5 places you can learn how to code for free and why Pablo Picasso would choose them too
Original from source
Art scholars had been trying to solve a long-standing mystery about the type of paint Pablo Picasso used on his canvas. He was suspected of using secret non-traditional techniques to achieve a glossy style hiding brush marks. To the surprise of some, Picasso’s genius was hiding in house paint.(ref-1) Nothing fancy like cellulose nitrate, alkyds and acrylics, later popularised by artists like Jackson Pollock.(ref-2) Plain house paint.
Soleil de Mediterranee, Picasso, (ref-10)
What does house paint have to do with code? It’s simple. It was easy for Pablo to buy house paint, it’s now easy for you to pick up code. In 1912, French shop shelves were filled with Ripolin (ref-3), in 2015 Internet is filled with tools to help you learn how to program.
The Crucifixion, Picasso,(ref-9)
Portrait of Egg Woman, Picasso, (ref-8)
Learning a lot of stuff at once might seem overwhelming and more often than not, counter-productive. In the worst-case scenario, it might even make you feel daunted by the prospect of learning how to program. One of my (many) favourite things about computer science is that it teaches you that there are no unsolvable problems. Any task, no matter how big and impossible it seems at first, can be broken down into smaller, more manageable and less daunting subtasks. When you allow yourself to start small, you will end big. So forget about the complex words and focus on pure forms; the nature of computers and code.
Try Stanford’s Computer Science 101. It is a free online course packed with lectures and experiments that demystify the world of computers. You will get to play with short bits of code only to understand the underlying logic of machines. It is an excellent first step for anyone who wants to take a full programming course such as CS50, Harvard University’s own Introduction to Computer Science.
CS50 is an absolute gem of the Internet. It is a combination of engaging lectures on computer science concepts and challenging programming problem sets inspired by biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming. The course’s YouTube channel is filled with short videos explaining the most important notions that appear in lectures.
As of Fall 2014, the on-campus version of CS50 was Harvard's largest course.(ref-4)
In Picasso’s words, after taking Stanford’s Computer Science 101 you will have a nice sketch. After Harvard’s CS50 you will have a portrait.
Jacqueline with Flowers, Picasso, (ref-7)
Now that you have a portrait, you have an object. Objects belong to a higher level of abstraction. There’s no need to worry about painting eggs; in high-level programming languages, like Java, somebody’s already done it for you. You’re more concerned with the bigger picture now.
How To Program With Java podcast is a resource I wish I had known about when I started learning Java. It covers all the basics as well as intermediate tips and you can acquire all that object-oriented knowledge while you walk, run or perform any sort of activity that can involve active listening.
RubyMonk features interactive lessons and exercises to help you get started with Ruby. You’ll build your skills by doing things rather than simply reading, watching or listening. The website has a clean interface and neatly organised levels, which reflect the elegant nature of Ruby.
There are many approaches to learning code, the best one is always the one you can follow.
If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.(ref-5)
When in doubt, take Pablo’s advice:
September 1st 2015