Internet Productivity Self Improvement

Learn to Code with These 7 Courses from Microsoft and edX

Matthew Hughes 17-03-2015

edX is one of the biggest providers of Massively Online Open Courses (MOOCs), with over three million students, and over three hundred courses. They offer University-level professional education, at a fraction (or none) of the cost, and boast courses in everything from computer skills, to history, to hard science.


Hallowed institutions of learning, from MIT to Berkeley, the Smithsonian to the University of Delft, offer courses on the site, and now so too does Microsoft.

They’re offering seven instructor-taught courses, all starting between March and April. Here’s what’s on offer.

Introduction to TypeScript

Begins 31st March 2015.

JavaScript is the language that powers the web What is JavaScript, And Can the Internet Exist Without It? JavaScript is one of those things many take for granted. Everybody uses it. Read More . It runs in the browser, and makes websites look that much more responsive and usable. It also powers the backend of many of the websites you visit through Node.js What is Node.JS and Why Should I Care? [Web Development] JavaScript is a just a client-side programming language that runs in the browser, right? Not any more. Node.js is a way of running JavaScript on the server; but it's so much more as well. If... Read More .



It’s a language that’s full of warts and carbuncles. People have worked out how to get past them by using programming languages that compile down to JavaScript, but look and feel completely differently. One such example is CoffeeScript CoffeeScript Is JavaScript Without The Headaches I've never really liked writing JavaScript all that much. From the day I wrote my first line using it, I've always resented that whatever I write in it always ends up looking like a Jackson... Read More , which we’ve covered before. It’s the most notable example, but not the only one. Microsoft has their own JavaScript alternative called TypeScript.

Learn how TypeScript can make you a better, more productive web developer. with Microsoft’s Typescript course. Classes start on the 31st of March, 2015.

Take the Introduction to TypeScript course.

Building Cloud Apps with Microsoft Azure

Begins 31st March 2015.


Azure is Microsoft’s answer to Amazon Web Services 4 Great Uses for Amazon's S3 Web Services Despite Amazon being most well known for their retail services, they actually offer a host of web services for developers and home users that take advantage of Amazons experience and scalability with massive amounts of... Read More . It is their platform for elastic, cloud computing, and allows people to spin up a virtual machine What Is a Virtual Machine? Everything You Need to Know Virtual machines allow you to run other operating systems on your current computer. Here's what you should know about them. Read More (Windows or Linux) in a matter of seconds, and scale them to their needs.


The advantage of cloud computing when compared to dedicated hardware is obvious. Microsoft is eager to show you how to take advantage of their platform with this course. Over the course of four weeks, learn the fundamentals of Azure, and how to build professional-quality applications and services on the platform. Lessons start on the 31st of March, 2015.

Take the Building Cloud Apps with Microsoft Azure course.


Programming with C#

Begins 7th April 2015.

C# isn’t the trendiest programming language in the world, but it’s certainly one of the most useful. It is, and will remain, one of the most in-demand programming languages How To Pick A Programming Language To Learn Today & Get A Great Job In 2 Years It can take years of dedicated work to become a truly good programmer; so is there a way to choose the right language to start from today, in order to get hired tomorrow? Read More to learn. Not only because it’s the programming language for building Windows 10 Metro applications, as well as iOS and Android through Xamarin, but also because of the masses of legacy code written in the language.


If you want to get started with this language, you might want to check out Microsoft’s Programming With C# EdX course. It’s free, and lasts six weeks, starting from the 7th of April, 2015. Microsoft estimates you’ll need to commit anywhere between 3 and 5 hours per week to get the most out of the course.


Take the Programming with C# course.

Introduction to Bootstrap — A Tutorial

Begins 7th April 2015.

The human-facing part of any website is always built with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The problem is, front-end development is time consuming, largely due to the need to make websites work with multiple browsers and mobile screen sizes.


Bootstrap is a project that was originally created by Twitter which facilitates the creation of mobile-friendly, responsive web pages, and should be in the toolkit of any developer, due to the immense amounts of time it saves anyone using it.

Introduction To Bootstrap – A Tutorial will take you from using Bootstrap in existing websites, to creating new ones from scratch. By the end of the three week course, you’ll know how to make mobile friendly, and beautiful webpages. Classes start on the 7th of April, 2015.

