5 Free Interactive Websites to Help You Learn to Code

The Exemplary ProgrammerHey everyone, it’s Matthew Alberto here, and today we’re going to be talking about free interactive websites that will help you to learn to code online. What’s the background of this and how will this help you? Well, I’ve noticed that a lot of entrepreneurship programs accelerators, incubator; they really focus on making sure that you have a technical cofounder. A lot of angel investors and venture capitalists also want to see if you’re writing up a more technical, or computer or website-oriented style that you do have at least one cofounder who has a technical background.

Learn to Code for Non-Technical Startup Co-Founders

Where does this leave entrepreneurs, and even social entrepreneurs, who want to get involved in the tech space? Where does this leave them, in terms of if they’re nontechnical? I think it’s often a challenge to figure out where your skills are and what you bring to the table. If you are a nontechnical cofounder, a nontechnical aspiring entrepreneur, and you do want to develop your skills in a technical area, in my opinion, you don’t need a formal degree.

Some people think that they need a slur of computer science, or some sort of technical engineering degree like that, but in my opinion, your experience of actually building products, making websites, and having your own portfolio, that’s speaks a lot more volumes to investors. If you can make a product a business, an online one that makes money and you didn’t have a degree, to me that’s more important than having the actual degree.

Free Websites That Teach You to Code Online

Let me share with you some of the interactive websites that have helped me, from my experience. I actually don’t have a degree in computer science, but ever since I was a kid, from primary school even, I would hack around with computers and different websites, creating my own websites, trying to make a few bits of money online. My degree later on was in actually the humanities area. I had an economics and international relations degree, and they do international law degree, and really didn’t have a computer science one. I really had to dig deep and figure out on my own how to program and here are five that could help you, if you’re in the same boat as me.

These resources really help you in certain programming languages that I think were really useful and helpful, such as html, CSS, JavaScript PHP, Python, and Objective-C, which helps you with apps on the iOS and Apple iPhone, and Apple iPad.

1. Codecademy.com

The five free websites, our first free is Codecademy. If you go to codecademy.com, it’s a really great website, really interactive. I‘ve actually used it myself. I finished pretty much all the tracks there. I finished the html, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and Python. They also have a track, but I haven’t gotten into that because I’m not really focusing on ruby at the moment. I really recommend Codecademy; it’s great for movies and it’s actually quite quirk and fun. You can actually build some really cool stuff, and they have a community there where you can come share your code, and also work off the code of others. Codecademy, it’s a really popular website, and one that I really recommend.

2. CodePupil.com

The second free interactive website to help you learn to code is codepupil.com. On that website, you can learn html, and CSS. I actually tried it out, but I actually found it really annoying, and the reason why it was annoying was that, unlike Codecademy, where you could say, you’re profile is saved where you’re at, and go on different levels, with Code Pupil, I feel that it’s really for absolute newbies and total beginners. They only really focus on html and CSS, which aren’t really programming languages per se, in more mark-up languages.

I only tested Code Pupil during one of the first two pages, and I just had to stop. I just found it too annoying and too boring, but if you’re a total newbie, give it a go.

3. CodeAvengers.com

The third resource is codeavengers.com, and on that website, you can actually learn html and CSS, as well as JavaScript, and those are their two main tracks. They’ve got two levels in each of those tracks, in html, CSS, and in JavaScript, and from the last time that I saw, they’re actually making a third level for each of them, and that third level should be coming out early this year.

I’m actually in the process of going through Code Avengers, and I actually really like it. It’s quite similar to Codecademy, but one of the main differences that Code Avengers is that they really get into the theme of you being this hero, and bringing missions and doing coding in terms of actually fulfilling a mission, and so it’s very gamified.

One of the interesting themes is that after a certain amount of levels that you complete, they actually show you a pop-up game, a game that pops up, and you can actually play it. Sometimes is actually has nothing to do with coding at all which is a bit random. It’s fun, but after a while, it actually got a bit annoying as well. What I do really like is that gamified slant to Code Avengers, and how they really tried to make it fun.

One thing though, that I’d recommend for them to do in the future to improve it, is if they could make sure that all of the actual missions, in terms of coding, actually link to the kind of theme of trying to code. Sometimes they’re trying to put that theme on their site. It sometimes feels like there’s this disconnect in coding and then the whole hero theme. If they made it more integrated and the coding actually was useful and worked through the theme, it might be a lot more fun.

4. LearnStreet.com

The fourth interactive website to learn to code is learnstreet.com. I actually haven’t tried that myself yet, but on there you can JavaScript and Python, and that’s another great website in the likes of Codecademy and Code Avengers.

