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  1. #1
    Registered User Greencore's Avatar
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    Learning Computer Science/Programming

    Lots of people want to learn to code and program, but can't afford the means to do so through a 2-4 year program.

    What are some free methods (online, etc) of learning how to program and master it?

    Appreciate help from those who have self-taught or know some great resources.
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  2. #2
    do it for the lulz Rolling's Avatar
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    Udemy.

    I have a four year degree but not in CS. Took about one year of self teaching to get hired as a software web developer.

    Be warned, it can be a very challenging job. I still come home after work everyday and code for an hour trying to improve and learn as much as I can.

    It is worth it (to me) though, creating stuff and being intellectually challenged is very fulfilling. Programming is definitely a creative field.

    People say you need die hard passion to survive as a programmer, which I don't believe is true. But you definitely need to at least enjoy some aspect of it, whether that's the creative part, the solving business problems part, or always learning new stuff part, etc.

    If I didn't have to work would I code 40 hours a week? No, but since I do have to earn a wage, I am glad it's coding.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Stafor's Avatar
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    Youtube
    https://www.youtube.com/user/thenewboston

    comes to mind, but there are plenty of tutorials and playlists
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  4. #4
    Registered User DrinkingBull's Avatar
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    My biggest advice would be to work on an open source project. Go find one that interests you, fork it, set it up in a development environment, learn how to use it, and then start making changes or adding features. You can start by looking at their bug tracker and maybe trying to fix a few of those issues.

    This is gonna be as close to what you would be doing in a real job as an entry level dev. Best way to learn as an alternative to a cs degree.

    Courses are good, but eventually your gonna need to work on a large scale development project to really get your feet wet in the field.
    keep hustling cuz
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  5. #5
    Koala T Kay4Kool's Avatar
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    udemy, lynda, codeschool


    I taught myself

    Don't know if it's the chit company or the field but I really dislike it especially when upper management can't direct a company

    also scrum and agile are the worst methodologies when it comes to executing a software plan
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  6. #6
    Registered User kamil234's Avatar
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    udemy, codeacademy, youtube

    getting involved in codeing or tech related forums

    IMO: best way, set out to do a project on your own and learn as you go from various online resources. Then once you complete it, you learned what you needed to learn and you have something to show on your portfolio / resume
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  7. #7
    Registered User SippinCrown's Avatar
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    If you want to learn programming the first language you should learn is Java. Stick with it, once you a get a good understanding, other languages will take a fraction of the time to learn.

    Also because I'm currently scouting for coop and in my area Im noticing a lot of positions requiring Java compared to any other language.


    Resources:
    http://mooc.fi/courses/2013/programming-part-1/
    http://mooc.fi/courses/2013/programming-part-2/

    ---

    That is all you need to get you going, I learned more from that website than I did in college Java classes. I've been resorting to that website for almost a year now whenever I want to refresh up on stuff. And its open source

    Good luck man, I hope you enjoy it, I love programming and especially with Java, best thing I've done in my life.
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  8. #8
    Registered User dashdash89's Avatar
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    You must first understand the Tao of Programming!

    http://www.mit.edu/~xela/tao.html
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  9. #9
    420 gsxtreme1987's Avatar
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    Noone should be paying to learn programming. Everything you need can be obtained for free 99.
    Learn syntax using Code academy for whatever language. Then use the language's documentation and create random things.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Charlie Murphy's Avatar
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    Udemy

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  11. #11
    Registered User tylerluxai's Avatar
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  12. #12
    Registered User TugOfPeace's Avatar
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    Honestly - if I spent 6 months doing a lot of programming and CS self study including things like big data, could I get a job?

    I am currently employed as an EE consultant for a fortune 100.
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  13. #13
    Registered User Charlie Murphy's Avatar
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    ^Big data as of right now at least is one area where a degree is still needed. Not saying it's impossible.

    Work as a programmer without a degree? Yeah, totally doable.
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  14. #14
    ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ theACEofSPADES's Avatar
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    I've actually been looking into trying to learn coding/programming myself. I could go to school but I hate it so I'm gonna try and teach myself. I hear it's a tough learning curve.

