How do you learn to code on the web?

How do you learn to code on the web? eyeWelcome to the latest news from TalkIT. This month we are looking at keeping your technology skills up. What are the best e-learning sites? Do a course or just a Google search?  This is always a challenge in a world moving at internet speed. Can you support us to support you? Just tell us what you want with this short survey. If you complete this short survey you will be entered for a £25 Amazon gift voucher draw. Short easy survey Please add your comments at the bottom of the blog. These are just some thoughts, based on 16 years experience training and developing. I would really like to hear your ideas. A compelling alternative We’ll continue with themes introduced in June, when we asked “Is your web research effective?” And in December we asked “Are you keeping up with technology?” Let’s start with traditional forms of learning. These require teachers, books, classrooms and probably fellow students. But as with many things, the internet provides a compelling alternative. Web learning allows access to vast amounts of rapidly evolving knowledge. This is particularly relevant in software development where technologies mutate at lightning speed.  E-learning: from classroom to computer ID-100271512E-learning is learning delivered via a computer. A key benefit is to provide training on-demand; do it where and when you want. Also select what you want to learn. Movies, TV and radio are moving to an on-demand model.

1 W3 School Specialist
2 Treehouse Developer
3 Codecademy Developer
4 Code Project Specialist
5 Lynda Populist
6 Pluralsight Populist
7 Tuts+ Populist
8 Codeschool Developer
9 sitepoint Specialist
10 Udacity Populist

 Top 10 developer e-learning sites The POPULIST group is the one where training starts at the very basic level building up. They also have a wide array of services. The DEVELOPER group has a distinct focus on web and software development. The SPECIALIST group is, as the name suggests, highly specialised, complicated, focusing on a narrow group of well-educated users. E-leaning courses were first created from static learning materials; say from an IT training course manual, being copied on to a computer. The first e-learning course I created was 15 years ago. I put all my training notes and exercises up on web pages for students to access. Since then courses have become much more interactive, with a heavy reliance on short video clips. Sophisticated approaches from neuroscience and video games are embraced. Often this is driven by the need to maintain a student’s engagement and focus. Without a teacher how do students maintain interest? Without fellow students how is a learning community established? To differentiate themselves, courses attempt to establish their credibility and authority. This is often done by association with a University. Preparing the students for exams to gain a recognised certification adds credibility. Our TalkIT developer courses help students prepare for Microsoft certifications like MCPD and MCTS. Courses are more effective when they provide a structured learning experience with continuity between tutorials. Students are taken on a well sign posted journey. Skills assessments will provide feedback on the progress they are making.  TalkIT: e-learning for software developers ID-100213869TalkIT provides an e-learning platform for software developers. This is aimed at developers who have some experience but want to deepen and extend their skills. Our tutorials will show you step-by-step how to build business applications and databases. They are currently free. Take a look: Our tutorials will show you how to use a technology, but also look at why you would use it. Its strengths and weaknesses are explained. While software development is a craft that is mostly learnt by doing, developers also need to evaluate languages.

  Search visits Change  
W3 Schools 57.30% -1%  
Treehouse 22.80% +8%  
Codecademy 15.10% +3%  
Code Project 30.40% +4%  
Lynda 17.40% +12%  
Pluralsight 16.00% -2%  
Tuts+ 28.20% +3%  
Codeschool 13.50% -2%  
sitepoint 36.10% n/a  
Udacity 16.20% +10%  

On the TalkIT website there are a wide range of free tutorials. The topics include:

  • SQL Server Development
  • SQL Server Administration
  • Visuals Studio
  • Programming in C# and VB using OOP
  • Web development with ASP.Net MVC & Web Forms
  • HTML 5

The tutorials guide students through a series of structured labs to create a business application. One of the most useful features are downloads of the completed applications. Video clips show in detail how to work with the software. Samples of the code required to build the application are included. These can be edited and copied to assemble the application. The tutorials provide a balance of guidance, interest and challenge. The TalkIT tutorials have been created over the last 2 years. The site has been getting lots of global traffic, so we think we are doing something right. This year we have written some innovative courses that will be published in early September. We aim to support people to learn in an effective and enjoyable way. Can you support us to support you? Just tell us what you want with this short survey. Short easy survey Why bother? Reasons for learning can range from personal curiosity to career aspirations. It’s always good to gain a deeper understanding of technologies worked with. While coding developers often hit obstacles and need quick solutions. It is always possible find some sort of solution on Google. But have the underlying principles been understood? Software systems are complex, multilayered and constantly mutating. The benefit of a structured course is it will teach the principles, purpose and limits of a technology. Companies can use e-learning to develop their staff when:

  • Training new recruits
  • Introducing or migrating to new technologies
  • Meeting business requirements
  • Starting new projects

 Can you solve this coding problem? ProblemsHere is a coding puzzle. The aim is to write a short and elegant program. Write a program in a language of your choice that finds probabilities while throwing coins.Input the number of coins thrown: 2, 3 …

  1. Input the number of heads you want to land: 2, 3 …
  2. Display the probability that number of heads landing

This is another good introduction to probability, but how do we program it? As a hint consider Pascal’s Triangle. Pascals To construct the triangle, on the top row write only 1. On the next row write the numbers 1, 1. Then, to construct the rows below, add the number above and to the left with the number above and to the right to find the new value. If either the number to the right or left is not present, substitute a zero in its place. Here it is: But what’s this got to do with probability? Each descending row represents the number of coins throw; 0, 1, 2 … Each value in a row represents the number of heads shown, e.g. row 3 contains 1, 2, 1… So the probability of throwing 2 heads, while throwing 2 coins is 1 (last number) over 4 (sum of numbers in the row). Or it is 25%. And so on. Get that? Other Bits New online tutorials in MVC, C#.Net and HTML5 will be added in September. Take an advanced look at what is in the courses: MVC The MVC course will help you prepare for these certifications: MTA Developer (Technology Associate) Web Development Fundamentals Exam 363 MCSD Web Applications (Solution Developer) Developing ASP.Net MVC 4 Web applications Exam 486 C# The C# course will help you prepare for these certifications: MTA Developer (Technology Associate) Software Development Fundamentals Exam 361 Windows Development Fundamentals Exam 362 MCSD Web Applications (Solution Developer) Programming in C# Exam 483 HTML5 The HTML 5 course will help you prepare for these certifications: MTA Developer (Technology Associate) Web Development Fundamentals Exam 363 HTML5 App Development Fundamentals Exam 375 MCSD Windows Store Applications, Web Applications, SharePoint Applications (Solution Developer) Programming in HTML5 JavaScript, CSS3 Exam 480


David Ringsell 2014 ©


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