As we saw in the last segment, there are growing number of online tutorials and classes that teach code interactively. These have grown in popularity among adults and children alike. Platforms like Codeacademy, Udacity, and Hour of Code are gradually changing people’s perceptions about the difficulty of code by making teaching and learning opportunities readily available to everyone. So let’s continue where we left off by looking at some resources that are putting code into the hands of anyone with an internet connection and a willingness to learn.
The lessons are easily accessible and require no sign up. After reading the instructions, the user can work through and edit their code and submit and check their answers with the help of an interactive shell. The lessons are engaging, but follow a pace that keep things interesting without being overwhelming.
Girls Who Code
While not technically an online learning program, Girls Who Code is an exciting initiative that is worth mentioning here. Launched in 2012, GWC is a nonprofit that seeks to empower young girls with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to compete in technology fields. According to its mission statement, Girls Who Code programs “work to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.” The movement is developing a national network of clubs to offer computer science education and tech industry exposure to 6th-12th grade girls during the academic year. And girls are also encouraged to start their own local clubs.
Girls Who Code also offers a Summer Immersion Program that represents an innovative approach to computer science education. Participants are given seven weeks of intensive instruction in robotics, web design, and mobile development, along with engaging, career-focused mentorship and exposure led by the industry’s top female entrepreneurs and engineers. The program is free and is currently offered in several California locations including San Francisco as well as Miami, New York, Boston, and Seattle. To be eligible, applicants must be in 10th or 11th grade in high school.
General Assembly launched 3 years ago with the idea of disrupting tech education. It has done this successfully by providing a college-like setting without really being one. GA offers a wide range of full-time, part-time, online classes, as well as local workshops. The model is definitely to offer computer programming, innovation, and business classes in as many formats and to accommodate as many schedules as possible, from 90 minute sessions to full courses. All sessions are taught by leading industry experts. For those who are really ambitious and want to make a career change into computer programming and web development, then General Assembly’s lineup of 8-12 week immersion classes may be your ticket.
Throughout this two-part series, the basic takeaway that we want to leave with you is that coding is a critical skill that people will need in order to become conversant in the new digital knowledge economy. Moreover, those who can code will have access to the top jobs and best promotions in the 21st century. Keep in mind as well though that coding is not just for professional programmers. Whether you’re a startup entrepreneur developing a new product or a small business leader marketing an existing one, being able to understand and/or write code is of immense value in today’s business world.
So, if you haven’t done so, give some serious thought to learning a bit of code today. There have never been more opportunities. Doing so, in fact, just might change your world!