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The next stage of my journey…

Posted on May 30, 2013

Picking up from my last blog post, you’re probably wondering where is the best place to start when it comes to learning programming. I guess the answer to that, like most things in life is subjective, what works for one person may not work for another. That said, having tried a number of the (mostly free) resources available online today, I found to be the best starting point.

The completely online, in-browser setup offered by Codecademy frees you from the unnecessary distraction of IDE’s (integrated development environment), compilers and obscure debug messages which just serve as a hindrance at this stage (don’t worry if you don’t know what these terms mean you will soon enough). I gradually worked my way through the range of Codecademy courses in-between my day job and personal routine. Occasionally it can be hard to find the time but the reward is worth it.  I started with the Javascript course, and eventually worked my way through the jQuery, HTML, CSS, Python and API courses. I was hooked.  Some of the courses are particularly challenging, the API courses can be a tough but otherwise the pace was just right and the badges serve to keep you engaged.  This is warm, fuzzy enjoyable coding with examples that relate to dogs and cats or penguins, a perfect introduction and great way to challenge yourself with the support of a great community.

You can check out my Codecademy profile by clicking here.

Great what next?

Once I’d completed the courses at Codecademy I moved onto the free resources offered by Apple in the form of their iTunes U Stanford University material. I’d known all along that I didn’t want to be a one trick pony, I never wanted to ‘only’ learn Objective-C and never really understand what goes on behind the scenes or never really understand the way in which the computer interprets the code. I could have dived straight into the iOS programming course offered by Stanford at that time however sticking with my original approach I opted to take the entry level Programming Methodology course (CS106A).

In my next post I’ll talk more about the courses offered by Stanford and my experiences.