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By Selena Uptain

The best app for a beginner coder

Coding is a deeply lucrative skill to have, and you may be surprised to learn it does not require a college degree. Anyone can start learning and developing using any language they choose, but what is the best way to start?

Many people would start by sifting through their phone's app store. This is where I'd like to point you in the direction of SoloLearn. SoloLearn compiles its lessons into bite-sized increments, allowing the student to absorb information easily and at their own pace. A certificate is offered at the end of each course, a testament of your newly gained proficiency.

As for the courses themselves, several are offered including basic HTML, Java and CSS as well as more advanced languages such as Ruby and Python. The lessons are very short – usually no more than eight questions – and they are presented in a quiz type format. You are allowed to navigate back and forth between prior information and test questions and may even revisit previously learned material.

Another aspect of this app is the Code Playground. The Code Playground is a built-in center for practicing with coding languages and building your own programs all within the app. Once finished, the program you developed on your own can be shared with SoloLearn's active community.

The SoloLearn community is very polite, open and helpful. You never have to be shy about asking anyone for tips or aid with any challenges you may run into. You also are highly encouraged to share your work and comment on others' creations.

A helpful study function of the app is the Battle Section. The student chooses their preferred language and challenges an opponent to a quiz battle. The quickest to answer correctly is the winner and is awarded exp points. If an opponent declines the challenge, however, no points are awarded.

Points are earned in various different ways – daily log-ins, for example – as well as by sharing a completed program. Community activity is rewarded with exp points and is one of the quickest ways to start racking them up. The points are used to build your status in the coding community. The higher your status becomes, the more doors are opened for you in the world of coding. So building on it is a must!

Badges are another reward offered by SoloLearn. Most of these are related to community interaction, but a good many can be earned by utilizing the Code Playground. The most prestigious ones are definitely reserved for the harder languages, but nothing beats a good challenge, right? Like the certificates mentioned previously, these badges can be shared on your social media accounts, just in case you'd like to gloat to your friends.

The best thing of all about SoloLearn is that it is completely, 100 percent free, and it intends to remain that way for the foreseeable future. So why hold back? All the knowledge you need to start your career in coding lies before you. Look for SoloLearn on Android and iOS, and start learning today!

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