    I've talked to some coders and they say stay away from codeacademy, apparently it's a couple steps below beginner level. I bought the Head First Java book off Amazon so I think I'll try and start there
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  15. #15
    Registered User samfit7's Avatar
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    Codecademy is very basic level.Even if you complete all the exercises, you won't be learning that much. Try youtube, a channel name newboston is great for learning Java as I've personally completed the course.
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  16. #16
    Registered User SkinnyBreh's Avatar
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    Why Java, brahs? Currently started learning to code too, and Python was suggested to me.
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  17. #17
    Registered User raunchybrah's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SkinnyBreh View Post
    Why Java, brahs? Currently started learning to code too, and Python was suggested to me.
    Easier to start on Python imo, biggest challenge is learning to think logically and Python has easier syntax so less to worry about. Easy to pick up other languages after that.

    I'd say most colleges by now use Python in their intro courses, and Python is used quite a lot irl too, getting up there with Java in some areas. Python is also way easier if you just need to make a quick script to automate something.
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  18. #18
    No Huevos katya422's Avatar
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    Been looking at this too because I need to do something. Not sure if this is it, but dabbling ATM.

    FWIW I read a recommendation for JavaScript Road Trip on codeschool and codeavengers is also supposed to be better than codeacademy.

    Article said that the boot camps were focused more on Ruby but most have added or moved to Java due to demand from businesses.
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  19. #19
    Registered User TugOfPeace's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by raunchybrah View Post
    Easier to start on Python imo, biggest challenge is learning to think logically and Python has easier syntax so less to worry about. Easy to pick up other languages after that.

    I'd say most colleges by now use Python in their intro courses, and Python is used quite a lot irl too, getting up there with Java in some areas. Python is also way easier if you just need to make a quick script to automate something.
    I'm planning to learn python 40-50 hrs/week for 4 months then branch out for 2 months and start applying to jobs
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  20. #20
    Registered User TeamPoverty's Avatar
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    I've been learning python recently. Liking it quite a bit.

    I started off with youtube tutorials and now when I run into specific problems Ill just google for an answer or ask for help on reddit.

    One of the best tutorials I found was from a guy named Chuck Severance on youtube. His playlist for python tutorials on youtube is missing some videos iirc but you can find all the videos on his site here: py4e.com/lessons. He does a pretty good job explaining how things work.
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  21. #21
    Registered User just4kickz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SippinCrown View Post
    If you want to learn programming the first language you should learn is Java. Stick with it, once you a get a good understanding, other languages will take a fraction of the time to learn.

    Also because I'm currently scouting for coop and in my area Im noticing a lot of positions requiring Java compared to any other language.


    Resources:
    http://mooc.fi/courses/2013/programming-part-1/
    http://mooc.fi/courses/2013/programming-part-2/

    ---

    That is all you need to get you going, I learned more from that website than I did in college Java classes. I've been resorting to that website for almost a year now whenever I want to refresh up on stuff. And its open source

    Good luck man, I hope you enjoy it, I love programming and especially with Java, best thing I've done in my life.
    Highly recommend this website for Java. I also agree Java is a great language for beginners.
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  22. #22
    Registered User dashdash89's Avatar
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    I'm going to be perfectly honest, I don't know of any developer who is self-taught from e.g., code academy or similar online resources. Not saying that these are bad or a waste of time, but my recommendation would be to invest in reading and understanding the details of programming, not a brief intro to the basics. Python can be a great starting point, but it can also shield you from a lot of the intricacies -- if you're going to learn it, spend the time to understand what it's doing. The "Python Essential Reference" would be a good read.

    Some other reading that I would recommend:
    - "Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment" by W. Richard Stevens
    - "Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software" by Erich Gamma et al
    - "Programming Language Pragmatics" by Michael L Scott
    - "Computer Organization and Design" by David A Patterson

    The "Introduction to Algorithms" (Cormen) that I read in school is still recommended by Google iirc, however if you're looking for something more practical there's "The Algorithm Design Manual" (Skiena)
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  23. #23
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    Originally Posted by dashdash89 View Post
    I'm going to be perfectly honest, I don't know of any developer who is self-taught from e.g., code academy or similar online resources. Not saying that these are bad or a waste of time, but my recommendation would be to invest in reading and understanding the details of programming, not a brief intro to the basics. Python can be a great starting point, but it can also shield you from a lot of the intricacies -- if you're going to learn it, spend the time to understand what it's doing. The "Python Essential Reference" would be a good read.

