Learn to code for free

I wanted to take a quick break on the progress of the site to quickly discuss learning to code. After spending a lot of money going to school, on both an undergraduate and a masters degree, I have decided that I never want to pay to learn again. With the amount of resources freely available online, for many things, in particular coding, you don’t have to.

After picking up SQL working at web startups I decided I should take the plunge and actually learn to code. I started with CodeAcademy and Zed A. Shaw’s LearnCodeTheHardWay. CodeAcademy allows you to practice your coding skills directly on their sight while LCTHW gets you to go through the necessary pains of coding through the command line. I actually went back and forth between the two because sometimes seeing the same thing explained different ways gave me a better understanding. Each site allows you to choose from various languages, deciding on the right one should be made using some careful research as to what you intend on doing with your coding skills. I chose to learn Python over other languages like Ruby because of its application to statistical packages and because of it’s reputation for being an easier scripting language to pick up.

For a framework I made the natural choice of Django since I studied Python. I think it is worth mentioning again Mike Hibbert’s video series available here, which I highly recommend.

If you find that you aren’t getting ahead as fast as you would like there are a number of great coding schools popping up that have hands-on classes lasting a few weeks. In Toronto there’s Hackeryou and the soon to be launched BrainStation.

Ultimately, with the amount of information freely available on the internet, you can learn just about anything. I’ve even learned to become a semi-competent guitar player without ever paying for a single lesson!

Day: 5    Budget: $?    Spend:$0    Total Amount Spent Learning to Code: $0 (I did have to buy a computer but I’m not going to count that)

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