25 March 2014

Learn To Code. Earn Nerd Cred. Rule The World.

Think programming is too difficult to learn? Maybe you think it's boring and won't benefit you? Or perhaps you don't want to learn how to code because you see it more as a "boy's club." Well, it's time to kick all these thoughts to the curb.

You like my super awesome graphic design skills there?

I didn't learn Spanish or French throughout high school, I was in computer classes learning HTML, CSS, and web design software and loved every minute of it. That isn't to say foreign languages aren't important to learn, but there seems to be less emphasis on programming languages in schools. It's still considered a skill that has very little purpose while many office jobs are now requiring simple HTML knowledge.

By the time I reached my senior year of high school, I was one of two of my high school's web masters. We were updating the website, checking for bugs, and switching the high school from paper to digital records. But then I was burnt out after graduating because I was managing an entire high school's website between myself and another student (who didn't pull his weight--THANKS OLIVER!). Only recently have I returned back by learning Python in my spare time. I forgot just how fun it can really be.

Learning to code provides countless opportunities...

  
...Than just working in IT dealing with complaints

One of the biggest excuses I hear from girl friends (and guy friends, too!) is that most coding is hard to learn or there's math involved. Totally legit concerns, but hear me out.
  • I'm terrible at math. Like, don't know my times tables and need a calculator for simple addition sometimes level of bad. Yes, higher level computer science is going to have math and copious amounts of it but there are other segments of tech where the math isn't so scary. Trust me.
  • Coding can be a lot of work, but if you like making things from nothing then it's going to be very rewarding. Think of it like a DIY crafting project. It's going to take some time to learn but it's also fun and you make something neat at the end of it!
  • There are several languages that are very easy to learn--HTML being a great start and it will have immediate real world skill building.
Which brings me to the actual point of this post. While you can certainly learn how to code through college, you can also do it for free online with amazing websites, which is what I'm doing right now with Python. Here are some of my favorite picks.

FREE ONLINE CODING COURSES

Codecademy
This is what I'm using right now to learn Python and brushing up on my HTML knowledge. This is an amazing website that is absolutely free to use. Codecademy sections off everything like a college course would do and teaches things in easy to learn chunks. They also gamify the learning process and provide a "sandbox" area where you can test out your new found skills while also connecting with fellow Codecademy students.

Khan Academy
The original! Khan Academy provides more than just free coding lessons, they are all about free education for everyone. So, while you're learning computer programming, you can also brush up on some of those math courses at the same time. ;)

ALISON.com
Another free education site, but I will admit this one can be hit or miss depending on the course you pick. Sometimes the courses will be very comprehensive and easy for a beginner to pick up on, while other 101 courses are better suited for those with previous coding knowledge. However, I'm still reccommending it as they have a crapton of free courses offered and let you track your progress.

Have you tried picking up computer programming or learning a programming language before? What has stopped you from giving it a try?


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8 comments:

  1. Thanks for this list of resources. I'm looking to brush up on my web coding skills this summer.

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  2. I've always wanted to learn a bit of code. I know nothing! Which one of the three would you recommend for the absolute noob?

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    1. Codecademy for sure! Their courses are really well laid out and they offer a lot of resources.

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  3. WHOA! Thanks for these resources Steph! I was always interested, never really groomed!

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  4. I studied some IT a couple years ago, so I some understanding about computers and coding, but not much. I understand a little HTML, enough to make my blog layout pretty etc. But that's pretty much it! I don't tell many people that I did IT because I don't want them to try and make me fix their computers :D PLUS when I learned it was with a PC and now I use a Mac :)
    I would love to learn a little bit more code... if only I had 1,000,000 hours extra in the day :P

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  5. I graduated with a degree in IT! I didn't focus much on HTML or python (I was pretty good with HTML, python for some reason wasn't something I could get used to). However, I did a lot of java. I wrote programs and games through a couple years of college. Although, advanced java programming made me cry, a lot. By the way, The IT Crowd is hilarious! I can relate to the show though my jobs over the years.

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    1. Awesome, I love Java! But yeah, it can be frustrating, lol. I'm going to be going back to school to finish my degree in database management and web security which is why I'm picking up Python--such a weird language!

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    2. Yeah, I definitely understand that! Awesome! I think web security is fascinating. I focused on networking and database management. I like how well python works when it does. But I've been told if you're better at Java, Python is confusing. Maybe they were just trying to make me feel better haha!

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