Take the Introduction To Bootstrap – A Tutorial course. 

Querying with Transact SQL

Begins 14th April 2015.

Microsoft’s SQL Server is one of the most widely used database systems. It’s almost as big as MySQL, and certainly bigger than any of the recent additions to the database world, such as MongoDB How a MongoDB Database Can Better Organize Your Data MongoDB (from "humongous") is a cross-platform document-oriented database used as an alternative to MySQL. But what does that mean? Read More . I can’t stress how important this is for anyone thinking of becoming a developer in the Microsoft camp, or someone getting into systems administration. Knowing this language will open doors for you.


SQL server uses a variant of the SQL query language Learn SQL Or Create A Simple Database With SQLite Database Browser Have you ever found yourself in need of a database, but you can't really afford Microsoft Access, and you certainly can't afford to install and operate an Oracle server at home. Whether your goal is... Read More called Transact-SQL (or T-SQL), which is slightly different to what you’d use with MySQL. Fortunately, this practical and lesson driven, four week course will take you through the language. Who knows, it might help you land a database or systems administration job. Lessons start on the 14th of April.

Take the Querying with Transact -SQL course. 

Windows PowerShell Fundamentals

Begins 14th April 2015.

PowerShell is both a command-line shell and scripting language for Windows, not unlike Bash is for Linux, BSD and OS X. Windows has historically suffered from a lack of a quality command-line, and PowerShell remedied it.

It is, like Transact-SQL, a vital skill for anyone to become a developer in the Microsoft ecosystem, or anyone who administers Windows based systems, including SQL Server. This course will explain it from the ground up, over the span of 5 weeks. Classes start on the 14th of April, 2015, and it requires a registration fee of $200.


If that’s a bit too rich for your blood, consider checking out these six PowerShell commands 6 Basic PowerShell Commands to Get More out of Windows PowerShell is what you get when you give steroids to the Windows Command Prompt. It grants you control of nearly every aspect of the Windows system. We help you leap up its learning curve. Read More you need to know, as well as Joel Lee’s piece on how PowerShell scripts can boost your productivity Boost Your Productivity With Windows PowerShell Scripts What if you could bring the productivity of Linux over to Windows? Most Linux distros come packaged with the powerful Bash shell. PowerShell is an equally powerful terminal for Windows. Read More .

Take the Windows PowerShell Fundamentals course. 

Introduction to Office 365 APIs

Begins 14th April 2015.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) What Are APIs, And How Are Open APIs Changing The Internet Have you ever wondered how programs on your computer and the websites you visit "talk" to each other? Read More allow programs to communicate through a pre-defined set of instructions and protocols, and help developers expand the functionality of existing applications.


If you’ve ever wanted to integrate functionality from Microsoft’s cloud-based version of Office (Office 365) into your own applications, then this course is for you. It comes with the prerequisite that you know the C# programming language, and the course description states that a knowledge of Office 365 and ASP.Net MVC would be useful to get the most out of the material. Classes start on the 14th of April, and go on for three weeks.

Remember, if you’re a student, you can get Office 365 for free Students Can Get Microsoft Office 365 for Free Starting on December 1st, Universities that license Office Education for their faculty and staff can offer students Office 365 ProPlus for free. Read More through their Student Advantage program.

Take the Introduction to Office 365 APIs course. 

What Will You Learn?

All but one of these courses are free to audit, where you get the course material, but don’t gain a certification of achievement or participation. If you wish to gain an accredited qualification for them, you’ll have to pay a small fee.

Are you going to sign up for one of these courses? Will you bother getting accredited? Let me know, and we’ll chat in the comments section below.

Related topics: Education Technology, PowerShell, Programming.

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  1. Vernon Morris
    May 5, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Though not free has some excellent tutorials, and @DonGateley, you can do them at your pace.

    Their bootstrap tutorials are, I found, quite good and they have a few different tiers of videos - "introduction", "advanced" .

  2. DonGateley
    March 17, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    It seems that you take these courses on their schedule and for many of us whose daily work is event driven that is problematic. I would love to see self paced versions of them.

    • Matthew Hughes
      March 31, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      Aye, that's not ideal.