Recommended Coding Courses For Building Your First Projects
Ive taken a bunch of great coding courses that helped me build my portfolio and get my first big freelance jobs. But if youre just starting out with learning how to code, finding the best coding courses can be frustrating and overwhelming. Theres just too much to choose from!
To help you save time searching for suitable courses, Ive gathered a handful of recommended beginner-level coding courses here Ive taken myself.
Here are three of my favorites that you should take a look at. Theyre all perfect for beginners, so even if youve never learned coding before, you will have your first meaningful projects up and running sooner than you think.
Why Did You Choose To Study Computer Science
Initially, I enjoyed the problem-solving nature of programming. As my studies continued, I got very interested in how math could be applied to solve real-world problems.
The first spot I encountered this was in a required course for all computer science majors on linear algebra. The class had an option to do a project in image processing, where I learned to write programs to automatically find and extract objects inside of images. After completing this course project, I shifted my computer science focus to numerical computation and took more courses in applied mathematics.
Prep For The Clep Exams
Taking tests can really suck, especially if youve been out of school for a few years. But luckily, there are lots of resources to help you pass the CLEP exams.
Remember that the key word here is pass. As long as its high enough to meet the universitys standards, your specific score doesnt matter. It wont affect your final GPA or be reflected on your transcript. From a practical perspective, a passing score on a CLEP exam is the same as a perfect score.
To study for each exam, you should first get the official study guide that the College Board offers. You can buy these books on the College Board website for a small fee, or you can find them for free at your local public library.
Be sure to take the included practice tests, as theyll help you assess what you need to study further.
While the official prep books are the best place to start your studies, you dont have to stop there. You should consult any relevant resources for the subject that the test covers. Here are a few of our favorites:
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Remember: Learn The Basics Dont Try To Understand Everything
Alright, heres one final tip for you when you start learning Computer Science basics from scratch:
When youre just starting out with coding, you already have enough work cut out for you. You dont want to confuse yourself by aiming too high and setting yourself too ambitious goals.
Therefore, just start small and learn one thing at a time. You only need to understand the very basics at this point.
If you try to understand everything, youll get nothing done. Trust me, Ive been there. If coding is totally new to you, youre dealing with an insane amount of new technical terminology. Just take it one step at a time.
In short: Try to find a balance between understanding most of it and letting some things slide that feel too difficult to understand. I know it may sound hard to know how to decide what to push aside for now. But trust me, youll soon know which topics are helpful and which are just nice to know.
I know youll do a great job at it, so dont worry! All you need is a good amount of determination and one of the courses we discussed above!
What Are College Credits
College credit is the standard measurement of a students academic competency. Essentially, it represents how much effort you, the student, put into a single course over a semester . This effort is most often represented by hours of work.
1 college credit represents approximately 1 hour spent in a classroom and 2 hours spent on homework each week.
Most single-semester college courses are worth 3 credits, or 9 hours of work per week.
If youre hoping to graduate in 4 years, youll need to average 15 credits a semester. By this estimate, thats 45 hours of work per week!
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What Material Does Ap Computer Science Principles Cover
Computer Science Principles is very much a big picture overview of the CS universe. Unlike with Comp Sci A, teachers have the freedom to choose the programming language they utilize. Ultimately, the exam covers the following:
- Creative development 10-13%
- Data 17-22%
- Algorithms and Programming 30-35%
- Computer Systems and Networks 11-15%
- Impact of Computing 21-26%
The end-of-course exam experience differs in that Principles students must also submit digital artifacts and crate a performance task administered by the teacher.
Be Aware Of Good Programs
There are so many programs going on especially for college students which are really beneficial. You should know about them so that you can prepare for them and participate in them. Programs such as ICPC for competitive programmers, GSOC for students who are willing to contribute to open-source projects, Internships programs like Google step, Duolingo Thrive program, etc.
