10 Sites to Help Expand Your IT Toolkit

By XTGlobal Posted 27-Oct-2014

As the complexity of IT projects and evolving new technologies grow, it’s increasingly difficult to keep your development toolkit current. While it’s certainly not necessary for everyone to be a master of every programming language, it’s wise to at least maintain a working familiarity with the most common technologies utilized in modern business. Taking advantage of any combination of these IT development resources can help you build your knowledge base and stay current with emerging languages and technologies.

HScripts.com – (Free Site)

This platform bills itself as a go-to site for webmasters and offers written tutorials on multiple web server side, programming and database languages. Within each of these categories, it further breaks the language down into the individual components that you may need to refer to when programming. Tutorials are classified as either basic or extreme, depending on how in-depth you wish to delve into the topic.

In addition to providing an easy-to-use and free reference for developers, it also offers both free and paid scripts, images and web tools to assist you in the development process.

Lynda.com – (Paid Subscription)

Lynda.com is a paid subscription platform that offers thousands of video tutorials on topics ranging from business to development to design concepts. Within the development section there are not only nearly 100 programming language courses, but also tutorials that cover project management, data analysis and the foundations of programming. Courses within each category are further broken down by skill level, allowing you to quickly access those tutorials that will be most useful for your existing knowledge set.

While all membership levels provide access to unlimited tutorials, as well as the new content that’s added weekly, choosing a premium membership gives you the ability to download videos to a device to continue your learning while you’re offline a well as providing source file downloads.

Mobile Makers Academy – (Paid Tuition)

This platform caters to anyone wishing for an apprenticeship experience and allows you to quickly learn how to build apps for iOS devices. During this eight-week boot camp, you’ll have the opportunity to work in person in San Francisco or Chicago, or participate online during regular class hours. Unlike many online courses, this program will get you coding on your very first day and building your own apps the next day.

However, the Mobile Makers Academy will cost you; the in-person class will run you $9,000 while the online class will come in around $5,000. That is of course if your application to the Academy is accepted. You will, however, be fully prepared to tackle the mobile tech industry, so for some, the cost can be easily justified.

Pluralsight – (Paid Subscription)

This platform offers an extensive curriculum of video tutorial content that covers dozens of languages and frameworks. Their offering covers multiple skill levels, allowing you to find what you need to refresh yourself in a familiar technology or learn an entirely new language to add to their toolkit, regardless of whether you consider yourself a novice or a seasoned professional.

Pluralsight paid subscribers also benefit from session transcripts and source materials available for download, making this a simple way to follow along with the training content. Selecting the Plus subscription will give you access to assessments and offline viewing, providing you the opportunity to test your knowledge and expand it even when you don’t have access to the Internet.

SkilledUp – (Paid Subscription)

This platform is more like a search engine for development tutorials than a company that offers them directly. The benefit to using this site instead of your favorite search engine is that they weed out many of the lower quality sites or articles on the topic, leaving you with the highest quality learning options currently available. While their site is free to use, the majority of the course options shown are paid; however, they offer filtering options to limit the price of the tutorials shown to under $250, under $100, under $50 and free.

TeamTreehouse – (Paid Subscription)

While this platform offers more than 1,000 video tutorials across a variety of topics, it also allows you to choose a guided learning path called a track. This setup can provide you with the necessary knowledge foundation for even those program languages you aren’t very familiar with before you move to the more advanced concepts, without forcing you to search for additional foundational tutorials. TeamTreehouse adds content weekly and already has a track available for programmers wishing to learn iOS 8 programming with Swift, the programming language created by Apple as an alternative Objective-C.

Although both membership options have access to an exclusive forum and code challenges, Pro members will have access to talks from industry professionals, as well as workshops and interviews you won’t find elsewhere.

Thinkful – (Paid Subscription)

This platform is useful for busy professionals who want to learn a new programming language while still working a full-time job. Thinkful offers self-paced courses in Python, web development in Rails, backend development in Node and iOS 8 development in Swift, among others. While the average student devotes 10 to 12 hours to their studies each week to accommodate their work schedule, you are always free to work at your own pace to complete the work faster. Unlike many other online development and programming tutorials, you’ll also get one-on-one coaching with your mentor weekly and have the ability to contact them during daily office hours if necessary.

If you’re more interested in going through a more intensive in-person program to take you from novice to job-ready in the shortest period possible, Thinkful will help you find available boot camps in your area.

Udemy – (Paid)

This platform offers more than 18,000 paid and free courses. Unlike other platforms that require monthly subscription fees, the majority of the paid courses Udemy offers require only a one-time fee to get started. You can pick from a variety of courses for programming, operating systems, networking and security. This platform also displays user reviews for each course, allowing you to see what other students thought of the curriculum prior to purchasing it.

W3Schools – (Free)

Unlike other online certification schools and programs, this platform allows you to study for free and at your own pace. Once you’ve completed the tutorials, you have the option to pay a reasonable one-time exam fee to receive certification for what you’ve learned. The online study materials the site provides include limited text explanations, ample examples and quizzes to help you test your learning progress.

Through this platform, you have the ability to study and receive certification for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, server side languages, XML and web building.

Academy. (n.d.). RSS. Retrieved October 5, 2014, from http://www.mobilemakers.com

Become a web developer | Thinkful. (n.d.). Thinkful. Retrieved October 5, 2014, from http://www.thinkful.com

HScripts.com. (n.d.). HScripts.com. Retrieved October 5, 2014, from https://www.hscripts.com

W3Schools Online Web Tutorials. Retrieved October 9, 2014, from http://www.w3schools.com

Learn HTML, CSS, iPhone apps & more. (n.d.). Learn Web Design, Web Development, and More. Retrieved October 5, 2014, from http://teamtreehouse.com

Online Courses - Anytime, Anywhere | Udemy. (n.d.). Udemy. Retrieved October 5, 2014, from http://www.udemy.com

SkilledUp - Find the best online courses, tutorials and resources. (n.d.). Skilledup.com. Retrieved October 5, 2014, from http://www.skilledup.com

What do you want to learn today?. (n.d.). Online video tutorials & training. Retrieved October 5, 2014, from http://www.lynda.com

wwwpluralsight.com. (n.d.). wwwpluralsight.com. Retrieved October 5, 2014, from http://wwwpluralsight.com


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