Continuing Education

Tracy Roesler bio photo By Tracy Roesler Comment

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I’ve been off the past two weeks, but it has not been as relaxing as I hoped it would be. I spent most of last week getting situated for the move, and driving across the country, then my car was in the shop. This week has been a bit more leisurely, but I’m still gearing up for my trip, and I spent today going back and forth to NYC.

But what do you do when you’re off for an extended period of time? How do you stay up with your technical prowess (or even improve it)?

The good news is there are lots of online resources to keep up to date, and many of them are free. If you are looking for a little bit more of a deep dive, there are also some pretty good resources online that are not too expensive.

If you want what I believe is the best resource for free options, I HIGHLY recommend going to this article on Medium.

In addition to the standard online MOOCs, (Coursera, EDX, Udacity) there are also a few fun websites where you can begin learning things, or hone your skills.

  • codecademy: Where you can learn to code interactively, for free! The stuff you learn is relatively basic, and you won’t be able to get a job with only these credentials, but it’s a great first step into the world of coding. A lot of what they focus on is relevant to web development in particular; I’ve done the python and html stuff (as you can tell by the wonderful html on this blog!)

  • codewars: from where you can, apparently, be banned. Irrespective of this fact, I enjoy doing code wars. I rarely have the most elegant answer, but one of the things I enjoy about it is that I can learn about shortcuts, better ways to do things, and a lot about the built in libraries.

  • freecodecamp: Free code camp is another site that is geared towards web development, but with an altrustic bent. While you are learning to code, you are working on providing support and websites to non-profits. And who doesn’t want to help society?

  • Khan Academy : Ok, Khan Academy is just great for lots of different types of free learning, but they have specifics in computer science and computer programming. They have the standard web dev courses, but they also have a class on SQL, which I think is extra handy.

If you are interested in some other free resources, you can check out this article here, which has some additional solutions.

In addition to these free resources, there are several options offered for a small fee. Several are aimed at women only, a full listing can be found at this site. Some of my preferred ones are girldevelopit, girlswhocode (which is actually free), and Women’s Coding Collective.

However, the online app that gives me the most bang for my buck is Linux Academy. You can pay quarterly (I believe it’s $70 or $80 a quarter) and take all kinds of different classes that will actually help you get certification. They have classes for the Red Hat Certification Course, Openstack, Linux Essential, Python, AWS, Google Cloud, Docker, Puppet, Android development, Chef, Nginx, SQL, etc, etc, etc. They have so many courses and you can basically binge as much as you want while your account is active. It’s great for learning new things, and broadening your horizons. It teaches both development type things, and operations. You can pretty much learn anything you want in the tech sphere, and they are constantly adding new classes.

I am planning on spending some time on LinuxAcademy as soon as I have enough down time. Because, learning is fun. And also essential to be in tech.

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