Colleges no longer have a monopoly on education, and programming is no exception. These 10 organizations can teach you to program just the way you like it: free or paid, online or offline, hands-on or hands-off. Rather than threaten you with a bad grade, they entice passionate students with the promise of a new skill, a new community, and maybe some cute badges.
- Code School: Online coding education for just $25/month. If you prefer to pick and choose, you can buy any of their grab-bag of courses individually. They also created Try Ruby, a basic tutorial that lets you play around with the language.
- Treehouse: An online library with over 750 training videos. A lot of the content is free, but you can subscribe monthly to get access to their whole collection.
- Google Code University: For a more self-directed experience, browse Google’s library of courses and videos – particularly tutorials and introductions for beginners. You can also check out the Python and C++ classes taught at Google itself.
- MIT Open Courseware: The most popular course among all MIT’s free course materials is Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. You get handouts, homework, and quizzes – just like MIT, but without the big price tag.
- Hacker School: A free, 3-month program in New York City with a few lectures and speakers, but mostly heads-down programming. It’s aimed at hackers who already love coding, who want to write free and open source software, and whose goal is to learn (not build a product or startup). The summer 2012 session of Hacker School is in full swing at Etsy, which provided $5,000 grants to female students.
- Code Academy: Paid, 3-month classes in web development, user experience, or HTML and CSS. Code Academy is based in Chicago at the 1871 incubator. Applications for the fall program close on August 12.
For the Ladies
- Girl Develop It: Technical workshops for female programmers held around the United States, as well as in Canada and Australia. They aim to create a supportive environment where women can join the discussion and show off their skills. Courses are also available online.
- Hackbright Academy: A 10-week training program for women in San Francisco – half learning, half doing. Applications for the fall program are due in August, and it costs $6,000.
- Girls Who Code: An 8-week summer class teaching programming to high school girls in New York City, which began this Monday. They will take trips to Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare and work on a final project that tackles a challenge in their community, like recycling.
Programming isn’t for everyone, sure. But if it is for you, you’ll find tons of resources to help along the way.
Update: Also check out Dev Bootcamp (a 10-week program in San Francisco to learn Ruby on Rails) and Web Start Women (courses in web design and development for women in Boston).