By Dallin Wallace.
You know what’s cool? Programming.
You know what’s expensive to learn? Programming. . . or is it?
I’m sure you’ve been told that the technical field is growing really fast, that there will be a ton of jobs in information technology, every field will be a tech field, blah, blah, blah. But you might not know how fast it’s growing, how many jobs there will be, how each field will be a tech field.
First of all, according to Daxx.com there were about 3 million (that’s right million!) software developers in the United States— and another million who read or write code on a daily basis (such as engineers, CAD developers, technical writers, etc.) in 2017. To put this in perspective, according to statista.com, there were only 670 thousand police officers in the US in 2017.
Second of all, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developer’s jobs are going to grow 24% in the next ten years. Compare this to, for example, the automotive mechanic job opportunities. They will grow only 6%, which is about the average growth (according to BLS). Programming is growing MEGA-FAST!TM
MEGA-FAST is a registered trademark of Dallin Wallace Incorporated. Any use of MEGA-FAST without proper consent is illegal and may result in a jail-time, up to a $1,000,000,000,000,000,000.1 fine, or shame for your peers.
Third of all, I don’t even need a statistic to show how much everyone is going to use technology! Do teachers use computers? Everyday! Do lawyers? You bet! Do accountants? For sure! Plumbers? Mathematicians? Writers? Archeologists? CEOs? Electricians? Of, course! Everyone will use technology, everyday whether they like it or not.
Programming seems to be a very important, up-and-coming skill most everyone should learn. The problem is, how? And isn’t it expensive? Here are some easy, free, and fun resources YOU, as a Heritage Academy scholar, can use.
- Mr. Bear’s Courses Well, the first thing you could do, Heritage Academy scholars, is to take Mr. Bear’s programming classes. They offer practice in coding that is hard to find these days. You learn Python in Programming I and Java in Programming II. You spend time on coding projects, learning with and from peers, and learn useful skills. It’s hard to practice coding on your own, so taking Mr. Bear’s courses really do help a lot.
Mr. Bear’s classes are great, but what if you want to learn more? Get a better grade? Get out-of-class practice? Or what if his classes don’t fit into your schedule?
If you use these out-of-class programming resources, they will most likely let you do better in the course(s) you are already in. Outside material definitely helped me in Mr. Bear’s class.
CodeCademy offers tons of free, hands-on, beginner coding lessons in everything from Java to Web Development to Data Science. The lessons are easy and are specifically made for people who don’t know anything about programming. They walk you through the topics hands-on and one step at a time. The lessons are short enough you can do them when you have a few free minutes. A big plus is how they have you write and use code in order to help you cement it in.
I’ve tried it. It’s awesome.
- SoloLearn (app)
Have you ever wondered how you can use time productively when you have nothing to do? Like when you finished you test early, are watching for your ride to come, or get stuck waiting with the get-away car again? SoloLearn is your solution. Sololearn is the best programming app I found in the App Store and is a Google Play Editor’s “Choice” (which means it’s high quality). With lessons in plenty of programming languages and ideas, you will never run out of things to do or learn. Also, Sololearn has a large community of other programmers you can ask questions to, find inspiration from, and, in a unique-to-SoloLearn feature, ‘challenge’ other programmers to see who knows and understands programming better. The best part is how easy and convenient it is for out-and-about use. The question are fill-in-the-blank, click and drop, or multiple choice and it’s always there on your smartphone! But smartphone-less youth don’t fear, SoloLearn also has a website you can use.
Lynda.com is a website with a collection of top-quality videos courses in a variety of fields, from business to art, made by experts in those fields. They have a selection of technology and software videos that can help you to improve your programming skills. Or any other skill you might want to improve … or learn in the first place.
But, I’m sure some have heard of lynda.com before and probably have a question. I can hear it right now: “Umm.. Mr. Author, sir, umm.. don’t you have to pay for to use lynda.com? And us ordinary junior high/high school students don’t really have a ton of dough just lying around.” Well, that’s true! Lynda.com costs $25 a month to use for an ordinary junior high/high school student. But, here’s the thing! You are no ordinary student! Because you go to school here! At Heritage Academy! How? Well, have you ever been to the Mesa Library? (Correct answer is yes) Well, it just so happens that anyone with a Mesa Library card can use lynda.com for FREE! Yes, you heard me right! FOR FREE!
You can get to lynda.com for free at the mesa library’s website— mesalibrary.org (man, did not see that coming) by clicking the Research button on the top bar, clicking on Adult Education Resources and clicking on lynda.com (the final one).
- Gale Courses
Ok, maybe you don’t like lynda.com or were thrown out of the Mesa Library for licking too many of their books. Well, you can use online Gale Courses through Maricopa County Libraries! (As long as you didn’t lick too many of their books too.) These are free with (you guessed it) a Maricopa County Library District card! (I know, plot twist!)
Gale Courses are basically real, online college courses. Gale offers over 360 live courses taught by college instructors each month. They offer courses in Business, Computers, Health, Art, Parenting, and MORE! For FREE with that library card! This is a great resource for anyone trying to learn programming or anything else.
Just try not to lick the books quite as much, ok?
You can find this going to mcldaz.org, clicking Learn, and clicking Gale Courses. See picture for a visual guide to this very complex, multi-step, time-consuming process of clicking three buttons. It’s really hard.
Well, now you know how to improve your programming skills easily and, most importantly for free! So, what are you still reading this for? Go out and get programming!