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How You Can Learn to Code Right Now for Free

How You Can Learn to Code Right Now for Free

Learning how to code is the new black, except that you can’t wear it. But it’s about the most fashionable thing you can do for your resume. If you learn to code it can be a step toward a higher income, a second career, or even a life-changing product. If you’re thinking you need to go back to college for a computer science degree, remember that some of the most famous programmers never got one. Look at Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. If you’re a writer, learn to code can so you can reposition yourself as a website designer or front-end developer. If you’re a nurse, learn to code so you can build a platform for nurses to network. If you’re a carpenter, you can build a website for your business.

It’s easier than ever to learn how to code. Coding can:

  1. Help you build something on a basic level in as little as 3 months
  2. Increase your income with new job opportunities
  3. Get you a freelance side-gig coding for others
  4. Build your online product to take over the world
  5. Help you meet new people and make “coder” friends
  6. Increase your self-confidence
  7. Enhance a blog or website you created
  8. Develop your cognitive and problem-solving abilities

Here are several free, self-paced platforms to get started:

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Codeacademy

Here, you can learn anything from HTML to Python. You have access to free courses via screencasts. Codeacademy also lets you build an interactive website or learn how to use APIs like YouTube and Box to create your own applications. There are some active forums for peer-to-peer help and some support. If you are self-disciplined, this is an excellent bet.

Udemy

Choose the right course and instructor, and you’ve hit the goldmine. Courses in web development, Swift, website building, and WordPress customization are popular, and many are free for a test run.

MOOCs

MOOCs stand for “massive open online course.” Anyone on the web can access them. Top universities like Stanford, Wellesley, and UPenn, as well as Udemy, Coursera, and Udacity offer courses in computer programming, data science, app development, and a variety of coding languages.

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Rails Guides

Rails Guides offers a complete, free course and instruction on how to use Ruby on Rails, the program that Shopify, Groupon, and AirBnb use to build their own sites. Follow each step of the Getting Started guide, block out several hours and get to work! It will show you how to install Rails and start a Rails application.

MIT Open Courseware

You can learn from one of the top institutions in the country. Most of the courses are older computer programming classes, but for the basics and a self-paced experience you can’t go wrong.

Mozilla Developer Network

The Mozilla Developer Network offers a load of coding tutorials to get you up and running fast. You can learn the basics of web development, like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more. Once you get the basics down, you’re pretty much ready to start learning some languages like PHP, Ruby, or Python.

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Codewars

If you need to “learn by doing” and feel like you’re working with others, take a look at Codewars. Codewars lets you strengthen and master languages like JavaScript, CoffeeScript, Ruby, Python, Clojure, and Haskellas as you build in a collaborative community. Codewars is a good next step after you’ve learned some basic programming, or as reinforcement to a language you are currently learning.

Ourcodeblog

Ourcodeblog has a wiki resource for “women of color who are learning to code, design, and program.” Check this out for easy, free access to MOOCs, videos, and guides to effectively plan your self-paced learning objectives, while saving you lots of time on research.

When you are learning how to code on your own, a mentor is invaluable. Attend meetups and meet other coders face-to-face for support. Don’t let finances get in the way. If you don’t have $12k for a coding school, a free course can very well be a powerful new beginning in your personal or career trajectory.

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Featured photo credit: hackNY.org via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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