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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Is Coding the new Latin?

When New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, announced in 2011 that learning to program a computer was one of his new year resolutions for 2012, people started wondering if Coding is the new Latin.

Is it really important to learn to code, even though you don't intend to pursuit a career in computer programming?

Some people agree, while others think that it's just a hype. I somewhat tend to agree with the former group. Even though learning to code might not help you directly in your career, it will improve how you think about problems and make you a better computer user, if nothing else.

Whether you agree or not, it's true that some of the most influential (and rich) people in the recent history had something to do with software development. Below is a video prepared by code.org which features Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and several others. The theme is "Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn to code."

With the advent of Web 2.0, interactive e-learning has become fun and immersive. The best part is being able to learn programming right from within your web browsers! Below is a quick round-up of extra ordinary resources for learning and polishing your programming skills.

The criteria used here is that only sites with free courses, which are either interactive or provide an instructor lead sessions are included.

Introduction to Programming

Code Academy: This is perhaps the most famous of "learn to code" web sites. The main page of this web site starts interactively, and before you know it, you start programming! This is a good resources for coding in general but more importantly, there are several "track" courses such as those for learning JQuery, JavaScript, PHP, Python and Ruby. The non-track courses cover a diverse set of topics such as CSS Selectors and Evernote API.

Code Academy is a nice resource if you already know programming and would like to teach others!

Code School: Code School is really meant for people who already know the basics of programming and want to take the next step by building expertise in web technologies. There are courses available on Git, Backbone.js, SASS, Rails, JQuery and several others.

Learn Street: Like Code School, Learn Street also focuses on JavaScript, Python and Ruby.

Improving your programming skills

Code Learn: If you have done web development in the past, you would know that Ruby on Rails is getting popularity day by day. The aim of Code Learn is to teach you Ruby on Rails.

AppShed: With smart phones, "mobile application development" has made a number of people rich. The aim of AppShed is to teach you mobile application development.

Learn X in Y minutes: This is a community driven site, which provides an extremely quick overview of different programming languages. This could be very useful to get a quick grasp of common construct in a new language.