I was an early adopter of the coding movement.
What that means is that I spent hours on a Commodore 64 typing lines of "if-then" code that resulted in my name flashing on a screen. Unfortunately, my coding life ended short when I discovered more girls like guys who played sports than guys who spent hours in front of a computer.
Of course, that is very likely not the case these days.
I regret not staying up on the basics of coding over the years, especially now as an entrepreneur. For starters, the lack of coding knowledge makes simple tasks involving website changes, graphic design and product development infinitely harder and, since you have to hire someone, more expensive. Also, being unable to speak the language of technology with investors, partnersand potential hires can prove to be a hindrance.
I am certain I sound like an idiot trying to talk about Ruby thisor Python that.
For this reason, I have started taking lessons online, thanks to good friends at Startup.SC who have turned me on to a few sites for beginners. For those inclined to take the self-taught approach and learn a little coding, below are a few resources I have utilized and found very useful.
1. Codecademy: A free service, Code Academy offers a number of online lessons for varying degrees of expertise as well as a useful set of resources. The lessons are simple to follow and easy to understand.
2. Treehouse: With very easy-to-follow instructional videos online, Tree House offers a wide range of programming services.
3. Udemy: An online educational website, Udemy offers several different coding classes. Most are pay-as-you-go, but the company often emails discount coupons for various coding classes.
By nomeans are these websites the only learning resources available. Below are few other popular and reputable coding tutorial resources you can consider.
1. BlackGirlsCode.com aims to help address the “dearth of African-American women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professions” through workshops for young girls of color.
2. CoderDojo.com: Through CoderDojo’s volunteer-led sessions, young people can learn to code, go on tours of tech companies and hear guest speakers.
3. CodeSchool.com offers online courses in a wide range of programming languages, design and web tools.
4. ComputerClubhouse.org helps more than 25,000 young people from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies every year.
6. GirlDevelopIt.com: An international nonprofit that provides mentorship and instruction, committed to making sure women of all ages, races, education levels, incomeand upbringing can build confidence in their skill set to develop web and mobile applications.
7. GirlsWhoCode.com: Geared specifically toward 13- to 17-year-old girls, the site pairs instruction and mentorship to “educate, inspire and equip” students to pursue their engineering and tech dreams.
8. Udacity.com: Stanford University’s Udacity is one of many sites that make college courses -- including Introduction to Computer Science -- available online for free.
9. Local technical colleges: Check with your local technical college about courses offered online. Given the increased demand over the years, you will find a number of courses available that are flexibility and affordable.
I am a firm believer that all entrepreneurs, especially the young, should understand the language of computer coding. I also feel strongly that learning should start in elementary school, where children are at least exposed to the concept of coding and grow up comfortable and emboldened by thatunderstanding. Much like reading and writing, coding has become a skill that will soon beas important as language.
For the rest of us, it is not too late. The resources above make it incredibly easy to learn, and doing it in the privacy of your home removes any unassuming pressure you may have. In the end, you will find that you can teach anold dog new tricks.
Hopefully, I can teach this old dog how to make his name flash on a screen again.
Do you know other resources available for those who want to learn to code? Please share with others in the comments section below.