I decided to write this article when I realized what a great step forward the modern computer science learning has done in the last 20 years. Think of it. My first “Hello, world” program was written in Sinclair BASIC in 1997 for КР1858ВМ1r
This dinosaur was the Soviet clone of the Zilog Z80 microprocessor and appeared on the Eastern Europe market in 1992-1994. I didn’t have any sources of information on how to program besides the old Soviet “Encyclopedia of Dr. Fortran”. And it was actually a graphic novel rather than a BASIC tutorial book. This piece explained to children how to sit next to a monitor and keep eyesight healthy as well as covered the general aspects of programming.
Frankly, it involved a great guesswork but I did manage to code. The first real tutorial book I took in my hands in the year of 2000 was “The C++ Programming Language” by Bjarne Stroustrup, the third edition. The book resembled a tombstone and probably was the most fundamental text for programmers I’d ever seen. Even now I believe it never gets old.
Nowadays, working with such technologies as Symfony or Django in the DDI Development software company I don’t usually apply to books because they become outdated before seeing a printing press. Everyone can learn much faster and put a lesser effort into finding new things.
The number of tutorials currently available brings the opposite struggle to what I encountered: you have to pick a suitable course out of the white noise. In order to save your time, I offer the 20 best tutorials services for developers. Some of them I personally use and some have gained much recognition among fellow technicians.
The best thing about Lynda is that it covers all the aspects of web development. The service currently has 1621 courses with more than 65 thousand videos coming with project materials by experts. Once you’ve bought a monthly subscription for a small $30 fee you get an unlimited access to all tutorials. The resource will help you grow regardless your expertise since it contains and classifies courses for all skill levels.
Another huge resource with 1372 courses currently available from developers for developers. It may be a hardcore decision to start with Pluralsight if you’re a beginner, but it’s a great platform to enhance skills if you already have some programming background. A month subscription costs the same $30 unless you want to receive downloadable exercise files and additional assessments. Then you’ll have to pay $50 per month.
This one is great to start with for beginners. Made in an interactive console format it leads you through basic steps to the understanding of major concepts and techniques. Choose the technology or language you like and start learning. Besides that, Codecademy lets you build websites, games, and apps within its environment, join the community and share your success. Yes, and it’s totally free! Probably the drawback here is that you’ll face challenges if you try to apply gained skills in the real world conditions.
Once you’ve done with Codecademy, look for something more complicated, for example, this. Codeschool offers middle and advanced courses for you to become an expert. You can immerse into learning going through 10 introductory sessions for free and then get a monthly subscription for $30 to watch all screencasts, courses, and solve tasks.
An all-embracing platform both for beginners and advanced learners. Treehouse has general development courses as well as real-life tasks such as creating an iOS game or making a photo app. Tasks are preceded by explicit video instructions that you follow when completing exercises in the provided workspace. The basic subscription plan costs $25 per month, and gives access to videos, code engine, and community. But if you want bonus content and videos from leaders in the industry, your pro plan will be $50 monthly.
You may know this one. The world famous online institution for all scientific fields, including computer science. Courses here are presented by instructors from Stanford, Michigan, Princeton, and other universities around the world. Each course consists of lectures, quizzes, assignments, and final exams. So intensive and solid education guaranteed. By the end of a course, you receive a verified certificate which may be an extra reason for employers. Coursera has both free and pre-pay courses available.
Even though I’m pretty skeptical about books, these ones are worth trying if you seek basics. The project started as a book for Python learning and later on expanded to cover Ruby, SQL, C, and Regex. For $30 you get a book and video materials for each course. The great thing about LCodeTHW is its focus on practice. Theory is good, but practical skills are even better.
A great platform with a somewhat unique approach to learning. You don’t only follow courses completing projects, but you do this by means of the provided API right in the browser and you can embed outcome apps in your blog to share with friends. Another attractive thing is that you can participate in Programmr contests and even win some money by creating robust products. Well, it’s time to learn and play.
An e-commerse website which sells knowledge. Everyone can create a course and even earn money on it. That might raise some doubts about the quality, but since there is a lot of competition and feedback for each course a common learner will inevitably find a useful training. There are tens of thousands of courses currently available, and once you’ve bought a course you get an indefinite access to all its materials. Udemy prices vary from $30 to $100 for each course, and some training is free.
Have you completed the beginner courses yet? It’s time to promote your software engineer’s career by learning something more specific and complex: test-driven development in Ruby on Rails, code refactoring, testing, etc. For $30 per month you get access to the community, video tutorials, coding exercises, and materials on the Git repository.
A Harvard and MIT program for free online education. Currently, it has 111 computer science and related courses scheduled. You can enroll for free and follow the training led by Microsoft developers, MIT professors, and other experts in the field. Course materials, virtual labs, and certificates are included. Although you don’t have to pay for learning, it will cost $50 for you to receive a verified certificate to add to your CV.
Let’s get more specific here. Surprisingly enough SecurityTube contains numerous pieces of training regarding IT security. Do you need penetration test for your resource? It’s the best place for you to capture some clues or even learn hacking tricks. Unfortunately, many of presented cases are outdated in terms of modern security techniques. Before you start, bother yourself with checking how up-to-date a training is. A lot of videos are free, but you can buy a premium course access for $40.
Learn Ruby as you would attain Zen. Ruby Koans is a path through tasks. Each task is a Ruby feature with missing element. You have to fill in the missing part in order to move to the next Koan. The philosophy behind implies that you don’t have a tutor showing what to do, but it’s you who attains the language, its features, and syntax by thinking about it.
For those who seek a personal approach. Bloc covers iOS, Android, UI/UX, Ruby on Rails, frontend or full stack development courses. It makes the difference because you basically choose and hire the expert who is going to be your exclusive mentor. 1-on-1 education will be adapted to your comfortable schedule, during that time you’ll build several applications within the test-driven methodology, learn developers’ tools and techniques.
Your tutor will also help you showcase the outcome works for employers and train you to pass a job interview. The whole course will cost $5000 or you can pay $1333 as an enrollment fee and $833 per month unless you decide to take a full stack development course. This one costs $9500.
A set of courses for dedicated learners. Udacity has introductory as well as specific courses to complete. What is great about it and in the same time controversial is that you watch tutorials, complete assignments, get professional reviews, and enhance skills aligning it to your own schedule. A monthly fee is $200, but Udacity will refund half of the payments if you manage to complete a course within 12 months. Courses are prepared by the leading companies in the industry: Google, Facebook, MongoDB, At&T, and others.
It’s diverse and free. Khan Academy provides a powerful environment for learning and coding simultaneously, even though it’s not specified for development learning only. Built-in coding engine lets you create projects within the platform, you watch video tutorials and elaborate challenging tasks. There is also the special set of materials for teachers.
Learning for the little ones. Scratch is another great foundation by MIT created for children from 8 to 15. It won’t probably make your children expert developers, but it will certainly introduce the breathtaking world of computer science to them. This free to use platform has a powerful yet simple engine for making animated movies and games. If you want your child to become an engineer, Scratch will help to grasp the basic idea. Isn’t it inspirational to see your efforts turning into reality?
According to my experience, you shouldn’t take more than three courses at a time if you combine online training with some major activity because it’s going to be hard to concentrate. Anyway, I tried to pick different types of resources for you to have a choice and decide your own schedule as well as a subscription model.
What services do you usually apply to? Do you think online learning can compete with traditional university education yet? Please, share.