10 free coding practice sites to step up your game (and even get hired)

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Developers learn new technologies and skills on the job on any given day. But part of what takes a developer from good to great and candidate to new hire is coding outside the 9 to 5. One way to get in extra practice on the side: coding practice sites. These sites can not only help you strengthen your skills, but prepare you for interviews—and the onsite and take-home coding challenges that generally come with them.

Videos and tutorials have a place in learning and upskilling, but with coding practice sites you learn by doing. And this hands-on practice leads to sharpening your skills (and learning new ones) faster.

Coding practice sites aren’t one-size-fits-all. While one may zero in on only two programming languages, another offers 35. Some challenges are suitable for beginner programmers, others require a high-level knowledge of algorithms and data structures. 

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And aside from the chance to complete personal challenges, many hold live challenges or contests. Against programmers like you. With cash prizes and the potential to grab the attention of a company actively looking for tech talent.

You’ll want to narrow down which coding practice sites are right for you, depending on your skill level, goals and interests—plus how much you’re willing to pay (if anything). We’re covering 10 of the most popular coding practice sites to help you find your match, including difficulty level, programming languages and companies that hire from each.


CodeChef

CodeChef encourages learning and friendly competition with practice problems you can complete in over 35 languages, along with contests that run anywhere from one to 10 days. The more coding practice problems you successfully complete, the more points you earn to move up the ranks—and the better prepared you are to compete in one of CodeChef’s monthly contests.

But it’s not just CodeChef-hosted contests to look forward to. Other organizations, schools and academies host contests on CodeChef for hiring and employee engagement purposes. This gives you, on average, over 30 additional contests to join every month.

Price: Free

Difficulty level: Beginner to advanced

Languages: C, C++, C#, Java, Perl, Ruby and more

Source: CodeChef

Coderbyte

Solve over 200 coding challenges in 10 programming languages on Coderbyte using their online editor. Challenges come with official solutions, but part of what helps Coderbyte stand out is that you can also view user solutions. (And by now, the number of user solutions has reached the tens of thousands mark.)

In addition to challenges, you’ll gain access to a collection of courses (from learning Ruby in a week to coding bootcamp prep to data structures and algorithms) and technical interview questions that’ve been asked at some of the tech industry’s leading companies like Microsoft and Facebook.

Price: Free version with paid subscription for more access ($35/month or $150/year)

Difficulty level: Beginner to intermediate

Languages: C, C++, C#, Go, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, Swift

Companies that hire from Coderbyte: Allstate, Avanoo, Hack Reactor, HBO, Thinkful, PwC, Virtusa and more

Source: Coderbyte

CodeWars

The programming challenges (“kata”) on CodeWars are submitted and edited by its community of software developers, and can be solved using an online editor. Choose from a wide variety of challenges, each with a discussion board where you can get hints and talk code.

Earn points and track your progress with CodeWars’ point and ranking systems to increase your rank and honor. You can even form clans with your fellow developers to see each other’s progress for an added sense of community. Another plus to CodeWars? Compare and review user solutions to get cleaner, more efficient code—just another way to advance your skills.

Price: Free

Difficulty level: Beginner to advanced

Languages: C, C++, C#, Go, Haskell, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, Rust, Shell, SQL, Swift, TypeScript and more

Companies that hire from CodeWars: Andela, Apple and more

Source: CodeWars

CodinGame

CodinGame takes a different approach than most coding challenge websites, and if you love gaming, this one’s for you. Users still code to solve, just like other challenge websites. But with CodinGame, you write code that directly affects the game in play. Incoming wave of space aliens? Not anymore. Your clean code just built a space cannon to neutralize them.

Challenge your friends with CodinGame’s multiplayer programming games or compete in international contests for prizes (and glory). More play helps you climb the leaderboard and develop your profile to get noticed by top companies.

Price: Free

Difficulty level: Beginner to intermediate

Languages: Bash, C, C++, C#, F#, Go, Groovy, Java, JavaScript, Kotlin, Lua, Objective-C, Pascal, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, Rust, Scala, Swift, VB.NET and more

Companies that hire from CodinGame: Adobe, Bank of America, Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Warner Bros. and more

Source: CodinGame

Exercism

Exercism provides mentor-based learning to help level up your programming skills across 51 language tracks. First, choose an exercise (there’s thousands of them) and complete the coding challenge. Then, upload your solution to have a mentor look it over, make comments, and show you new ideas and techniques to accelerate your learning.

Every challenge on Exercism is designed to be fun and interesting, some tricky (and some even a little weird, according to them). But all are aimed at teaching you a new skill that you can take with you.

Comfortable with a programming language and want to help others? Become a mentor. Because mentorship is teaching (and teaching is a proven way to learn), you’ll not only help others learn, but further your learning, too. Plus, it’ll get you prepped for your own code review interviews.

