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7 Accelerated Ways to Learn Programming Online

Updated By Shelby on March 27, 2020

We have more access to knowledge than we’ve ever had before. Nearly anything we want to learn can be found online, including programming. If you’re interested in learning programming online, you’re in luck because there are some fantastic resources designed just for you. Here’s a look at some of the best ways to accelerate your knowledge of programming—online.

Take Online Courses to Advance Your Degree

Continual learning is extremely important, especially in a field as dynamic as the technology industry. While there are many resources to accelerate learning programming online, if you intend to be a professional programmer, you will need a Bachelor's degree. Most universities require four to five years in school to obtain a Bachelors in computer science. However, there are high-quality online Bachelor's degrees available. In fact, Independence University offers online degrees that can be completed in 36 months. Getting your degree quickly saves precious time that you could be using to make money and advance your career as a programmer. Search out Bachelor’s degrees that are career-focused and that teach skills in developing web and mobile apps, presentations, and user interfaces.

Online Resources

In addition to your coursework, online resources can help you accelerate your programming skills by providing additional tools. Programming is a field that requires a love of lifelong learning. Keeping a list of good resources means you will have updated knowledge as you continue to learn and gather skills. Even if you are already taking classes in programming, it can be useful to see information presented in a different way. Everyone learns differently, and you may just find some information conveyed in a way that helps you understand it better or from a different viewpoint. There are numerous blogs, Reddit posts, and YouTube channels out there dedicated to helping budding programmers like you.

Learn Fundamentals

This is important for any skill you learn in life, but learning the fundamentals is vital for success in programming. Programming fundamentals provide the foundation on which you will build your career. When you first begin programming, the explanations may seem simple and straightforward. Stop and take some time to digest the information. Apply what you have just learned and realize that it is a lot harder to use that knowledge than to read it and move on. If you take the time to practice what you are learning as you go, erase what you’ve done and apply it again, you will retain the information longer and improve faster down the road. It's a rough start, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Practice Code

Practice makes perfect. Apply the fundamentals you’ve taught yourself in a practical way by creating your own project from scratch. Some people may enjoy building a simple app or game. Whatever your goal, find something you are interested in developing. We can just about guarantee you'll run into all sorts of problems—great! These problems may be slow to work through in the beginning, but you’re setting yourself up for success and accelerating your learning in the long run.

Code by Hand

It may sound old school, but coding by hand is a valuable skill you’ll wish you had when a potential employer asks you to demonstrate it in a job interview, or you’re required to write it on a test for class. It’s slow and tedious, yes, but it is an excellent way to practice what you know because it requires you to pay close attention to detail. On a computer, you can test your code instantly to find problems, whereas coding by hand offers no such benefits—other than the fact that it will make you an amazing coder.

Build a Network of Programmers

Coding is a skill that is best learned in a community. Surround yourself with a network of peers and mentors who can help you (and you can help them) when you inevitably get stuck. If you’re working through an online degree with Independence University, you will already have a great group of peers and experienced professors you can turn to. Everyone was new once. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something and need help. Once you have a support team, you will feel more confident making mistakes as you learn. In fact, making mistakes has been shown to expand your brain and create new neural pathways. That seems like a good enough reason to start making mistakes right away.

Web Development

Programming is heavily based in web development. There are several important aspects to cover when beginning your web development education, including HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Perl. If you’re curious which language to start with, LifeHacker has some great suggestions on which program language to learn first, depending on your personal goals. There are also some great resources for learning some of these languages, such as, which is an essential resource for students learning HTML, CSS, PHP, or Javascript. Learning these programming languages will accelerate your education as a professional programmer.

Accelerate Your Learning with Independence University

There are many opportunities for students to learn programming online. While some entry-level jobs may not require a Bachelor's degree in computer science, if you intend to be a professional programmer you will certainly need one. Independence University offers a way to learn programming online through our 36-month online Bachelor’s Degree of Web Design & Development. If you’re looking to jump-start your career, request more info and get started today.