“To my children:
Never make fun of having to help me with computer stuff. I taught you how to use a spoon.” – Sue Fitzmaurice
If I say “mouse” and you envision a furry little creature before you think of a computer accessory, then, like me, you’re probably over 50. While our children grew up playing with computer games and googling their homework assignments, digital literacy is not native to those of us in the boomer generation. That’s why, when it comes to computers, we often find that our homes becomes flipped classrooms—our kids are our teachers. Computers, of course, have become indispensable tools in the workplace and the generations that follow us are better prepared to fill the jobs that require today’s programming skills, but that doesn’t mean we can’t catch up.
Bill Gates once said that he studied computer programming by fishing operating system listings out of the garbage at the Computer Science Center. Thankfully, times have changed and an education in computer programming is readily available to everyone online. If you want to learn computer coding skills to advance your career, become an entrepreneur, create the next in-demand app, or even just for your own personal development, online courses are a fantastic solution; they help you become comfortable with computers while learning how computers work.
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Whether you’re a man or a woman, a working professional or a retiree, tech savvy or just curious, there are computer coding courses to meet your needs and your skill level in the LearningAdvisor database. The following list includes our most-viewed introductory computer science and coding classes as well as some of the top recommendations from our online providers.
This is another free course specifically designed for students with no prior programming experience or background in Computer Science. By the end, you will understand the fundamentals of Computer Science and the Java programming language. Taking a course like this is a great way to gauge your aptitude for coding and your interest in exploring the field further.
Another highly-viewed course in our database, the C# Tutorial For Beginners class promises to be of help, “Whether you’re learning your first programming language, or you’re working with Microsoft .Net technologies for the first time.”
This MOOC from Rice University is designed to help students with little or no computing background to build simple interactive applications using Python, a popular computer coding language. To make the course fun, students participate in mini-projects to code games like Pong, Blackjack, and Asteroids. If you like what you learn, this course is paired with Programming in Python Part 2 —one of Coursera’s most popular and highly recommended classes.
This MOOC is the first in a 5-part specialization from the University of Michigan. You can take this or any class in the series for free, or you can enroll in the series for a fee and earn a verified certificate at the conclusion.
If learning HTML or CSS is your goal, take your cue from the 8729 students who have already enrolled in this course. It also has an impressive number of 5-star ratings making it easy to check it out for yourself.
With well over 180,000 enrollees and 800 5-star ratings, this is definitely one of the most popular beginner programming courses in the LearningAdvisor database. HTML5 is a programming language that is used for mobile applications.
The next session of this popular MOOC sponsored by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) begins on October 5th: “Learn HTML5 and core Web technologies directly from the organization creating them!” Who can argue with that logic?
When you’re ready to create your own applications from scratch, you’re ready to learn C++: “As one of the most popular general purpose programming languages in the world, C++ can be used to create everything from small apps to complete video games and critical system drivers.”
Updating your resume with computer programming skills is an excellent way to show employers that your capable of learning anything and unafraid of new technology. It’s also useful for entrepreneurs who would like to create websites that are more sophisticated than the build-your-own templates typically offered to consumers. Have an idea for an app? Learning to code means you can build it the way you want it to work. Even if you only take one course, learning how computers operate can take the mystery, and the frustration, out of working with computers.