A few cool things from the open-source world…

The industry is a’changin’! Tech companies have taken the educational gap seriously…

I learned to code before it was nearly as social and collaborative an event — I think I would be a better coder if it had been :). I’m amazed at how much great, free educational coding and learning opportunities are out there today, so if you’re in tech and you’re not taking advantage of them, you should start today! There’s even Google’s free Optimize offering for A/B and multivariate testing!

Google, Amazon Alexa, Amazon Web Services, IBM Watson, Lockheed Martin and many more work with Udacity.com to create the courses to teach the knowledge they want people to have — some of it, including what’s in here, are free. Codecademy.com has a $19/month fee, but does offer some things that Udacity does not, like Bootstrap, Watson API, ReactJS and Sass.

FreeCodeCamp.com is one that I’m particularly excited about, as it trains you for free in HTML/CSS, Bootstrap, JavaScript, jQuery, and much more (that’s as far as I am, so I can’t tell you more yet!), gives you projects to show your competence, and then, when you’ve received the necessary certifications through them, you can start coding for non-profits! I think that’s a very cool way to give back to the community! And I actually thought the way they taught Bootstrap was more helpful than the one I paid for through Codecademy, as it taught you a lot more about the Bootstrap classes. I also like the way they taught JavaScript, explaining concepts in detail that others such as Codecademy skimmed over or didn’t mention. Also, it seems that a ton of people are getting into this, especially as the industry has been changing and insisting that UXers and visual designers know how to code. It’s a sad fact that I’ve had to embrace.

Accessibility

If you’re looking to learn the basics of web accessibility fast and for free, this is a great course to not only understand the various types of disabilities, but also learn how to code accessibly, including using ARIA attributes, to ensure that your UI works for everyone. There are even quizzes that allow you to work through the code to make elements accessible, to ensure that you really understand. But even for those who just want to learn the basics and not get into the coding, this is a great course. Web Accessibility | Udacity

Code-Editing/PhotoShop Importing

A cool open-source tool from Adobe is their Brackets code editing, PhotoShop mockup (PSD) importing tool: Brackets — A modern, open source code editor that understands web design. Yes, it’s free! Say goodbye to trying to track down a closing div, figuring out what CSS rules are applied (press Ctrl-E/Cmd-E on an HTML element to open a panel showing the applied CSS), and even developers having to ask what exact colors and distances between elements were used in your PhotoShop mockups. You can even view two files at once, making tracking down issues between HTML and CSS or between HTML and JS or whatever a heck of a lot easier!

Google Analytics

If you’re not a Google Analytics expert yet, don’t wait! They now have free courses through their Google Analytics Academy! So far, they’ve got GA for Beginners, Advanced, Ecommerce — from data to decisions, and Google Tag Manager. I’m pretty familiar with Google Analytics and even learned things from the beginner class. Check it out!

A/B Testing

If you’re not using Google Analytics yet, you might not realize that they have a great free A/B, multivariate testing tool called Optimize. You can buy the enterprise version if your testing needs are really advanced, but why not start with some small tests right away?

Free open-source coding books

Here are a bunch of free computer science and coding books from CollegeOpenTextbooks (advanced high school, two-year college and lower division four-year college textbooks). There’s a lot of great stuff out there. Just off the bat, I see one for XCoder and HTML5 Canvas that look good! :-D Time to clear out my bookshelves!

API

IBM Watson API — Yep, there’s a mostly free class for that! Codecademy has a $19/mo subscription. Learn all about the Watson API and Bluemix: Learn the Watson API | Codecademy .

OAuth Authentication & Authorization: Authentication & Authorization: OAuth | Udacity

AI

Intro to AI — https://classroom.udacity.com/courses/cs271 . They have a whole nanodegree program in AI as well!

App Dev Android and iOS

Android Development for Beginners: How to Make Apps | Udacity

Developing Android Apps | Udacity

Android UI input: https://classroom.udacity.com/courses/ud836

Become an iOS Developer | Udacity

These are just a few — they have a bunch of free ones or you can enroll in their nanodegree programs: search here: All Courses and Nanodegree Programs | Udacity

Responsive design / Image Optimization

Learn Responsive Images | Udacity — Learn how to set up a node/npm/grunt task to automatically optimize images, ensuring optimized performance.

Browser Rendering Optimization | Udacity

Or…Find your own path!: Pathfinder | Udacity

Enjoy!