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Code Emulators

Stephen Chin on Flickr

Learning a programming language can take many forms. There are online classes, for example; you can learn a language through trial and error by creating a software application; or you can buy a book and work through examples.

Online programming language emulators are one way to learn a language and practice how to perform specific tasks. You can’t always create a full application. But you can noodle your way to a deeper understanding of a specific language by using an emulator alongside a course, book, or other resource. Search online for the terms emulator, editor, and compiler to find more.

What makes programming so interesting to me is the lifelong learning part. Programming is more an art than a finite science you learn from beginning to end. Instead, coders learn as much as they want or need. And there are so many ways you can learn how to code, and many languages to explore as well.

Years ago, I asked a senior developer which was better: to learn one language in-depth or many languages. His answer: many languages. The reason is that you begin to see common elements all languages

use and, thus, learn more about programming than you would with one language. So don’t be shy about playing with more languages than the one you’re using today.


The canonical website for the Python language includes an online emulator where you can practice using parts of the language.


The Mozilla Foundation manages development of the JavaScript language but there are several online emulators available.


Apple’s Swift language uses a Playground app instead of an online emulator.


The W3 Schools website includes an online emulator and editor: the Microsoft C# (C Sharp) language.


W3 Schools also includes an online emulator for Java and the language documentation can be found on the Oracle website. is one of several online services that provide emulators for many different programming languages. JDoodle is another option. And is a really interesting tool to explore.


Groovy is an object-oriented language similar to Python, but based on Java and maintained by the Apache Software Foundation.