Lasty I’ve been thinking about writing a post about resources to learn online. Online learning has become a must if you want to keep you updated. I think that the way we learn, specially in an IT environment, has dramatically changed in the last years. A lot of web courses have bloomed since 2010 or so. There are lots of website where someone can learn from them. Some of the courses are for free and some others are not. Even some universities have agreements with some online website to publish their own courses.
In this post I’m going to enumerate some of the online learning websites I normally use to learn new stuff. If you know any others, please feel free to give some feedback. It’s really welcomed.
This is probably the first course I was enrolled. This website is focused in web and design development, but also has courses about mobile development (both Android and iOS). In recent days has expanded its subjects to other areas and there are courses about how to start your own bussiness.
The courses are well-explained and to the point. You also have access to the code of every chapter, so you can take a look at it. In case you are not a native speaker you can activate close captions on the videos so that you don’t miss a thing.
After you watch their videos you need to pass some little tests to prove that you’ve understood everything properly.
Main teachers are Nick Petit, Jason Seifer (the smiling guy :)) and Jim Hoskins. I think all of them come from Carsonified and Think Vitamin.
They have some different types of subscriptions. Silver costs $25 per month and Gold for $49. But the great think is that if you are a student you have a great discount. You can sign up for just $9.
If you are a newbie in web or design development this is a good place to start with.
After finishing most of the contents on Team Treehouse I was looking for some other courses. And so was how I found Code School. As with Team Treehouse, Code School is focused on web and design development. I’d say that the main difference between them are that there are less courses in Code School but at the same time they have more contents. Both websites are great anyway!.
Strenghts are Ruby courses and exercises. You may have heard about Rails for Zombies teached for Gregg Pollack. If you enrolled to Code School you grant access to its sequel Rails for Zombies 2 or to the ‘Ruby bits‘ series. If you are new to Ruby this site is a great source. (I also take a look at http://ruby.railstutorial.org/. Best ever tutorial to learn a language-framework).
Exercises are really cool, you need to pass a little coding test. The great thing is that you need to modify some code and make it work. I think that coding is one of the best ways to learn anything.
Other awesome courses are the ones related to Sass. The courses are given by Nick Walsh. I’m not a designer but a programmer and I really be thankful when you learn something you don’t even know that exist.
Main teachers are Gregg Pollack, Erick Allan and Nick Walsh. They are part of the Envy Labs group.
You have some courses for free but you need to subscribe if you want to have access to all of them. You need to pay $25 per month. One cool think is that after you finish a course they give you special discounts to books or courses. As with Treehouse, if you want to pause your plan for some months, you can do that and start again without losing your current progress.
Strength is variety. There are tons of courses and spend many hours if you subscribe for Pluralsight.
You can sign up for a free trial but to have access to all courses you need to choose a subscription plan. Prices are a little bit higher than Team Treehouse or Code School, but it’s worthy a lot.
If there is a website where you can find the latest tricks about web development, I’d say that Nettuts+ is one of my favorite. You can find manuals, articles or any tutorial that fits your needs. They say about themselves that ‘Nettuts+ is a site aimed at web developers and designers offering tutorials and articles on technologies, skills and techniques to improve how you design and build websites’. But when I think about Nettuts+ I always think about the tools section. The Sublime Text free course by Jeffrey Way is a joy. Besides that it’s almost entirely free. You need to take a look at it, really. Jeffrey Way is the site editor and also has written many tutorials. The site is also open to contribute. So if you like to write about technical stuff, you probably want to contact with them.
Prices are according to this kind of website. $19 per month or $15 per month if you subscribe yearly.
Have you read jQuery: Novice To Ninja by Earle Castledine & Craig Sharkie?. No, you should ;). If you are a web developer I’m quite sure you have read some books from SitePoint. They are great resources, full of examples and they are an easy reading. You also have articles, podcast, forums and so on …. I’d say that more than an online website is a platform for the SitePoint editorial
Something I don’t like about SitePoint is that you can’t take courses for free. You have a 30 day money back guarantee, but you need to sign up first. I recently found this is not true you can visit learnable website and take a peek to the differents courses 🙂
Price is $17 per month or $120 per year if you go long term.
You like to watch screencasts?. If the answers is yes, subscribe to PeepCode. There must be like a hundred of them. Probably is the oldest site I know about screencast (well, if you don’t count Youtube) . Some of the videos are 3 or 4 years old. Anyhow they update videos very frequently. They also have a section called ‘Play by Play‘ where experts talk about a specific subject. If you sign with Code School you can gain discount coupon to use within PeepCode as well.
A couple of things I believe PeepCode could improve are interactivy (watch videos is great, but practise is even better) and a lower price. Some videos costs $12, quite a bit.
Did I say Pluralsight had a lot of courses?. Check out Lynda, 1619 courses and counting … So, if there isn’t a course about some technology, probably they will prepare one soon. Having say this, there isn’t a clear structure within the courses. Don’t get me wrong, Lynda courses are great but it would be nicer a cleaner structure. Specially in some subjects where you may find 50+ courses. You can sign for a free trial. Subscription cost from $25 to $37.5. Prices are quite similar to Pluralsight‘ ones.
The approach with Coursera is a little bit different from the previous ones. You sign up and receive courses for free from some Universities like Stanford, Princeton or Duke. Does it look good?. Trust me, it gets better. If you pass the courses succesfully you receive a certification about it. Do you want to learn Scala?. What about taking a course by Martin Odersky and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne?. Awesome.
The last two sites IMHO are not really online learning website. But they are really worthy. CSS-tricks is a site where you find every piece of advise you may need in your day by day tasks. The site is ruled by Chris Coyier. You can find snippets, videos, demos and so on. One great thing is that Chris Coyier answers a lot of the questions. It’s really nice and helps a lot.
The last site I’m going to talk about is CleanCoders by Uncle Bob. If you are a good programmer or you are in the road to achieve it, I think the book named Clean Code is a great place to start with. CleanCoders has around 20 screencasts. Check the first one, it’s just $1 and will change your perspective.
As I said at the beginning of this post and you probably have forgotten, if you know any other online learning site free to comment about it and remenber “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.“