Opensource Resources

Click on any of the following open-source courseware to learn more!
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By Cody Wild

The following is a list of (mostly) free resources I’ve run across for learning how to program, learning how to build a website, or just learning the basics of how a computer works. I can’t vouch for its comprehensiveness – in fact, I think it’s best thought of as a working draft – but I can say that what is listed comprises an incredible starting point for anyone with the time and dedication to put into learning.

I. Where do I Start?

II. And Then…? [More Specific Skills]

III. If all you have is a hammer  [Useful software]

IV. General Resources List

I. WHERE DO I START?

  • I want to learn HTML and CSS (the building blocks of static websites)

  • I want to learn how to code and am a very hands-on person:

    • Code Academy which (as well as the aforementioned Web Fundamentals) has courses on PHP, Javascript, jQuery, Python, and Ruby. CodeAcademy is taught through a command window that textually gives instructions and examples, and then gives the user tasks. It’s very bit-by-bit, and very practical.

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    • Code School in my view, Code School is a more comprehensive, thoughtfully designed, and (consequently) higher-investment version of Code Academy. Code School incorporates the model of lessons followed by interactive exercises, but has video lectures instead of simple text, and also utilizes specific themed lessons and cumulative objectives that vary by course.

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  • I want to learn how to code, but also understand Computer Science more comprehensively

    • EdX’s Intro to Computer Science This course, taught by a MIT professor and broken into lectures mixed with quizzes and problem sets, is being conducted in real time from how until December, but is shaping up to be an intelligent and accessible introduction to computing. It’s made more exciting because it’s the first course in a planned 7-course track, whose completion will qualify the learner to earn a virtual certificate when the courses are fully loaded in early 2015.

    • This is CS 50. This is the website of a huge class being taught in real time at Harvard University, but for which all the resources (lecture videos, problem sets, etc) are available through a beautifully designed interface. This course is beginner friendly, but it’s best for those who want to engage deeply and (to a greater extent than other resources) theoretically with computer science, as understood from the ground up. It spans several languages and technologies, and lectures are given by a brilliant, succinct and very accessible professor, who does a phenomenal job of making intimidating concepts approachable.

    • Udacity has an Introduction to Programming in Python course as well as Java course and a great introductory course to writing algorithms.

II. And Then… ?

Looking for some css design inspiration? Try the CSS Zen Garden

III. If All You Have is a Hammer

  • Sublime Text – My go-to code editor. It’s (as the name suggests) simple, but it’s also beautiful and powerful. Once you save your file with a specific code extension, or select the syntax of a particular language, ST will adopt automatic formatting and highlighting that makes coding more intuitive. Available for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux

  • Cyberduck – A great SFTP program, for when you want to access files on a web server from your home computer. This program makes it easy to edit code and content files in your home environment, instead of through an (often poorly designed) hosting control panel. Mac and Windows.

  • MAMP/XAMP: These softwares allow you to create a simulated server on your home computer, and edit HTML, CSS, and Javascript files and see results in your browser without making your site live.

IV. General Resources List

If you’re looking for something that isn’t on this list, here are some good places you can start. Some of these are sites on which previously mentioned courses are hosted, but I think it’s useful to have them all in one place.Click on any of the following open-source courseware to learn more!

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Click on any of the following open-source courseware to learn more!
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Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 3.54.07 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 3.57.25 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 4.05.33 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 5.02.33 PM