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Campus Visits In Your College Search
Imagine buying a house. You would inevitably do research online. You might even take virtual tours of the homes that appeal to you. But before you sign on the dotted line, you will need to actually walk through the house yourself. You need to step inside to see if it feels like home. And if it’s worth the investment.
Its similar with colleges.
In spite of the depth and breadth of college search tools you have at your disposal, they are no exceptions to visiting campus in person. So, after you have narrowed your college list to a manageable number, its time to think about visiting their campuses.
A successful college visit will give you a real sense of what your life might be like if you enrolled thereand whether it matches what you want. Often, youll know instinctively how you feel about a campus within moments of setting foot on the quad. If you hate it, note the things that really turn you off, so you know what to look for at the next school.
The best time to visit is typically when classes are in session, the college is alive with students, faculty are accessible, and the campus is buzzing with activity. Of course, for many students and their families, summer is a much more convenient time. That’s okay too. Maybe you can make some campus stops on your way to the beach, amusement park, or family reunion. A summer visit is better than no visit at all. Most schools will have special summer visit hours too.
Introduction To Usability Engineering
This class covered how to make an intuitive app but also how to make an app or website accessible. Accessibility refers to making a piece of software usable for anyone, including those with disabilities. This covers things like text to speech use and designing software that isnt completely reliant on audio elements only.
The topics covered were useful if you have never heard about accessibility before. It at least made you consider these things when you design software. It also got me to really start thinking about user experience and how important it is to good software. If no one is using the key functionality of your app because it is confusing, then your software will eventually lose all of its users.
While the knowledge was interesting, the specific implementations of how you would create a usable and accessible piece of software depends on the platform. For example, Apple has its own set of user interface guidelines that describe general design principles and specific details of how you should design software that will run on any of Apples platforms.
Because of the specific information needed per platform, I am not sure that this class was incredibly useful. It was a nice intro, but I ended up having to learn Apples interface guidelines which went over all the topics covered in this class.
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Reason #: Youll Learn How To Solve Problems Faster
Ok, I saved the best for last.
As I said in the point above, learning Computer Science basics will help you write better code. Because all computers have limited resources, youll become more aware of the limitations to your programs, too.
Thus, understanding Computer Science fundamentals will help you plan and build more efficient projects.
And since coding is all about solving problems, youll know how to find new, more efficient solutions to your problems more easily. You wont repeat yourself in your code.
Also, youll know when you can reuse code snippets youve already written, etc.
All in all, learning Computer Science basics will help you learn coding faster. Youll have a robust understanding of the technical terminology, so you wont waste your time feeling confused with it.
You still with me? Hows your coding journey coming along so far? Have you thought about learning Computer Science basics to boost your coding skills yet? Drop me a line and share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Popular Questions About Computer Science
Computer scientists solve computing problems by designing software and hardware. They also create operating systems, write algorithms to process data, and keep information secure.
Yes. Computer science sees high demand and median salaries of more than double most professions. This makes computer science a good career.
Software development, systems architecture, data science, and machine learning all offer above-average salaries and strong projected job growth rates.
Computer science professionals often use linear algebra, statistical analytics, and discrete mathematics to create software, solve computing problems, and write algorithms.
Genevieve Carlton holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University. After earning her doctorate in early modern European history, Carlton worked as an assistant professor of history at the University of Louisville, where she developed new courses on the history of science, Renaissance Italy, and the witch trials. Carlton has published five peer-reviewed articles in top presses and a monograph with the University of Chicago Press. She also earned tenure with a unanimous vote before relocating to Seattle. Learn more about Carlton’s work at genevievecarlton.com.
Exception: Schools With Flexible Standardized Testing Policies
Although most colleges don’t require AP scores and prefer applicants to self-report any scores they have on their applications, there is an exception to this if you’re applying to a college that has a flexible standardized test policy. For example, if you’re applying to NYU, you can submit three AP test scores in place of the SAT/ACT for admission.
If you’re submitting AP scores as your standardized test scores, they must be on an official score report or on a report by a school official. In other words, you can’t just self-report your scores.
