Learn by Doing: The 8 Best Interactive Coding Websites

While there are all sorts of resources people use when learning to code — screencasts, videos, books, tutorials, online courses, and more— in this article I will only focus on some of the best and most popular interactive websites that have you learn by solving challenges or building projects online. While most online resources do have some interactive tests or challenges you can take that allows you to actually code, some focus heavily on having you practice which I believe is the best way to get better at coding.

Watching videos and reading tutorials online will only get you so far. To become a great programmer, you’ll need a ton of practice. So for beginners, I recommend solving lots of code challenges and working on several small projects.

This list is a combination of my own research and some help from people in online coding communities such as Coderbyte, r/learnprogramming, Newbie Coder Warehouse, and Medium.

Complete Beginner to Novice Level

At this point, you’re completely new to coding or have been learning to code for a few weeks. Try and learn the basics of HTML and CSS, but don’t go crazy trying to memorize all the tags and properties for them. Learn some JavaScript and practice coding so you can pick up the syntax at this stage. You should be comfortable solving a few basic coding challenges and you should know the syntax of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (or Python, Ruby, etc.) fairly well.

  1. Code School
    Great for beginners. Contains videos and simple interactive challenges.
  2. Codecademy
    For complete beginners that are initially learning a language. A good website for learning the basics about HTML and CSS.
  3. freeCodeCamp
    Contains a lot of tutorials and interactive challenges that will help you learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Example here.
  4. Treehouse
    Another great option if you’re a beginner starting out learning to code. They offer video courses along with some interactive challenges.

Novice to Intermediate Level

Maybe after one to two months of learning to code (if you’re studying regularly), you should start practicing — a lot! You need to become comfortable with writing basic algorithms that involve hash tables, arrays, looping, string manipulation, etc. If you’re interested in web development, then you should also be able to create simple UI’s and websites fairly quickly with some basic HTML and CSS.

  1. Coderbyte
    Practice solving code challenges here and implementing different algorithms and data structures. You can also view other people’s code solutions to see how they solved challenges.
  2. DataCamp
    If data science interests you, then this website has a great online editor where you can code in Python and R.
  3. HackerRank
    Another website to practice solving code challenges on with a lot of tutorials about different algorithms.
  4. CodinGame
    This website offers users the ability to solve coding challenges that are directly tied to online games. A pretty cool concept.

Intermediate to Advanced Level

Once you feel like you have a grasp on the basics of programming (e.g. learned some HTML/CSS/JS + maybe a back-end language and some database) and are able to solve code challenges comfortably (e.g. The 5 hardest code challenges for beginners) and have created some small projects, then I think the following resources will help guide in the right direction to becoming a great software developer.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the list of websites I put together!