Price: Free

Difficulty level: Beginner to intermediate

Languages: C++, C#, Go, Groovy, Java, JavaScript, Kotlin, Objective-C, Perl, PHP, Python, R, Ruby, Rust, Scala, Swift and more

Source: BryceYoung.me

freeCodeCamp

freeCodeCamp provides thousands of lessons, articles and videos that teach even the greenest of programmers fundamental software development skills and concepts. Along with tutorials, freeCodeCamp offers interactive challenges and the chance to earn certifications, from responsive web design to information security.

To better prepare you for coding interviews, you also have access to hundreds of algorithm and data structure challenges as well as dozens of projects (for example, building a tic-tac-toe game or voting app) for real-world practice.

Price: Free

Difficulty level: Beginner to intermediate

Languages: CSS, HTML, JavaScript, Node.js, Sass

Source: freeCodeCamp

HackerEarth

More than 2.5 million developers sharpen their coding chops at HackerEarth—and over 1,000 employers use it to hire tech talent. In addition to programming tutorials and practice problems, HackerEarth hosts competitive challenges, Hackathons and hiring challenges throughout the year. Its discussion section gives you a way to discuss problems and collab with other coders for the best solutions.

So aside from a sense of personal achievement, what else might your code get you? If you’re a top challenge winner: cash prizes and the opportunity to land a new role. Before you sign up for hiring challenges, you’ll see company and role information, like location and requirements, plus challenge guidelines to give you a good idea of what to expect.

Price: Free

Difficulty level: Beginner to intermediate

Languages: C, C++, C#, Go, Groovy, Java, JavaScript, Kotlin, Lua, Objective-C, Perl, PHP, Python, R, Ruby, Rust, Scala, Swift and more

Companies that hire from HackerEarth: Adobe, Amazon, IBM, Intuit, Pearson, Target, ThoughtWorks and more

HackerRank

When you join HackerRank, you become part of one of the strongest online developer communities. It’s grown to be one of the most popular coding challenge websites where over five million developers solve problems in computer science topics like functional programming, algorithms and machine learning.

Even more than picking up new languages and skills, solving challenges helps you earn points to climb the HackerRank leaderboard. When you climb higher, you make yourself more visible to companies hiring for developers. Plus, most challenges come with an editorial or solution, so you can continually improve your approach and speed.

Preparing for a technical interview? Because many companies use HackerRank to test candidates, software developers oftentimes specifically turn to HackerRank to brush up on their skills.

Price: Free

Difficulty level: Beginner to advanced

Languages: Bash, C, C++, C#, Go, Groovy, Java, JavaScript, Kotlin, Objective-C, Pascal, Perl, PHP, Python, R, Ruby, Rust, Scala, SQL, Swift, VB.NET and more

Companies that hire from HackerRank: Adobe, Atlassian, Capital One, Cisco, Dropbox, Expedia, Goldman Sachs, Peloton, Red Hat, Stripe, Thumbtack, VMware and more

Source: HackerRank

LeetCode

LeetCode’s algorithm and data structure challenges are designed to help you succeed at both technical interviews and in your career. It offers over 1,200 practice questions along with mock interview sessions with questions specific to a number of leading tech companies.

You can also join LeetCode’s weekly contests to hone your skills and climb the ranks for the potential to earn cash prizes and gain recognition by employers (and your fellow coders).

Price: Free version with paid subscription for more access ($35/month or $159/year)

Difficulty level: Intermediate to advanced

Languages: Bash, C, C++, C#, Go, Java, JavaScript, Kotlin, MySQL, PHP, Python, Ruby, Rust, Scala, Swift

Companies that hire from LeetCode: Amazon, Apple, Bank of America, Cisco, Facebook, Intel, Leap Motion, Pinterest and more

Source: LeetCode

TopCoder

TopCoder is arguably one of the best challenge websites for competitive coding (and one of the first of its kind), connecting businesses with the solutions produced by its users. This is where you’ll find some of the world’s top talent competing for cash in daily, weekly and monthly coding challenges—and earning hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

Though known as a competitive coding site (where some make a full-time living from earnings alone), contests aren’t the only way to get coding practice. TopCoder provides a list of previous algorithmic challenges for you to complete solo in their code editor.

Price: Free

Difficulty level: Intermediate to advanced

Languages: C++, C#, Java, VB.NET

Companies that hire from Topcoder: Brooks Automation, Citigroup, Cryptic Studios, Microsoft, Nvidia, PayPal, Verizon, Yahoo! and more

Source: Simple Programmer


Code more and show off your skills: From learning a new language to socializing with other coders to getting hired, coding practice is one of the fastest ways to accelerate your tech career.

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