5. Programmr.com

The fifth one is programmr.com, and it is spelt P-R-O-G-R-A-M-M-R.com. They have been doing a lot of improvement on their website recently, because I think they also had another very good on their website. It was also programr.com, but with just one M, so you might get confused with that. I think they’re doing a lot of development, but on that website, you can learn PHP and Python. I think they were actually a major competitor to Codecademy, but Codecademy really has come up front. I haven’t tried Programmr yet. I’m going to try it soon, but that’s another free website that you could learn to code.

Other Ways to Learn to Code without a Formal Degree

Those are the five free websites. There are other ways to learn coding online or interactively, and away from a university or traditional college degree, such as watching online video tutorials or reading up on forums, such as Stack Overflow. When I talk about online videos, there are videos such as from Lynda, that’s what they’re called, and many others.

Bonus Website: CodeSchool.com (Paid)

One other bonus interactive website that I have for you is Code School. The difference with Code School and the other five that I mentioned, however, is that it’s not free; it’s actually paid, but it does follow the likes of Codecademy and I’m merely interested to try them out potentially in the future, once I’ve tried out some of the others. I feel I’m more in the intermediate to advanced level now, and I really am looking to advance my skills. I think Code School does into more of the advanced techniques of some of the languages like javascript, html and CSS, as well as iOS.

I think that’s another thing that Code School has above the others that it’s also got languages, such as the iOS language that you can learn, that some of the others don’t. I guess that’s an advantage of paid interactive websites learn to code, because they’re more on the cutting edge. They have an incentive to continue developing and getting more advanced topics, rather than just sticking to topics for newbies.

What Other websites are there? You tell me!

Those are the five, including the bonus paid one. It really depends on what language you want to learn, in terms of which one you’ll use, and what level you’re at, and yet, I wonder what websites you’re using. You can share them in the comments section, and hopefully, these websites will help you be a better programmer, or a technical entrepreneur.
Bye-bye for now.

photo by: illustir

3 Goal Setting Tips from a Guy Who Just Got Engaged Yesterday

Hello, hello everybody. Welcome to the new year and welcome to this podcast of this show where today we’re going to be talking about goal-setting tips from a guy who just got engaged yesterday. Who is that guy? It’s actually me.

Engaging in Goal Setting

We’re having this session today. I really want to help you. Generally, on this blog we talk about ideas of social entrepreneurship specifically in regards to technology or innovation and finding ways how we can do good in a sustainable and scalable way. Because it’s a new year and it’s a new start, I thought I’d like to help you out there, you listeners, you readers out there to kick start the year in a really effective way.

I thought I might make it different this year by adding a little bit more personalization, sharing a little bit of stories and personal actors from my life, from my social life but also my business life, and let’s start here since it’s a new year. I just want to share that I got engaged yesterday. I went to the city. I’m based here in Sydney and I went to Sydney City. I asked my girlfriend of 8 years to get married. I was really nervous the whole morning yesterday, or actually the last couple of days but I’ve had tremendous support from friends and family to just finally ask her after 8 years. With that, I thought it would be interesting to share some goal-setting tips with you based on my own experience of being a guy who just got engaged yesterday. With that new found experience, here are some goals that can help you in your own personal life or even help you in relation to your business or professional life.

1) Don’t Forget Goals for The Rest of Your Life

First things first. The first goal is don’t forget goals in other areas of your life. I guess I exemplified that yesterday where I got engaged, and that actually was one of my maybe goals this year. It’s the start of the year already. A few days ago, I was going through a list of goals that I wanted to achieve this year, and one of them was to finally get engaged, wanted to man up. I wanted to take the relationship to the next level. But in doing that, what I did was I wrote down … in order to get some ideas of what goals I wanted, I already looked at my business goals, that business or professional area of my life. Also, wrote down other areas as well … What helped me with setting out goals was I wrote down firstly the areas of my life that I wanted to set goals in that I wanted to continuously improve. One of them was the professional area.

My tips for you for this year and even for upcoming years is don’t forget about the other areas of your life which are just as important. I mean when you’re 80 years old or a 100 looking back on your life on that rocking chair you’re not going … you’re going to remember of course some of your professional experiences but what’s going to hit the most for you and what you’re going to cherish the most of… the other areas of your life, the people that you’ve met. The people that you touched and came in contact with, the people that you love. The experiences that you had together with them, with friends and family. Don’t forget about those areas, and some of the key areas that many other goal-setting professionals and others writers write about that I also use on my life that you should probably consider writing goals for for this year and for the next years, the social goals, the social side which include family and friends.

Another area you could look into are spiritual goals. Whether you believe in god of not, you might want to develop your spirituality to understand more about your self. If you don’t necessarily believe in spirituality, you could also just try that more as self-fulfillment or personal goals. Goals that can develop your inner spirit, your potential and getting more in tune with your inner self.

