Oct9

Become A Self-Made Techie!

Become a coding genius in no time at all.

Higher education has historically only been available to those who could afford it. However, along with the internet came worldwide access to information; and recently some educational institutions have been taking things to the next level. Known by such names as open education and, more specifically, massive open online courses (MOOCs), learning is becoming a commodity available to anyone with an internet connection. Among these courses are also specialized learning opportunities for specific trades, including a vast array of “learn to code” courses that offer the self-made men and women of the future a virtual buffet of opportunities. Learning to become a computer programmer has never been easier, and in some cases can be done entirely for free.

It is incumbent upon almost anyone entering the workforce today to have some sort of technical knowledge, and if coding is a part of that knowledge base then all the more opportunities will be at one’s fingertips. The business world is no longer separate from the technology world; rather, tech has been woven into the DNA of business, so ingrained that the two can no longer exist without the other. With the advent of open online courses, there should be no reason that students of all ages make basic coding one of the pillars of their educational structure.

Below are a few of our favorite online learning mediums currently available:

Tynker

This is an online learning platform built for kids. The courses are self-paced and involve lots of engaging animation, so kids are sure to be entertained as well as learn the building blocks of how coding works. These courses can also be integrated into school curriculums to scale up the reach of their educational offerings. As of January 2016, Tinker was used in 5,000 schools by 30 million users worldwide.

code.org

If you’re looking to learn the very basics of coding – and we’re talking about the ABC’s here – then code.org’s Hour of Code is an excellent place to start. Hour of Code uses cartoons to teach how coding works, and it is so fun you don’t even realize you’re coding! To see the different cartoons available, go to https://code.org/learn.

edX

edX was founded by M.I.T. and Harvard and is the most impressive online platform for course offerings on the internet. Subject areas vary greatly, but one of the most popular is Introduction to Computer Science offered by HarvardX; what’s more, of Harvard’s on-campus courses, this was the largest class as of the autumn of 2015. According to the edX course page, the topics covered include “abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development.” By taking this course, you’ll get a greater overview of the computer science world overall, as well as some entry-level interactive coding experience.

Codecademy

According to their website, Codecademy has over 25 million users, making it one of the most popular (if not the most popular) coding sites available. Subscription is free and users can learn the basics, as well as more in-depth training modules, covering Java, JavaScript, SQL, HTML, CSS, and many more. This is a great first stop for a beginner who would like to test the waters, or an intermediate who would like to up their coding game.

CodeHS

This is another tool that educators can use to integrate coding into their curriculum, however it is not limited to high schoolers. Some of the information offered here is free and some is paid, although all of it is made easy to digest through the use of fun, interactive teaching modules.

Code School

For those coders looking to take an even deeper dive into Ruby, JavaScript, HTML/CSS, iOS, Python, Git, .NET, or SQL then Code School is the place for you. The coursework here is designed around a storyline, so learning feels more like playing a game than studying. With 2 million users, this is the stop for an intermediate coder’s educational top-up.

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