No matter how many certificates and coding workshops you complete, or how many programming languages you learn, the proof of your coding skills will be in your programming project. While your personal project doesn’t have to be as ambitious as creating the next Google Maps, it should be something you’d want to work on 24/7 to constantly improve and expand its scope.
On the other hand, if you’re a mid-career professional looking to transition into a tech career, a short-term coding bootcamp might make more sense than going into debt for a second degree. If all you want to do is build websites or push your Raspberry Pi to its limits, a combination of interactive tutorials and free online courses might be enough to get you going.
Take a few minutes (or a day) to think about the reasons—the real reasons—why you want to learn a programming language. Be honest with yourself. Are you trying to learn the barest minimum to score a promotion? Are you looking to make a big career change? Do you want to create the next greatest app? Thrill your roommates by programming your various smart devices to do something awesome?
I can’t recommend Harvard’s CS50x Introduction to Computer Science enough. You can audit the course for free via edX and earn a certificate by completing all the assignments, or you can go at your own pace and watch all the lectures posted on Youtube. You can build your own DIY college-level computer science program with this selection of fifteen online courses (many of which are also listed in our Lifehacker U series).
My name is Jamie Spencer and I have spent the past 5 years building money making blogs. After growing tired of the 9-5, commuting and never seeing my family I decided that I wanted to make some changes and launched my first blog. Since then I have launched lots of successful niche blogs and after selling my survivalist blog I decided to teach other people how to do the same.
Luckily, institutions like the Flatiron School and The Grace Hopper Program offer scholarships or deferred tuition to make these bootcamps more affordable for under-represented groups like minorities and women in tech. Check out Course Report for a comprehensive breakdown of the many online and in-person bootcamps—including detailed reviews from their alums, which can help you decide whether a bootcamp is going to help you achieve your programming dreams.
You need to be patient with yourself; don’t expect to code the next Fortnite after just a few months of study or a few bootcamps. Coding an error-free wedding RSVP form on a website, or making a simple-yet-correct number prediction game, is already a significant achievement for a beginner. If you get stuck, don’t give up. You should absolutely look for help everywhere you can find it, but also know when to take a break to avoid burnout. And then try, try again.
As a self-taught programmer, you might also benefit from books that offer broader advice on the profession. You’ll improve your thinking and habits, traits you can apply to any language you decide to learn. Steve McConnell’s 900-page Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (2nd Edition) is considered the definitive guide for best practices, with data-backed advice on everything from project design to debugging code.
The free typing lessons supply the complete "How to type" package. Animated keyboard layout and the typing tutor graphic hands are used to correct mis-typing by showing the right way to type for your learning and practice experience. Lessons' difficulty gradually raises as it starts from only 2 characters and ends with the entire keyboard. When the lesson ends, you can learn a lot from the practice trends: WPM, accuracy and errors distribution.
Luckily, institutions like the Flatiron School and The Grace Hopper Program offer scholarships or deferred tuition to make these bootcamps more affordable for under-represented groups like minorities and women in tech. Check out Course Report for a comprehensive breakdown of the many online and in-person bootcamps—including detailed reviews from their alums, which can help you decide whether a bootcamp is going to help you achieve your programming dreams.
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