Progate: learn to program online for free

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 12, 2017
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Development, Misc

Progate is a -- currently free- web service that teaches you various programming, scripting and other computer related skills.

The service was established in 2014 in Tokyo, Japan, and has been made available in English in October 2017.

You need to sign up for an account to start using the service, but the email that you enter is not verified right now, and there are not any costs as well.

Progate displays the available courses on its front page. You can learn HTML & CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Ruby, Ruby on Rails 5, PHP, Java, Python, the command line (Linux, Unix), or Git right now.

Some courses consist of a single lesson, while others of multiple lessons. The Command Line lesson takes a bit longer than an hour for instance to complete, while you will spend more than 10 hours going through the Java course.

You can check out details of each lesson before you start a course, and can start multiple courses if you want.

The lessons are made up of slides that you go through one by one. Some explain concepts while others ask you to practice what you have learned previously.

The screenshot at the top shows the first command that you learn when you start the Command course. It highlights how the touch command works to create new files, and visualizes this nicely.

The next slide opens a work environment where you are asked to run that command.  You get instructions on the left, a terminal emulation window in the middle, and file structure information on the right.

learn programming progate

Changes that you make are reflected in the file structure pane, and you can also run other commands in a test.

An option to see the answer, reset the interface, and to "judge" what you have done are provided.

The overall structure of the web interface is quite good. Progate highlights commands or information on slides by explaining them with text and visually. You can go back to these informational slides whenever you need to refresh your memory or look something up.

The whole system using gamifcation elements. You get experience points when you complete practice sessions for instance, and level up once you reach a sufficient number of them.

Progress is saved automatically, and you can return to courses and lessons at a later point in time to continue where you stopped the last time.

Closing Words

Progate teaches you several scripting and programming languages and skills. The courses are easy to follow, and since it all happens online, easier to start than most other courses that require you to set up a programming environment to get started.

Naturally, you will have to do that eventually, but if you just want to learn a new skill right away, this is excellent for that.

The instructions are clear, and the visual aid that is provided is helpful in understanding each concept. (via Genbeta)

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  1. Khyathi said on April 16, 2021 at 9:57 am

    i dont find it for free …asking me to upgrade for a plan…. can u please look into this …
    would be really helpful if I get it.

  2. asdf said on November 12, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks, Martin!

    1. BM said on November 13, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks Martin! Will be great for my kid.

  3. Rook said on November 12, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    How does this compare to CodeCademy?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 12, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      I have not tried CodeAcademy; they seem to offer more courses, but I cannot say anything about the differences. Anyone here who tried both already?

      1. Rick said on November 13, 2017 at 5:18 pm

        I have given Progate a spin and find it unusable for two reasons:
        • the primary reason is that the site is painfully slow; moving from one exercise to another takes nearly 20 seconds
        • a mistake in the exercise never clears; what I mean by this is that say you forget to add a “;” at the end of a javascript line and hit “test answer”, you will get an error. If you however, fix the error, as prompted, and then “test” again, the error remains. You either have to clear the question and restart that portion of the tutorial, or click “see answer” to move to the next exercise.

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on November 13, 2017 at 5:48 pm

        It was a bit slow on my end as well, maybe a second or two. Noticeable but not really
        problematic. I can see how 20 seconds or more make this unusable.

        I did not run into the second issue that you describe either. Judge worked fine even when I had an error previously that I corrected.

        What happened when you click on reset? This should reset the entire exercise.

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