This is my last post as a Lifehacker staff writer, so I want to leave you with some meta-advice. When you want to learn a new skill, don’t use just one book, or app, or YouTube tutorial. Try a lot of them, stick with a couple of them, and occasionally consult others.
Tagged With learn to code
Ever tried to learn SQL, the query language that lets you poke at the innards of databases? Most tutorials start by having you create your own database, fill it with nonsense, and then run queries that will make your eyes glaze over (hooray, we can simulate the accounting department for a widget factory). The Knight Lab’s SQL Murder Mystery, however, makes things a bit more fun.
Starting December 1, you can learn a bit of code for free at your local Apple Store. The retailer’s annual ‘Hour of Code’ event runs from December 1 to December 14 - and most Aussie stores are participating. Here are the details!
Coding school App Academy has opened a free online interactive version of its 12-week curriculum. That’s a pretty good deal, since the Academy’s in-person classes in San Francisco and New York can cost as much as a semester in university. The online version involves less direct human interaction, but it includes online mentors and access to a community Slack chat.
While computers are poor at creativity, they are adept at crunching through vast numbers of solutions to modern problems where there are numerous complex variables at play. Take the question of finding the best delivery plan for a distribution company - where best to begin? How many vehicles? Which stretches of road need to be avoided at which times? If you want to get close to a sensible answer, you need to ask a computer.
Python is one of the best programming languages to learn. As you get started, this one-page reference sheet of variables, methods and formatting options could come in handy.
"It's very easy to get intimidated," says Hamayal Choudhry, the robotics engineer who co-created the smartARM, a robotic hand prosthetic that uses a camera to analyse and manipulate objects. "You have this idea for a project, then think, I don't know a thing about this." Here's how Choudhry and his partner Samin Khan, who programmed the smartARM's machine learning algorithm, used code libraries, college assignments, and sponsored hackathons to find and execute a meaningful project at age 20.
Lifehacker has collected a lot of "learn to code" resources that are especially helpful to new learners. But if you've already done a little coding or taken just a couple of courses, and you want a more thorough education in both theory and practice, start with the site Teach Yourself Computer Science.
Machine learning (AKA AI) seems bizarre and complicated. It's the tech behind image and speech recognition, recommendation systems, and all kinds of tasks that computers used to be really bad at but are now really good at. It involves teaching a computer to teach itself. And you can learn to do it in well under a year, according to data scientist Bargava. You'll need to put in a solid 10-20 hours a week, but you will learn a lot along the way.
C is one of many programming languages that are useful to learn as a beginner. MagPi, the official Raspberry Pi magazine, put together a book that helpfully walks you through the basics.
If you've been meaning to learn how to code for some time but don't know where to start, this week's Humble Book Bundle can help you out. It features a wide range of e-books that don't just teach you how to code in a variety of languages, it also teaches you to think like a programmer. Here's more information on the bundle.
Let's say you're new to web design, but you're intent on learning how to build a site from start to finish. It can be a lot of info to take in, but this interactive tool can at least help get you started with the design.