I remember a time when programmers were considered geeks and were treated as social outcasts. Programming back then was a hobby most people carried out behind closed doors and in the basement of their parents’ house.
That time, fortunately, has passed. Programmers and geeks are the new rockstars of the digital age and everyone wants to learn programming to code up the best iPhone game ever. Unfortunately, though, most people have absolutely no clue on where to start learning the tricks of the trade. Programming is still a dark art and there are people willing to pay up good money to learn it.
But, this is the age of YouTube and the Internet. No one should be paying to learn what is common knowledge, right ?
Today, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite sites that you can visit to get your programming basics right.
1. MIT’s OpenCourseWare
Right from the horse’s mouth, as they say. OpenCourseWare is an MIT initiative to publish their lectures and class notes online and since this is practically the place where computer science took birth, you are learning from the best. Start with the Introductory courses and move on to the advanced courses as you gain more experience.
2. A Byte Of Python
Python is a very popular programming language around the Internet. While you don’t need to learn python to learn programming, it is an excellent language to learn the basics and which better place to start from than this free eBook that is also used as a reference material in many university courses. The eBook can be read online or you can take a printout and read it at your leisure.
3. Google’s Python Class
While not necessarily the best resource for learning Python, Google has an excellent resource for those with a little bit of programming knowledge to move up to Python. Google is a big python user and if it’s good for them, it’s good for you too.
4. Stanford’s iPhone Application Development Course
Granted that this is a little advanced for people who’re just starting learning to program but it’s an excellent resource and if you can run with it, iOS development is a handy skills to have these days. Who knows, MTE’s next iPhone app review might be an app developed by you! The link above contains just the PDF slides and assignments but iTunes’ U has the complete video lectures also available. Download them if you have the bandwidth.
5. How To Think Like A Computer Scientist
Another excellent resource to learn the basics of programming, again using Python as a resource.
6. Google University
Google university has a bunch of excellent tutorials on programming for Google’s APIs and services. These courses are slightly advanced and require prior programming knowledge, but if you’re going to program any of Google’s APIs, it’s an excellent resource to bookmark.
7. Coursera And Udacity
Coursera and Udacity are both startups trying to change the face of university education. Both offer a number of university grade courses including computer science ones, for free, over the Internet.
You might have noticed that a lot of the resources I’ve talked about have Python as the base language. That isn’t by chance. Python is one of those languages that are both simple to learn (and understand) and powerful to use. It’s no coincidence that instructors around the world prefer python as the main language to teach their courses, however advanced or basic they might be. Just understand what’s taught in the courses and learning any other language will come naturally to you once you’ve mastered the art of programming.
Bonus: Make Tech Easier
Yes, our very own MakeTechEasier. We have published articles to help you learn programming before and will continue to do so in the future. So keep an eye on and stay subscribed to the best computing resource on the planet.