The Learn to Code With Me Advice Column

What Are Your Favorite Courses? What Do I Do After Codecademy?


“Hi Laurence!

So I saw a some of the info you posted regarding the various websites to learn coding.

I wanted to ask you though, which ones did you personally use? I feel like I don’t know where to begin and there are just so many options.

I also heard websites like Treehouse and Codecademy (which I’ve used and liked) are great for super basics, but what next?

Thanks for the advice!



Hey Jessica!

Nice to hear from you =)

There’s two questions, so I am going to answer each separately.

1. What do I personally use to learn?

At the time of writing (which is a few weeks prior to this being published) I am in the thick of creating my first ever online course.

Why is this important? Because everything I am doing (and learning) right now relates to putting together this course.

This means I have not been focusing as much on actual coding.

Nevertheless, I have still been learning a lot about selling digital products online. (Which, of course, is technical!)

Here are just a few things I have taught myself since starting to make this course:

  1. How to store static assets (like PDFs) on AWS S3
  2. Basic video and audio editing (which I have a strong aversion to but am getting better at)
  3. Using the Zippy Courses WordPress Plugin + Theme
  4. Collecting payments with Stripe
  5. Setting up an SSL certificate

And a lot more.

What have I been using to teach myself all of this?

To put together this course, I have been relying a lot on of different sources, including:

  1. YouTube
  2. Trial and error
  3. Sarah (my super helpful assistant who has been like an angel slash therapist)
  4. Talking to people with experience making courses, asking for help
  5. YouTube
  6. Documentation (like from Zippy Courses and Stripe)
  7. YouTube
  8. Trial and error
  9. My boyfriend (who has more experience with things like collecting payments online)

I know: most of this is not relevant to you, nor most people reading this.

But I went through the trouble of explaining it because what a person decides to learn should be relevant to them. Their life, their goals, etc!

Okay…time for a relevant answer: What *did* I use to learn to code?

Here’s some stuff I love:

  1. Team Treehouse. Tons of material. IMO, goes way beyond free sites like Codecademy.
  2. Niche learning sites. Like Evented Mind, which is all JavaScript. Or Tealeaf Academy, which is just Ruby on Rails. (Note: I have used both personally. But I never completed the Tealeaf course. Not because it was bad. I just decided I didn’t want to do RoR anymore.)
  3. YouTube. I love YouTube. I watch how-to videos for all kinds of things. It is wonderful for very specific, bite-sized information.

2. What’s next after Codecademy and related?

Short answer: build your own things.

Long answer:

I think you’re totally right about some sites being great for basics, but that’s where it ends.

As much as I love online tutorials and courses, I also love the idea of people building their own stuff—without a tutorial or course guiding them along.

From trying and failing, AKA productive failure, you’ll learn more than you would from following a tutorial. I can basically guarantee that.

Failing is good. But most people (including me) have a fear of failing.

Here is a list of my site/app/side project failures (AKA things I never completed, or gave up on):

  1. Become a Better Writer
  2. (portfolio-like site I never really finished…)
  3. Should I make a WP Site? (a simple quiz…that never got finished)
  4. (I *thought* I could eventually turn it into a cool ongoing list of places to practice coding online…)
  5. A special LTCWM series I don’t think even made it online
  6. F*** yeah btns (a Tumblr blog all about cool buttons..that never took off)
  7. (Another “big idea” that never made it far – it was going to be a collection of Southeast Asia travel stories plus tips)

And there’s more.

So, if you’re reading this and have done numerous coding courses, but haven’t built your own “thing” yet:

  1. Stop reading this article
  2. Hide the programming book, pause the Treehouse subscription, etc.
  3. And build your own freaking “thing”

Even if you never finish, or get it to where you want it to go, I promise you will learn more from the process than following a step-by-step guide.

Get out there and get building folks!

DISCLAIMER: Thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own. Any recommendatons and/or how-to information is intended to be helpful. Also, please note that some of the links are affiliate links. Continue here to learn more about affiliate marketing on

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