7 Innovative Institutions Where You Can Learn To Code
Coding is a skill that is highly valued across multiple industries, and even those who aren't pursuing a career in tech can benefit from a bit of programming knowledge. Learning how to code can be a daunting task, and beginners may have a hard time figuring out where to start. In no particular order, here are some groups helping both aspiring developers and hobbyists break into the world of programming.
First up, at #1, we have LaunchCode. Founded in 2013, this St. Louis-based nonprofit offers free education and job placement opportunities to bring more people into the tech field, and help companies find skilled talent from all walks of life. Its Discovery program is a free, self-paced online learning curriculum for beginners with no prior knowledge who want to learn some of the fundamental skills and building blocks of computer programming.
Among its other programs is Immersive CodeCamp, a 14-week course taking a deep dive into in-demand technologies and skills. The course also includes a series of career workshops designed to cover the additional skills employers look for. At the end, students meet with LaunchCode's Candidate Team, which gives personalized feedback to help them prepare for one of the many apprenticeship opportunities available with the organization's employer partners.
Taking the #2 spot is Make School, a startup college in San Francisco aimed at removing barriers to tech and making it more accessible to people of all backgrounds. Through its Bachelor in Applied Computer Science program, students spend two-and-a-half years learning the ins and outs of computer science by building software designed to solve complicated real-world problems.
Its classes are designed around exercises, with students building large-scale projects with teams to experience the creativity and challenges of working with others. Make School also has a free collection of self-guided tutorials that cover progressively more complex topics, such as how to build iOS games and apps and ship them to the App Store.
Next up, at #3, we have Eastern Illinois University. The school's Computer and Information Technology program is designed with a healthy balance of technical, managerial, and organizational content. It is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and teamwork ability necessary to succeed in their careers. Through its required courses, students also learn how to program using object-oriented languages such as Java and Python.
EIU's Digital Media Technology degree program emphasizes the study of web development, digital media, gaming, animation, simulation, image capture, and multimedia production. This well-rounded degree is meant to prepare students for jobs in a variety of fields, including game programming and front-end web development.
At #4 is Holberton School. Founded in San Francisco by Sylvain Kalache and Julien Barbier, it aims to help people develop the skills necessary to find a job in software engineering. The first three sprints of its intensive on-site program cover the foundations of computer science. Then, for the next three sprints, students can specialize in the emerging technology of their choice, such as machine learning and augmented reality.
The School does not have formal classrooms or teachers. Instead, it encourages students to collaborate, share their knowledge, and help each other as they are given increasingly difficult programming challenges with minimal initial directions on how to solve them. Holberton offers flexible tuition options, with some campuses providing living stipends and scholarships to help students cover costs while studying full-time.
Next, at #5, we have Milwaukee School of Engineering, a private non-profit university offering bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering, business, and nursing. Its computer science degree prepares one for a career in a wide variety of computing areas, including app and web development, machine learning, and more. Students learn to solve problems using algorithms, applied mathematics, and artificial intelligence in a hands-on environment.
MSOE's software engineering program also includes courses such as object-oriented development using programming languages including Java and C++. Other topics include the principles and practice of computer networking, and an introduction to the design and implementation of modern operating systems. The university also has coding clubs that are open to any middle school students who are interested in learning how to code, or who wish to improve their existing skills.
Coming in at #6 is Enspiral Dev Academy. This full-immersion web development academy is based in New Zealand, with campuses in both Auckland and Wellington. Its hands-on coding boot camp takes people that have some or no experience and turns them into junior developers, providing them with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of programming, databases, and web applications and design.
Finally, at #7, we have Code First Girls, a British not-for-profit aiming to close the gender gap in tech and entrepreneurship. It does this by connecting women to a community of other talented and like-minded individuals and companies, offering support and guidance through their professional development. The organization's massive open online courses are designed to impart technical skills to women who are interested in exploring careers in tech.
Code First Girls' Career Switcher courses are offered at a subsidized rate, and combine coaching, training, and community to allow one to learn the skills needed to change or accelerate one's career. These beginner-friendly courses include introductions to web development, Python programming, data science, and SQL.