    Some other reading that I would recommend:
    - "Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment" by W. Richard Stevens
    - "Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software" by Erich Gamma et al
    - "Programming Language Pragmatics" by Michael L Scott
    - "Computer Organization and Design" by David A Patterson

    The "Introduction to Algorithms" (Cormen) that I read in school is still recommended by Google iirc, however if you're looking for something more practical there's "The Algorithm Design Manual" (Skiena)
    Solid advice here.

    Those going the self taught route have a hard time ahead. How are you going to get an entry level position? How do you plan on breaking into the industry? It can be very hard to get your foot in the door without any sort of degree.
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  24. #24
    Registered User renegadin's Avatar
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    Learning Python first will probably be your best bet. It's in huge demand and its relatively easy to pick up on. I suggest the following reads:


    Learn Python the Hard Way

    Python for Informatics

    Effective Python: 59 Specific Ways to Write Better Python

    Python Essential Reference

    After diving into some books (make sure that you write out and execute example code, it helps you retain knowledge/understand more about how your code is working, especially when it doesn't work) try to build out some of your own projects.

    Something extremely simple that most people could handle after a few days of Python is creating an excel spreadsheet of your lifts/diet, pulling that CSV sheet into a Python project, and using the data to either graph progress or identify trends in your habits.

    Alternatively, if you're interested in more web-related topics, learn Python and then begin to experiment with Django or Flask.

    Some resources for learning Django:

    Two Scoops of Django (amazing book)

    Tango with Django (a bit dated but has excellent examples)

    That's all I've got to say for beginners. If you want some more specific advice more relevant to your goals, feel free to PM me or reply to this post with questions.

    Cheers.
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  25. #25
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    Originally Posted by BuildUpNow View Post
    Solid advice here.

    Those going the self taught route have a hard time ahead. How are you going to get an entry level position? How do you plan on breaking into the industry? It can be very hard to get your foot in the door without any sort of degree.
    Never went to college

    Self taught

    Make six figures

    You mad?
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    Originally Posted by dashdash89 View Post
    I'm going to be perfectly honest, I don't know of any developer who is self-taught from e.g., code academy or similar online resources. Not saying that these are bad or a waste of time, but my recommendation would be to invest in reading and understanding the details of programming, not a brief intro to the basics. Python can be a great starting point, but it can also shield you from a lot of the intricacies -- if you're going to learn it, spend the time to understand what it's doing. The "Python Essential Reference" would be a good read.

    Some other reading that I would recommend:
    - "Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment" by W. Richard Stevens
    - "Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software" by Erich Gamma et al
    - "Programming Language Pragmatics" by Michael L Scott
    - "Computer Organization and Design" by David A Patterson

    The "Introduction to Algorithms" (Cormen) that I read in school is still recommended by Google iirc, however if you're looking for something more practical there's "The Algorithm Design Manual" (Skiena)

    I have the bolded book, it's very good. Logged in just to x2 it, I've never seen anyone else read it
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    Originally Posted by Charlie Murphy View Post
    Never went to college

    Self taught

    Make six figures

    You mad?
    He's right, many CS grads from top schools are starting to have trouble finding entry level work. Can't imagine what it would be like without a degree.
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    Originally Posted by Charlie Murphy View Post
    Never went to college

    Self taught

    Make six figures

    You mad?
    Not at all but you're an exception. I wish everyone success here. They just need to be aware it's a tough road ahead going the self taught route. Share your experience here with others so they can perhaps follow your path.
    wait wut
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    Originally Posted by SaviorSelfJT View Post
    He's right, many CS grads from top schools are starting to have trouble finding entry level work. Can't imagine what it would be like without a degree.
    I'm self taught with a degree in geography. Noone ever asks for wht degree i have. Degrees have nothing to do with if you get a programming job or not.
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    If you are having trouble finding work whether you have a CS degree or not, it's because you haven't been able to prove you know your **** during interviews, or you come off like a serial killer.

    Do people not get that no matter HOW good you are, no matter how much you know, if you don't have a personality that people want to be around you aren't getting hired? We've turned down many upon many "great on paper" candidates because when interview time came around they ****ing couldn't communicate worth a ****.
    When it comes to rep power, just remember this. Better red than dead. Your reps mean squat in real life. Just thank the lord that you have your health.
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