Learning to code is one of the biggest favors you can do to yourself this year. As IT sector is gaining in strength, with the total exports to cross USD 100 billion in 2014, learning one of the programming languages will be a step in the positive direction for the growth of your professional life.

Code.org is a non-profit organization based on computer programming education which was started to promote the knowledge of coding amongst the world population. In fact, biggest names in the technology world, such as Bill Gates and Mark  Zuckerberg came together on the same platform through Code.org to encourage students to take coding classes. This alone is a reason good enough to understand how important or beneficial it could prove to learn programming languages for your career in 2014. Learning to program is easily the most satisfying and empowering thing you can ever do as it will give you the power to create software and understand the technology behind all the smartphones, tablets and computers that make them do miraculous things.

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Six Free Ways to Learn Programming in 2014
Image Credit: martin loetzsch

The popular belief that only techies or geeks can code is highly misplaced. In fact, everyone can learn to code. No matter why you want to learn, the only real thing you need is curiosity. Neither there is any dearth of free resources. In fact, there are at least a dozen ways, in which you can learn programming and most of them do not cost a dime. Here are listed 10 ways to learn to programme for free.

Complete online tutorials through Codecademy 
The tagline of Codecademy is, “the easiest way to learn how to code”. It is actually one of the pioneers that can be credited for starting the code-for-all revolution with its easily accessible and highly intuitive programming courses. It is easily one of the most renowned online training resources. The Codecademy website has easy-to-understand and interactive tutorials for different languages, ranging from web designing, HTML and CSS, to Python and PHP amongst others. Other notable features of the website include involving friends to take programming lessons together.

Read free e-books
There are plenty of e-books available online which make for a good learning resource. These e-books are well illustrated, have lots of examples of live codes and are free to download. You can also download these e-books for offline use. Although not as interactive as the online tutorials on Codecademy, these are apt for students who do not have a continuous internet connection.

Pursue online courses from MIT OpenCourseWare
MIT or Massachusetts Institute of Technology is perhaps the best-known technology institute in this world. It is therefore also the toughest to get into. MIT’s OpenCourseWare is a killer resource where you can find detailed programming coursework and even join study groups online. The prospect of becoming an MIT educated without the student loans or cut-throat application process is too good to resist.

Become a member of an online developer community 
Find the most happening online developer communities which have active participation and discussions. Most of the times experienced developers share their best tutorials and guides in these communities. Although at first, the discussion might seem like an alien-talk to novice programmers, if you follow closely enough, you stand to learn some of the most important secrets of programming. One such community is Mozilla Developer Network, which is particularly full of excellent learning resources.

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Participate in local events 
If you are serious about making programming your career choice, then you should not hesitate to participate in local seminars and conferences of programmers. Do not fear being ridiculed because nothing of that sort will ever happen. Such events are a routine happening in IT hubs like Pune, Hyderabad, and Bangalore. These IT destinations have a very healthy thriving community of developers arising out of the many major software companies that are based here. As a result of the growing Java jobs in Pune, the number of Java developers in this city has also experienced a spike which is good news for those trying to make it big through software development.

Play and learn
If you think playing games is the best way to learn then the team at Treehouse has a product perfectly suited for you; Code/Racer.  This is an online racing game that forces you to learn quickly in order to stay ahead of others on the racing track. There are over 650 instructional videos on this web platform for the benefit of the learners. As you complete milestones, you earn badges for your accomplishments.

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About the Author:
Saurabh Tyagi is an expert author who has been lending her expertise to various job-related websites. Her articles and blog posts related to career enhancements are published on leading online blogs and websites.