Another area that you could write goals for are community based goals. Goals in which you could help the community, the outside community. Goals of just volunteering your time for a local charity or a local community group or organization that you believe in this year. Another area that you could also write goals for are just plain fun. Goals that you just want to expand your horizons and your experiences with. Just an example for this year, one of my areas is relationship and it really was to get engaged. That was one of my goals and a few days in already for this year I got engaged and I’m really excited about that. It feels great to achieve your goals and to achieve goals especially that are meaningful for you.

Another example for my fun goals for example is, what I want to do this year is I wanted to do something crazy and I want to go to Easter Island. I want to see… If you look it up on Wikipedia, there’s this massive stone heads or these really ancient artifacts, massive heads. I don’t know what they’re called but they’re there in Easter Island, and they’re in South America. I want to visit them. I just want to see them just out of … just in order to have a unique experience in life. Another place I want to go to is Patagonia. I want to check out the landscape. The beauty of nature as well in that area. Sign that in, I’d love to do it as well with my fiancée.

2) Focus on Outcomes, Not Tactics

Another tip that I have for setting goals this year from a guy who just got engaged yesterday is to focus on outcomes not tactics. What that means is, when you’re setting goals try and figure out what it is that you want to get out of that goal at the end of it. Don’t get too focused on the actual specific tactic of that goal but focus more on the result, and the reason why you want to do that is so that you’re not so strict and rigid on achieving it as an activity but it will helps you be more creative and innovative to figure out ways to achieve the ultimate result and the outcome that you want. For example, yesterday it was my … for this year with my goal to get engaged. The outcome was I wanted my lady to say yes, and for us to take it to the next level by us being engaged, and that was my outcome, that was the result. My tactic and strategy to do that was actually to take her to the city, in Sydney and to … We had a hotel booked and I wanted to take her out for lunch first and after that watch a movie and then after that the idea … what to do after that in order to ask her the question was to take her to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair. It’s in the Royal botanic garden. It’s a beautiful place, and … a really close friend had actually recommended it, to go there. He had done so before and I wanted to check it out and experience that and pop the question there really.

We’re on our way to the city but as we were going and we arrived in the city, it was actually raining and the botanic gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney where you could see beautiful views of the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Unfortunately, it was outdoors and so the rain prohibited us from going in with that. When we’re ready to go out, I looked outside. It didn’t look like it was raining but once we went downstairs from the hotel room, you could just see that it was drenching, it was raining. I asked her, would you like to still go with that stroll to the park where we can spend some time together and … but my obvious intention was to ask her the question there, at Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, at the botanic garden. Unfortunately, she said no, she didn’t want to go and it just struck me just then. I was really nervous. I was shocked. I was surprised. I was unsure about what to do but I remembered what … at the end of the day, what I wanted to get out of it. What was my result. What was my outcome of the goal and it was to pop the question, to ask her, so, just get her going to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair.

We just went for a stroll around the city, just nearby so that we wouldn’t get too wet, and trying to stay under the shelter. We had a drink, and one of our favorites is actually the Pearl Milk tea or in Chinese it’s called the Bo Ba Nai Cha, which we really enjoyed when we went to Taiwan together. We drank that in Sydney, and went back to the hotel room. I suggested it. We just had a talk about our relationship, and we even joked about the idea of we should take one of the … the sticker photos as we eat, wackies, take a photos but I just suggested as we’re talking intimately in the room. It just came to me, this is a good time to just ask. At the end of the day, even though the original plan didn’t work out which was to go to the botanical garden at Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair … at the end of the day I wanted to get engaged to her and it just felt right.

The lesson from that … the second lesson there is, focus on outcomes not on tactics. Focus on your results of the goal not on the activity because at the end of the day that’s what you want to achieve.

3) Celebrate your successes

The third goal-setting tip I have from a guy who just got engaged yesterday is whenever you achieve a goal, go out and actually celebrate your success. We did that yesterday. After she said said and we … I said my speech which recapped how we’ve been together for 8 years, and actually we knew each other as friends from high school and how she had made my life so amazing. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and start a family with her, and she said yes. I put the ring on and we took those photos, the sticker photos nearby in Sydney. We celebrated the achievement of that. It was a goal for me but it was a team effort because she said yes. Together we celebrated by dining, having some wine, and going out for a dance which really not necessarily a dance but more of jumping around and screaming to music just out of pure joy. I guess celebrating together is a great way to acknowledge that you’ve achieved a goal especially when you’re in a team situation but even if you achieve a goal individually, I suggest to not forget about celebrating your successes big or small.

For this year as you achieve your goals, even milestones of your goals, don’t forget to celebrate them as I did when I got engaged yesterday to my love. That’s it from me for now. Stay tuned for more podcasts and posts in the next few days and months and throughout this year. Share with me what your goals are for this year whether you’re a social entrepreneur or just someone who’s passionate about life and you just want to share it with me because you found this post interesting. Share your goals and good luck with it for this year. I know I’m going to have a great year. It’s exciting and talk to you soon. Bye-bye.