The safest place to swim is behind the shark. And with robots and AI predicted to steal all the jobs in the next few decades, you might want to take up a vocation that couldn’t be performed by R2-D2. If so, coding is a hell of a good skill to pick up.
Even if the robot apocalypse is the last thing on your mind, more computer skills are always a good thing to have on your resume. Even learning a bit of HTML will make you an office tech guru in many people’s eyes.
If you don’t have time for a computer science degree and jacking into the Matrix is not an option, here are some ways for you to get a grounding in the easier programming languages. If this list leaves you wanting for more, we suggest you turn to the kindness of reddit.com/r/learnprogramming.
Codeacademy is a free website that offers a ton of courses that will teach you the basics of a number of web development languages from the simple, like HTML and CSS, to the more complex, such as Python and Ruby.
Each course has a sidebar with explanations and instructions as well as a preview screen next to the text editor so you can see the effect of everything you’re doing in real-time. Plus, your entries carry over into the next lesson, so the novelty of making every line of text a dirty word might wear off.
Codeacaedmy courses explain things in plain English with a minimum of technical mumbo-jumbo. So, if you’re less interested in knowing the intricate inner-workings of the wonders of technology and just want to figure out to change heading size in your blog, Codeacademy is for you.
If you’re serious about learning to code and have the time (and money) to spare, you might want to check out a coding bootcamp. These courses generally last a few weeks and condense years and years of computer know-how into a month or two.
Coding Bootcamps have exploded in the past couple of years so, on the bright side, you have tons of options. However, finding one that fits your skill level and needs might be difficult. To get started, we recommend checking out this guide from SwitchUp.
If you miss the old days where you learned everything you needed to know from the anthropomorphic cartoon creatures that populated your elementary school’s computers, there are a few websites out there that’ll trick you into learning stuff by playing a game.
Codingame, for instance, illustrates your progress by having your coding control various Flash-like games. It accommodates a ton of languages, ranging from Java to Python. If that seems too complex for you, you can try Code Combat, which is literally made for schoolchildren.
It is a fact universally acknowledged that if you ever wanted to learn anything about anything, there’s a glorious nerd somewhere out there who made a YouTube video on it. For instance, if you want to learn the absolute basics of learning to code in under 5 minutes, you can check out this video from CheersKevin, conveniently titled How to Learn to Code. Some good channels to check out are DevFactor which has series on Java and Ruby on Rails, Coder’s Guide has a great guide to HTML and CSS, and if you want to learn C++, well, here’s 47 videos on it. If you want a more comprehensive list of channels, you can find one here.
If you’re the learn-independently type and like to jump into things without hand-holding, then Coursera might be perfect for you. Coursera is a compendium of courses from some of the United States’s best universities including Stanford, John Hopkins, and Duke. Courses range from introductory “this is how to make a link” stuff all the way to data structures and algorithms and other serious science-y shit. And if you get tired of numbers and tags and such, Coursera also offers online courses in other subjects like business and the social sciences. There’s even some crazy ones like “Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World” from the University of Virginia. This stuff is all legit, so you could get some certificates for doing some courses…but you might also have to take an exam.
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