Resources For Learning Programming On Your Own
By Natalie MacNeil (Co-Founder, YEC Women)
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council. Founded by Scott Gerber, the YEC is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business’s development and growth.
“O’Reilly Books are My Secret Sauce”
“I’m not a great coder, but I know enough to fix minor problems with my own sites and projects. That’s because of the sheer number of O’Reilly books I have in my office. They’re excellent resources for even rudimentary coding.”
— Thursday Bram (Principal, Hyper Modern Consulting)
“Trading works very well in the online industry when you need something outside of your skillset. I’ve traded strategy for development many times when I couldn’t afford to redo my website or add Facebook applications. Create a contract for it just like any client so you don’t ruin a friendship or possible partnership. If you want to learn, Don’t Fear the Internet is a great resource.”
— Caitlin McCabe (Founder, Real Bullets Branding
“W3Schools is a great place to start because they have free easy-to-follow tutorials that are quite comprehensive. I often used these tutorials in my Computer Science course in University because they were easier to follow than the textbook. They also offer $95 certificate programs in the most popular web topics.”
— Natalie MacNeil (Founder & Editor-in-Chief, She Takes on the World)
“w3schools is by far the best website and resource center on the web as far as learning how to code goes. When I am working on websites, I generally keep w3schools.com open because it is just such a fantastic resource for HTML and other related tutorials. If something happens and I still can’t figure out my coding issue, I actually ask my Twitter network to help … and they do!”
— Erin Blaskie (Founder, BSETC)
“Lynda.com – if you must…”
“Learning to code is a challenging and time consuming task. I’d highly recommend that you first check to see if that’s the only way for you to accomplish your goals. If you feel that its the only answer, I recommend Lynda. For about 25 bucks a month, you can access a variety of training videos.”
— Shama Kabani (President, The Marketing Zen Group)
“Fend Off Overwhelm With Feel-Good Training”
“Learning to code can be a daunting thing, so it’s best to seek out friendly, non-intimidating training to ensure you follow through. The Girl’s Guide to Web Design is a great place to start: it’s an online course that teaches you to ditch your fear of code, unleash your inner designer and create awe-inspiring WordPress sites with HTML, CSS, and a dash of PHP.”
— Amanda Aitken (Chief Chocoholic, Better Than Chocolate Web Design)
“Tuts Plus and Headway”
“The Tuts network covers the coding and design aspect of websites. There are tutorials suitable for beginners as well as for the more advanced topics and there’s a great community around most of their sites too. Another option is the Headway theme for WordPress which requires minimal coding and has a drag-and-drop interface – it’s my favorite theme by far.”
— Lea Woodward (Pioneer, Kinetiva)
Editor’s note: Have your own favorite programming resource? Tell us in the comments below.
The above picture is from a PyLadies workshop on Django. There are many localized groups for getting together and getting better at a programming language. Spend time on Google and find them!
About the guest blogger: Natalie MacNeil is an Emmy Award winning Producer at the digital media company she co-founded, Imaginarius. She passionately works to get more women into business in her role as Co-Founder of YEC Women with Scott Gerber and through her blog, She Takes on the World. Natalie is frequently quoted and interviewed in the media discussing entrepreneurship, personal branding for women, and new media. Follow her on Twitter at @nataliemacneil.