I like the Udacity intro to computer science/Python class, but if you want something fairly simple (with badges!) Codecademy is a good place to go.
What some may like compared to Udacity, etc, (or may not like) is that Codecademy is all text-based. No issues with flash for them, no sirree. The coding lessons are carved up into bite-sized pieces.
The Hard Way Is Easier
I learned how to program this way, by the way, back in the early 1980s, when it was considered an accomplishment just to be able to run an executable from the command line.
The last two bits are really important, and I will say that one of the shortcomings of many of the approaches to teaching coding is trying to make it fun. It can be fun… if you're the type of person who can handle meticulous detail. I was this type of person at age 9. If you don't want to deal with that sort of detail, then for crying out loud, find somebody else to do that bit for you. I suck at cooking, and I outsource that to my husband. I also outsource pest control to him.
But let us suppose you do like this detail stuff, one great way to test out your coding chops is Project Euler. It's a bunch of mostly-math problems that you are to write code to solve. Most answers are whole numbers. Some of the problems are classic, and others are just good at checking whether you know how to optimize code.
The earliest problems (and the ones that have the most people who have solved) are good just to test that you know how to use the language of interest – can you process files? Do loops? Deal with boolean functions? Others require some mathematical sophistication.
All 12 Days:
- The Gift of Tongues - free foreign language instruction online
- Learn Lots about History with Bob - long-running podcast on history
- Learn with Udacity - free online college classes, mainly in comp sci
- KHAAAAAAAAAN - free math videos and exercises at Khan Academy
- MIT education for free - online, of course
- Lectures on CD/DVD - with a few of my favorite instructors and courses (not free, but available at many libraries)
- YouTube - not just good for cute cat videos
- Helping those who can't read - cheap audiobook resources for those who need the help, and great volunteer opportunity for those who can help
- Free audiobooks for all! - public domain works easily downloaded
- More free college courses - online, with loads of subjects covered
- Learn to code - online, for free, in a fun way
- The Museum of Math! Woot! (I still need to go in person – maybe later this month)