available on: Android and iOS

Learn: Python, Assembly, HTML, C++, JavaScript, CSS, Java

Description: Programming Hub is Google's Editor's Choice app for learning coding, and was developed in part by Google experts. The app caters largely to intermediate learners looking to learn multiple coding languages. Completion of the app's different courses results in an e-certification.

Available on: Android and iOS

Learn: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Python, Java, C++, PHP, SQL, Swift

Description: Solo Learn is a free app offering over 20 courses on coding fundamentals such as Python, JavaScript, and data science. Students can also use the online code playground to test code. Completing courses results in earning a professional certification.

8 online computer science course providers

Many providers offer massive open online courses (MOOCs) in computer science, some of them from top colleges and universities. 

Auditing computer science courses for free can arm you with new knowledge at no cost. You can also pay to take online computer science courses to earn a certification or college credit.

Class Central is a search engine for MOOCs, free online courses available for anyone to enroll. Through the search engine, students can find free online computer science courses at top schools, along with reviews and other helpful feedback.

Codecademy is an online platform that offers free courses in 12 different coding languages, including JavaScript, Python, and CSS. 

Learners get free daily practice and interactive lessons with a basic plan. For $19.99 monthly under an annual plan, students can get additional practice and support.

SEE: Breaking down Codecademy: Cost, popular courses, career paths, and alternatives

Coursera is a popular MOOC provider that works with hundreds of colleges and universities worldwide. Auditing courses through the Coursera platform is free, but earning grades or certificates requires you to pay. 

A membership to earn professional certificates through Coursera costs $39 monthly.

edX is an MOOC provider created by Harvard and MIT that features fully online mini-degree and certificate programs in a variety of areas, including computer science and coding. Auditing courses is free, but for students in a certificate program, individual courses cost between $50-$300.

Khan Academy is a nonprofit that offers free online educational materials on a variety of subjects, including computer programming. 

A typical Khan Academy course consists of a series of short videos accompanied by practice exercises. Educators often use this platform to supplement classroom learning.

MIT OpenCourseware is a free online collection of nearly all of MIT's undergraduate and graduate course materials, including video lectures, textbooks, and web demonstrations. 

MIT is a preeminent university for computer science, making this archive a goldmine for people interested in programming and coding.

Founded by Stanford instructors, Udacity is a for-profit MOOC platform that offers free courses in computer science and programming, as well as professional certifications and Udacity Nanodegrees. 

Nanodegrees, abbreviated degree programs in coding and computer programming topics, typically cost $700-$15,000.

Udemy is a MOOC provider that primarily tailors to nontraditional students. The platform features both free and paid courses as well as certificates in computer science and programming. 

Most paid courses on Udemy cost $20-$200, though the site routinely offers discounts and coupons to members via email.

5 computer science networking, forums, and inspiration

You can build your coding skills and knowledge of computer science concepts by immersing yourself in online communities for networking and inspiration. 

These resources can help you find answers to tough questions and helpful feedback in a pinch. You can also find computer science job opportunities and tech internships through networking sites and online communities.

CodePen is an online web development community for testing and sharing user-created code snippets. The ability to gain live feedback on your code-writing from a community of all skill levels makes this an essential resource for people learning to code.

Coderwall is a collaborative learning platform for software developers. Beginners can find abundant programming tips, knowledge, and tools on Coderwall in a variety of topics, including JavaScript, iOS, and front-end development. 

The site also features a regularly updated job postings section.

See also

    GitHub is an online platform for collaborative software projects. Developers use GitHub to edit software together while keeping track of each others' changes. 

    Beginning developers can expect to encounter this site early on, because it is a popular and useful platform for collaborative work. It also hosts coding portfolios via GitHub Pages.

    LinkedIn is a social media site for professional networking. People use LinkedIn to manage their professional image, share their credentials, and apply for jobs. 

    If you are a beginning level developer or student, a LinkedIn profile is a great platform for giving your portfolio visibility.

    Stack Overflow is a question and answer site for computer programming. Site members can join teams, earn points for helpful posts, and edit questions and answers. 

    Many coders use Stack Overflow as a knowledge base or way to get quick, direct answers to questions.

    5 computer science podcasts

    Available on: Apple, Spotify, Google Play

    CodeNewbie is an educational podcast series on topics in computer programming hosted by developer Saron Yitbarek. 

    The weekly series spotlights helpful tips for beginning level coders, with each episode featuring an interview/conversation with a different STEM professional on a given topic.

    Available on: Apple, podtail, Listen Notes

    The Computer Science podcast was established by Oxford University to give everyday listeners access to talks on topics in computer science such as computational linguistics, quantum computing, and software engineering from Professor Nick Trefethen. The series typically puts out a new episode every few months.

    Available on: Apple, podtail, Listen Notes

    The Mike Tech Show is a podcast hosted by developer Mike Smith about software development and information technology. 

    The show focuses mainly on productivity tips for tech professionals, with Smith occasionally telling tech-related stories from his own professional experiences and emails from listeners.

    Available on: Apple, Google Play, Spotify

    Podnutz Pro is a tech culture podcast on business IT tips and support, hosted by Jeff Halash and a revolving door of other tech professionals. The podcast is part of the Podnutz network of podcasts for professional tips on tech topics.

    Available on: Apple, Spotify, Google Play

    Spark is a Canadian tech radio show hosted by broadcaster Nora Young since 2007. The show, now available as a podcast, touches on issues in tech culture. 

    Recent guests have included Louisa Ha, who spoke with Young about YouTube's role as a cultural artifact.

    8 blogs on the computer science industry

    BetterProgramming is a blog for better programming tips published through Medium. Multiple contributors publish articles to the site daily, with an audience of beginner-to-intermediate coders in mind. 

    While most posts focus on technical issues, others discuss general lifestyle habits or have a humorous slant.

    CodeWall is a blog for web development and programming based in the UK. Multiple contributors update the blog on a monthly basis. The blog's "Contributors" header organizes posts by programming language for easier navigation for beginners.

    Started in 2009, the Codrops blog focuses primarily on front-end web development and web design. The feed updates multiple times weekly with posts from various contributors, which are usually either articles or tutorials on web development and design techniques.

    Embedded in Academia is a blog on computer programming and science run by professor of computer science John Regehr. The blog, usually updated monthly, tends to focus on resolving specific software issues, but also touches on interdisciplinary academic topics.

    Google AI Blog is the frequently updated news feed for Google AI, the artificial intelligence division of Google. Contributors — various software engineers in Google's employ — also use blog posts to discuss contemporary issues and theory in robotics and AI.

    Active since 1899, MIT Technology Review is a media company devoted to the latest news and discussion on new technology. The Review publishes a print magazine and a blog. 

    Blog post topics encompass biotechnology, computer science, and artificial intelligence, among many others.

    O'Reilly Radar is the news/blog division of O'Reilly Media, a tech education company founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tim O'Reilly. The blog's content tends to focus around business and tech-related issues, trends, and cultural commentary.

    Treehouse, an online coding education resource, regularly updates a blog on course materials, programming languages, and cultural competency issues in tech. 

    Blog posts are organized into six categories for easy navigation: Business Resources, Career Advice, Community, Engineering People Podcast, Learn, and Treehouse News.

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