“A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.” - Emo Philips
Computer coding has been in demand for a while now. Back in 2014, more than half of parents thought learning programming was more important than foreign languages. Like other skills, learning to program from a young age can be hugely beneficial. However, teaching in the UK is hardly the envy of the world.
Perhaps your children aren’t ready to learn how to program as they don’t have the opportunities at school. If you want them to learn these skills, the best option is to turn to private tutoring.
In this article, we'll look at how to choose the right private programming tutor, what a typical programming class or tutorial is like, how much private programming tutoring will cost you, and the best websites for finding private programming or coding tutors.
How to Choose a Private Programming Tutor
Before you pick a private tutor and start learning how to code, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Like with any other private tutoring, there are certain things to consider:
- Set your learning objectives. You want to learn to code, but to what extent?
- To become a web developer.
- Create a website and master CSS, HTML, and MySQL for databases.
- Pass an IT or computer science exam.
- Complete a programming project.
- Learn more about your tutor before making your choice.
- Your tutor needs to have a higher level than you else you won’t progress. If you’re a beginner, you could always get help from a university student, but if you’ve got some experience with coding, you’ll want a more advanced tutor.
- What is their specialisation? Not all programmers are experts in every single programming language. Some specialise in Python while others focus on Java or app development.
- What is their teaching approach? By chatting with your potential tutor, you can learn about how they like to teach and whether it’d work for you or not.
- Did they make a good first impression?
- Would you like face-to-face tutorials or online tutoring? There are pros and cons to teaching. Online tutorials can take place under almost any circumstance (including a pandemic) so no matter where you are in the country, you can learn how to code.
- The cost of the tutorials: We’ll look more closely at the cost of private tutoring later, but you must consider it from when you first start looking for private tutors. You need to set aside a budget for the lessons that you can afford.
What Are Programming Tutorials Like?
It’s difficult to say what a typical tutorial is like as it will depend on the type of programming that you’re learning.
There’s one thing that most will have in common and it’s a focus on the practical side of things rather than the theoretical. Of course, you’ll learn some of the theory but programming is something that you learn by doing. However, you’ll probably spend less time studying theory than you expect. Practice makes perfect, after all.
Making mistakes and learning from them by fixing bugs in your code is a great way to learn how to program.
If there isn’t a personal project you want to complete, your tutor can suggest exercises for you to practise. They might ask you to look for a mistake in a line of code, for example.
At the end of the tutorial, you may be given homework to do before the next lesson. In this case, most lessons will start by correcting your homework. You can also use this time to ask any questions about the homework itself or any difficulties you encountered.
The tutor can also provide you with materials to study or work on in your free time.
How Much Do Private Programming Tutorials Cost?
To choose the right private programming tutor, you need to be aware of the cost and budget appropriately. The cost of the tutorials will vary according to certain criteria:
- The tutor’s experience and qualifications. A student tutoring on the side won’t charge as much as a university professor or an IT specialist with decades of experience. Similarly, if the tutor has qualifications from a prestigious university, they’re more likely to charge more than a counterpart who’s self-taught.
- The age of the tutor will also affect the price. Younger tutors tend to charge less than older tutors as they tend to have less experience and fewer outgoings.
- Your level. As a rule of thumb, the higher the student’s level, the higher the cost of the tutorials.
- Your goals. If you’re looking to change careers by starting from scratch, you’ll probably need an intensive course over several months. These will cost more than a weekly tutorial where you learn to code at a relaxed pace.
- The course content. This is where supply and demand come into it. If there are a lot of tutors offering Python, then the tutorials will probably be cheaper, for example.
- Your location. Places with a higher cost of living will have tutors that charge more.
- Face-to-face tutorials cost more than online tutorials as the tutor has to travel to their student and can’t teach as many classes a week due to the time spent travelling.
On Superprof, the average programming tutor in London charges £23 an hour. For more information, check out our other articles on programming tutors.
The Best Sites for Finding Private Coding Tutorials
Now that you know what to look for and to think about, you can start searching for private programming tutors online. Here are some of the best sites for finding tutors:
- Superprof: There are thousands of tutors all over the UK and around the world who can help you learn more about coding or computer programming. You can view each tutor’s profile, see how they like to work, read reviews left by their other students, and get a better idea of who they are and whether they’re right for you. The tutors are free to set their prices, but they’ll generally follow the criteria we outlined previously. Students are required to pay £29 to contact as many tutors as they like during 30 days. This monthly subscription can be cancelled at any time and will run until the end of the current 30-day period.
- Sherpa: This is another website offering one-to-one private tutoring.
- Tutor Hunt: This is another platform that allows you to search for in-person and online private tutoring.
- MyTutor: MyTutor selects its tutors and uses a pay-as-you-go model.
- Tutorful: This platform offers both face-to-face and online tutoring and what they dub a “pay as you learn” model. Generally, with these models, the tutors give a percentage of their earnings back to the platform, which means they may be charging more than they want to.
There are a few more platforms and places to find tutors than just these examples, though. Have a look around the web to find the very best possible tutor.
You could always learn to code in a class or one of the many university courses out there, but coding can be complicated and sometimes students can benefit a lot from a teaching method that's tailored for them. Private lessons, be them in-person or online, are between just the tutor and the student, ensuring that every minute is spent focusing on the student, the skills they want to learn, and the way they want to learn them.
No matter what type of coding skills you want to learn, you can find classes with private tutors on Superprof. If you're new to programming or software development, have a look for the tutors that offer the first lesson for free. This is a good way to test out a few different tutors and see whose classes and methods are right for you.
Make a list of what you're looking for in your classes and use this to help you find the right tutors. For example, if you want to learn a specific programming language like Java, you'll want to make sure that any tutors that you search for are experts in it.