Therefore, if you’re a senior looking to send AP scores to your chosen college, or if you’re applying to a school that has a flexible-testing policy, such as NYU, you’ll need to know how to send scores. Keep reading to learn how!
You can use your AP scores, instead of the ACT or SAT, to apply to NYU.
Introduction To Computer Networks
This class was very useful. It went over how computer networks functioned. This included going over network protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, TCP, IP, FTP, IMAP, POP3, SSH, and DNS. I got to learn about what each of these protocols is used for, how they are implemented and gained an understanding of why they were created.
The networking protocols I mentioned above are used for critical functions of modern software. This includes email handling , sending network requests between client and server and handling devices securely through a network . This really gives you an understanding of how the internet works and how devices across the world can interact with each other.
This is not only fascinating but it can be useful. I have used the things I learned from this class to debug issues I came across when I was getting errors from the network. I was able to pinpoint the issues I was running into and help the back end dev that I was working with find the bug on their end.
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I Heard That Computer Science Is One Of The Hardest Fields Of Study Is That True
Yes. Computer Science is a hard discipline to learn. But, if you are motivated and devote sufficient time to studying the discipline, then it is possible to learn Computer Science.
There is a belief that studying Computer Science is very difficult. The belief that Computer Science is one of the hardest fields to learn. The answer to this question is Yes. Computer Science is a difficult field to study and learn for a number of reasons.
There is an entire body of contemporary research dedicated to determining why this is the case, and two general conclusions have been reached:
Students who are weak in mathematics tend to be weak in programming and therefore weak in Computer Science. Students tend to be unprepared for the constructive nature of the Computer Science discipline.
What Will You Do When You Drop Out
What will you do instead? Its important that you have a plan. Consider how things in your life will change. You will no longer have student loans or scholarships available to cover your living expenses. Envision the short term how will you pay your rent and other living expenses in the first year after dropping out of school? Also, consider the long term what kind of career do you want to have? Maybe you plan to wait tables to pay your bills right away, but do you love waiting tables enough to keep doing it for the next several decades? If so, make sure that the income from that job will support the lifestyle that you want to have. If you have more of a short term plan, think about what you really want to be doing for your career. How will you get there? Does it require more of an education than you currently have ? If so, how do you plan to get that education?
If you think you want to quit but youre also unsure of what you want to do once youre free of the constraints of college life, consider taking a gap year. Year On offers gap year programs that combine service learning with skill-building and internships to help launch your career without a formal college education.
Go Through Photos Of Your Time In College
Take a trip down memory lane by dusting off those albums and sharing some funny stories about your own experiences. If your teen is nervous about being on her own for the first time, hearing about how you made it through can do a great deal to comfort her.
Now’s the time to talk about the fashion trends too.
What Is College Like An Honest Guide To College Life
Many prospective college students want to know what to expect from the college experience before they hit campus. Does college actually match up with the idealized experience you see in movies?
The truth aboutcollege is that it can be a lot of different things at once–exciting, nerve-wracking, adventuresome, stressful, and so much fun.
A lot of what college will be like is ultimately up to some of the choices you make, but there are also some basically universal truths about what college is like that its worth learning about before you get to campus. In this article, well demystify the core components of a college education for you, including academics, extracurriculars, college social life, time management, working while in school, and living arrangements. Well also give you five tips for getting the most out of your college experience.
So, what is collegereally like? Keep reading to find out!
While you might identify with this furry guy right now, our article will get you prepared for your college experience.
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Things To Know Before Learning Programming
When you start learning programming, you dont want to waste any of your valuable time. But as a beginner, its easy to feel confused with everything you need to know. So how can you make the right decisions and make the journey as smooth, easy, and quick as possible?
Well, as it turns out, you can take advantage of a few simple tips to make things easier for yourself. In this post, Im sharing 8 time-saving things to know before learning programming. All of them are practical tips you can use right away to make learning less confusing and frustrating in the long run. In fact, theyre the stuff I wish Id known when I first started learning coding myself!