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Top 12 Online Resources for Total Coding Beginners

Top 12 Online Resources for Total Coding Beginners

Learning a new skill can be overwhelming, to say the least. And with a complex and constantly evolving skill like coding, it can seem impossible to figure out where to begin. Thankfully, there are many high quality – and free! – online resources that are ideal for even the most novice programmer. Follow along for my list of top 10 online resources for beginners learning to code, tried and tested by our very own team of star developers.

Turtle Academy. This web-based tutorial teaches programming in a fun and very simple way by helping you write code through moving a turtle around the screen. Turtle Academy is a great way to introduce yourself to programming and get familiar with the basic paradigms.
Price: Free

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    Lego Mindstorms

    . Through “Learn to Program” on Lego’s website, you complete 25 “missions” with their free software. It’s a great introduction to some programming principles, and really quite fun. As they say on the website, “make your robot do exactly what you want it to do!” – whether that’s move, drive or respond to touch.
    Price: Free

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      Udacity. 

      Udacity gives you a huge online library of courses for all levels and all kinds of subjects. Click on “Intro to Computer Science” or “Developing Android Apps” – or any one in a big roster of classes to help you hone your skills and develop your training.
      Price: Free access to course materials, pricing structure for more

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        Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers.  This video game-style game is educational and fun, and works for all levels. Go from beginner to coder extraordinaire while also having fun. You’ll learn the ins and outs of JavaScript while also engaging in head-to-head robot wars on the battlefield. Only drawback? The app has been known to be a bit buggy, but recent updates seem to have resolved many of the lingering issues.
        Price: Free on iTunes, Free on Android

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          My Robot Friend. While this app for iPhone & iPad is much more geared towards kids, it’s still very informative and gets the basics across. Anyone can benefit from a number of games and puzzles that introduce you to programming and gradually build on those skills.
          Price: $3.99

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            Project Euler. While this website is geared towards those with a grasp of the basics, it’s a great place to keep learning and push yourself. Solve a series of mathematical and computer programming problems and grow your skills in the process.
            Price: Free

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              CodeCombat. Leading with the idea that the best way to learn is to do, CodeCombat gives you a fun and interactive way to learn how to program. It also introduces a multiplayer element, so there’s a built-in community as well as an edge of competition for head-to-head programming wars.
              Price: Free

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                L2Code CSS. A very beginner-friendly crash course in CSS that you can easily access and use on your mobile on the go, or sitting at a desk. This app is available on both iOS and Android and gives very clear lessons, examples and step-by-step instructions.
                Price: $4.99 on iOS and Android

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                  Codea .While Codea is only available on iPad and is on the more expensive end of things, it’s an excellent resource for those who are really willing to roll their sleeves up and dig in. The guidance is a bit limited – so be prepared to really pay attention and teach yourself at parts – but if you’re willing to push through, you’ll learn a lot. Bonus? You can export what you build and sell it on the App Store!
                  Price: $9.99 on iPad

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                    Cato’s Hike. This is a great app for those who learn visually. Program Cato’s movements around the map to make sure he can move and get out of different situations. While it’s definitely a bit more for the kids, this is a very thorough tutorial and you can learn a lot of fundamentals. Light and fun.
                    Price: $4.99 on iOS

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                      iPad and iPhone Application Development. This free course through iTunes gives you a series of audio podcasts that take you through what you need to know to develop on the iOS platform. Very thorough explanations, and a great course – used by some of our own iOS devs.
                      Price: Free

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                        W3Schools. W3Schools is a practical introduction to web development that anyone can follow. Full of examples, it covers how different things work together. While other programming tutorials can be abstract and vague on how to apply the things you learn, that is simply not the case with W3Schools.
                        Price: Free

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                          Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK. Bonus resource! While this is clearly not an online resource, sometimes there’s something to be said for being able to hold the resource in your hands and really make it your own. This is an easy to follow read that’s written in very friendly, beginner language. A fantastic resource for beginners to iPhone development!
                          Price: $8.33 on Amazon

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                            What resources have you been using as you learn to code? Let me know and keep me posted on how it goes with these resources in the comments!

                            Featured photo credit: Cindy J Grady via freerangestock.com

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                            Last Updated on October 16, 2019

                            11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                            11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                            Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

                            Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

                            Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

                            In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

                            1. ScheduleOnce

                              ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

                              ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

                              ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

                              Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

                              Available on Web

                              2. Calendly

                                Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

                                You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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                                Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

                                3. Assistant.to

                                  For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

                                  From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

                                  While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

                                  Available on Web

                                  4. Acuityscheduling

                                    Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

                                    It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

                                    Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                    5. Pick

                                      Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                                      At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                                      Available on Web

                                      6. X.ai

                                        For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                                        This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                                        Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                                        Available on Web

                                        7. YouCanBook.me

                                          is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                                          They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                                          Available on Web

                                          8. Doodle

                                            Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                                            It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                                            You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                                            While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                                            Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                            9. WhenAvailable

                                              WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                                              Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                                              Available on Web

                                              10. Rally

                                                Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                                                Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                                                Available on Web

                                                11. NeedtoMeet

                                                  Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                                                  NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                                                  While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                                                  Available on Web

                                                  Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                                                  In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                                                  To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                                                  Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                                                  A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                                                  Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                                                  If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                                                  Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                                                  With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                                                  The Bottom Line

                                                  Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                                                  Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                                                  Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                                                  Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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