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).
If you want to go pro and become a full-time developer, an intensive and in-person coding bootcamp might help you out, particularly if you learn best in a structured environment with real people to motivate you. However, these types of bootcamps are often the most expensive and time-intensive to attend: You’re looking at upwards of $15,000 for just the tuition, plus living expenses for a few months until you graduate.
A lot of people type with two fingers, and thus type around 10 - 15 words per minute. After completion of this course you should be able to type at least 45 words per minute, and even faster if you type often. If you at your job type nine hours a week you will be able to save the six out of these nine hours provided you triple your typing speed. That will be nearly 300 hours saved a year or seven weeks extra holy days a year. If you have 30 years left before you go on pension the course will save you about 230 weeks work. Are you self employed you will be able to stop working four years early. Or, if you could convert your increased typing speed into a pay raise, you could get four years extra payment before retirement. Learning how to touch type is probably one of the best educations you could invest in. And it won't cost you any money. You can here: calculate your own personal benefit from improving your typing speed. How ever it works out for you, you have probably never met a person who regretted spending some time improving his or her typing speed.
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.
It does not matter how fast you type if you have to go back and fix all your mistakes. Fixing mistakes takes more time than it does to just slow down and take the time you need to type accurately. Fast typing depends on developing precision muscle memory. Allowing yourself to type incorrectly will actually reinforce your bad habits and common mistakes! Slow your typing pace until you can attain 100% accuracy. If you come across a difficult word, slow down further to type it properly. Develop good habits and speed will be your reward.
Start small, but think big. Your project should involve skills you currently have in your toolbox, but you should also have a plan for future features and skills you’d need to turn that vision into reality. Without applying your coding skills in a few projects, you wouldn’t even be considered for professional coding gigs—so start planning and practicing. (Our advice? Use your coding chops to build an amazing setup for game night.)
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?
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.
This free online typing tutor was designed to help you learn to type as fast and easy as possible. Try a few lessons a day and you'll start to notice your fingers naturally move to the right keys. Even if it seems at times that you are making no improvement, keep on working at it and you will learn to type without looking! Remember to take breaks often though - its good for the body and for the learning!
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EdX is another leading online-learning platform that is open source instead of for-profit. It was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, so you know that you’ll learn about cutting-edge technologies and theories. Today, edX includes 53 schools. You probably can’t go wrong with the free Introduction to Computer Science from Harvard University.
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