Itching to code? These are the best games to learn programming skills

Many of us would like to learn to program, but are daunted. It turns out programming is not really difficult at all once you’ve got the trick of it (really!). 

But, there’s a lot of knowledge to gain before you, the student, can be anything but utterly confused. It can be painful. If only there existed some gentler way to smuggle programming knowledge into your head.

Thankfully, there are some great games out there that can teach you how to code, while also being fun. Read on to find out our pick. Also, make sure you check out our guide on the best laptops for programming on for some great choices to help you code.

CodinGame screenshot

(Image credit: CodinGame)

1. CodinGame

CodinGame has a very special place in our hearts because not only is it free and ridiculously fun, it actually helps you to build up a profile and get hired in a relevant field. In this it’s similar to well-known sites like Leetcode and HackerRank, except a lot more effort has been put into presenting the education as a game.

Create your developer profile, which fills out the more you code and play. When you’re ready, you can open it up to companies of your choice and perhaps get hired doing what you love.

So, try out CodinGame, you won’t regret it.

Gladiabots screenshot

(Image credit: WhisperGames)

2. Gladiabots – AI Combat arena

Ah, strategy and programming; what more could you ask for? Developed by GFX47 and published by WhisperGames, Gladiabots is an award-winning robot combat strategy game.

In it, you fight robots with robots. Instead of controlling them directly, however, you program their AI and let them fight by themselves. Debug, improve and fix your AI ’till it’s able to outsmart your enemies in three unique game modes, Elimination, Domination and Collection.

There’s a single-player campaign, online multiplayer with ranked/unranked modes and an asynchronous multiplayer mode for offline play with friends. There’s also a sandbox mode, where you can control both teams.

Grab a copy on Steam for $14.99 (around £13, AU$20) or get 20% off the Optimized Edition

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The easiest programming languages to learn

Coding can be challenging, particularly for beginners. New programmers often benefit from starting with an easier programming language.

Programming languages tell computers how to do specific tasks. Complex programming languages with dense syntax and complicated functions can challenge even experienced coders. Programming pros who want to learn a new language may prefer an easier option.

Our list introduces the easiest programming languages to learn, including each programming language’s uses and roles that use them. 

CSS

Roles that use it: Front-end developers, CSS developers, full-stack developers, mobile app developers, bloggers, website editors

Why it’s easy to learn: 

  • CSS styles websites, so it’s simpler than many programming languages.

  • Learners can pick up the fundamentals in a matter of weeks.

  • By mastering style types and properties, learners can use CSS to build websites.

CSS, or cascading style sheets, determines the look of a website. While HTML provides website content, CSS determines how it displays, including colors, fonts, and layouts. Every website uses CSS. 

As a rule-based language, CSS makes it easy to learn foundational skills like changing colors or font size. Many learners teach themselves CSS through online tutorials, books, or other self-teaching resources. Web development bootcamps and online college classes also teach CSS.

Go

Roles that use it: Systems engineers, Go developers, Google cloud developers, software engineers, data scientists

Why it’s easy to learn:

  • Go has less syntax than many other programming languages.

  • Users can typically master the syntax and avoid looking up rules while coding.

  • Programmers who know other languages, especially C languages, can pick up Go quickly. 

A programming language developed by Google, Go can be used for infrastructure, cloud applications, and other server-side uses. A simpler language than C++, Go provides simple, readable code for all kinds of uses, including in data science, robotics, and artificial intelligence. 

Go, sometimes called Golang, prioritizes speed. The language makes automation and system programming simpler. It’s also an open-source language. Learners can pick up Go through self-taught tutorials or through a bootcamp. 

HTML

Roles that use it: Front-end developers, full-stack developers, web developers, email developers, bloggers, website editors, mobile app developers 

Why it’s

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