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Whether it’s for fun, for work, or for something else, programming knowledge is becoming more and more relevant in today’s world. We’re spending more and more time online, so it’s only natural for us to need to have more knowledge of how to build and maintain the sites and applications we know and love.
Thanks to Google, in collaboration with schools around the United States, there’s a massive resource for learning how to program and code on the Web. It’s called Google Code University, and is a great place to learn coding and programming, or just to brush up on your skills.
GCU is broken into a few different courses – AJAX Programming, Algorithms, Distributed Systems, Web Security, and Languages. There’s also a section called Tools 101, which helps you learn how to use Linux, databases, SQL, and the like.
Before you really get started with Google Code University, you might want to take a look at the CS Curriculum Resources link. In the Resources, there are links to relevant background material to support the CS knowledge you’re about to gain – things like Discrete Math, Introductory Programming, and more. Though the University’s classes are all incredibly simple, this is a good resource for the little things that the University assumes you already know.
Within each course, there’s a ton of useful information. First, there are Tutorials, which are dead simple looks at the concepts you’re trying to understand. You’ll be walked through some of the basic steps you’ll need to work in that course, as well as go through a few basic exercises to further your knowledge and ability before you really get going.
Next, there’s a section of “Contributed Course Content,” which is all submitted by colleges and Universities for use in the Google Code University. It’s full of lecture slides, notes, and tutorials – essentially a whole semester’s worth of Computer Science class on one page, waiting to be taken whenever you want.
The Video Lectures Google provides are my favorite part of the whole thing, though. These are lectures taken from experts and panels at various events, in which they discuss a particular issue or idea centered on your course. For instance, in the AJAX Programming course, there’s a fascinating panel called “Creating a Rich User Experience,” that talks all about how desktop-like applications can be delivered over the Web using AJAX in the interface.
The University, available in a number of different languages, is licensed under Creative Commons. This means anyone can use it, feature it in their own classes, or share it with the world.
Google Code University is closely linked with Google Code, a massive repository for all the code Google has made available to the world. If you’re feeling like testing once you’ve got some learning under your belt, you can play with the Google App Engine, or take a look at some of the open-source programs hosted at Google Code.
In a world in which we need programming knowledge more than ever, it’s an increasingly valuable skill to have on your resume and in your tool belt. Google Code University is a free, simple, easy way to gain a lot of important coding knowledge in a small amount of time.
Are you a coder? How’d you learn?
Photo Credit: brajeshwar