A few have asked so thought I would put this in one place.  In a nutshell I would say there are so many free resources (610 listed there), I would exhaust some of the free or low cost resources before paying a university or bootcamp.  Also, I would recommend a few easy side projects to learn with.  A resume-like portfolio page.  Maybe a blog using a popular open source CMS like WordPress or Drupal.  Maybe a data project from Kaggle data competition.  Just build stuff.

Another tidbit is to help people understand different “stacks”.  For a long time LAMP or Linux Apache MySQL and PHP was the big stack.  Pretty much every website was built on that stack.  Lately there has been a migration to JavaScript.  But to explain the stack, you are going to need 1) a database / backend like some SQL / structured variant (MySQL, Microsoft SQL, Oracle, etc) or NoSQL / unstructured (Mongo) 2) a hosting environment that may also handle routing and 3) a scripting language like PHP, JavaScript, Python, or Ruby.  Now many scripting languages have “frameworks”.  For JavaScript the popular ones are Angular (a Google project), React (a Facebook project), or Vue.  Django is popular for Python and Rails is popular for Ruby.  So when people say they are building on the MEAN stack they mean Mongo (database), Express (routing), Angular (JS framework), and Node (hosting environment).

freeCodeCamp

The best advice I could give is start here.  Most coding bootcamps and universities are going to be $10k or more.  If you follow freeCodeCamp on Twitter or their weekly email, you hear about people getting jobs after finishing their course.  They have 7 modules that all have easy exercises and more difficult final projects that you can put on your resume.  They have a huge community, probably one of the largest.

edX

Many top tier universities like Baylor and Harvard have some great courses on edX and you can get credit or certifications from most of them for $100 or so.  CS50 is a really, really great program that lets you sit in on Harvard’s most popular intro to Computer Science course.  They have a cool teaser video here.  Very hard, but who wouldn’t look like a Ninja with a Harvard class credit?

YouTube Videos

Seriously, there are so, so, so many free tutorials.  Pick fun projects that interest you.  A Python script that gets you followers.  A data crunching project to help you compete on Kaggle.  Your own personal website.  A movie review site.  Whatever.  Here are some YouTube projects or channels:

  • Traversy Media – also has several courses on Udemy and you can dip your toes in on most of those for free on YouTube.
  • freeCodeCamp – 1.7 million subscribers and over 1k videos.  Nuff said.
  • Mosh – I like Traversy better, but many people like Mosh better.  But both doing the same thing.

Companies that have free courses

  • Google – you can get certified for pretty much any Google product for free.
  • Mongo – same as Google, company with free course and certification.
  • Salesforce Trailhead – same as Mongo, company with free courses and certification from the #1 sales CRM (customer relationship management) tool
  • Hubspot – another CRM with a free course and certification

 

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Jason Bunnell

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