Learn To Code In Person: 9 Local Resources

Are you someone who learns better by seeing someone else explain and demonstrate in person? Or, are you just tired of staring at your computer for another few hours each night and need to get out? Well, we’ve compiled a great list of resources for learning to code in person.

For most of us, learning online is just too convenient, but I’ll admit, face to face education is a much better learning experience. Especially when there are concepts that are difficult to master online like Abstraction and some Object Oriented concepts that are difficult to grasp when first starting out. It is great to be able to bounce your questions off an instructor or peer to get answers immediately.

Another benefit of learning to program locally is that being around better programmers makes you a better programmer. I liken this to golf and other sports when playing with or against someone that is much better than you. In most cases, definitely not all, you are able to raise your game to another level by simply watching someone more skilled make the game look so easy. You are motivated to be better and the same holds true when learning to program.

Ok, you won’t be able to code faster by watching someone right out of the gate, but you will pick up on many nuances, such as:

  • Programming tools they use to get the job done
  • Keyboard shortcuts that enable them to do much more in less time
  • Desktop/Laptop setups that increase productivity

These will all pay dividends throughout your programming career that are difficult to replicate via online learning.

With that said, let’s get to our list of places to learn how to program in person! We’ve broken our list into three sections: Programs for Anyone, Programs for Women and International Programs.

Programs for Anyone

1)meetup.com  Meetup.com

Website: http://programming.meetup.com/

Meetup.com is a great place to find local groups for anything, especially groups dedicated to programming. Simply visiting the site will provide a list of local programming groups near you to help you on your way. While most groups are specific to a language like PHP, Ruby and others, occasionally you can find groups that are more generic and cover a wide range of topics focused on helping beginners get started.

Enter your zip code here to find local programming groups near you.

2) Code.orgcode.org

Website: http://code.org

Code.org is a non-profit national movement to help increase participation of computer science education within our school system and minorities. Their flagship principle is the Hour of Code in which 47 million students have experienced. But wait, I’m not a K-12 student! I figured so, but many of the tutorials are for all ages.

Regardless of that, the real reason I’m recommending it within my list of places to learn to code locally is because of this! <– that link provides a search for local high school and college computer science classes and camps! You can find colleges that are offering part time programming classes as well as various code camps that become available in cities around the country.

Not to mention, this is a great resource for parents who value the role of computer science in the curriculum and would like to find high schools that make it a part of their education.

3) GeneralAssemb.lygeneral-assembly

Website: https://generalassemb.ly/

General Assembly offers full-time, part-time, classes, workshops and free events that introduce you to their paid instruction. They offer a wide array of specialized instruction ranging from Mobile Development to Front End/Back End Web Development and much more. A service like General Assembly is great because it offers specialized instruction for a certain area that may not be found with other local options. They offer various locations around the United States plus Europe and Asia.

Find a location near you here.

4) Community College or Vocational School

Website: itt-tech.edu, vatterott.edu

While this is a more traditional form of learning, it is a form of education that is flexible and affordable. While not free, vocational schools and community colleges provide more structured learning as well as credit towards a degree for your time. If you aren’t in a major metropolitan area, this may be your only option for face to face instruction.

Programs for Women

5) GirlDevelopIt.comgirldevelopit.com

Website: http://www.girldevelopit.com/chapters

With chapters across 40 metropolitan areas in the United States, GirlDevelopIt.com helps get women involved by providing affordable and accessible classes for women who are interested in learning how to program through mentorship and face to face instruction. Classes include Development 101, HTML/CSS, Javascript, Ruby, Python and more.

6) MadeWithCode.commadewithcode.com

Website: https://www.madewithcode.com/events

MadeWithCode.com is a Google initiative to help spur creativity in women through programming. Events are held all across the country and can be found by searching here.

7) Railsbridge.org

Website: http://www.railsbridge.org/about/chapters

In 2009, the San Francisco Ruby community was comprised of 97% men and 3% women. RailsBridge was created an an effort to change that. With classes across both coasts, the midwest and globally, you can hone your Ruby skills by attending a workshop.

International Programs

8) LearningLabs.org – CANADA

Website: http://learninglabs.org/

With partners such as LadiesLearningCode.com, KidsLearningCode.com and GirlsLearningCode.com, LearningLabs.org is an organization built to teach digital literacy for many demographics across Canada.

9) CodeWeek.eu – EUROPE

Website: http://events.codeweek.eu/

CodeWeek is an initiative across Europe that dedicates a week to learning code. Using this link, you can find the dates that your country recognizes this initiative and any local events for you to attend.

Have more to add to the list? Let me know in comments or send them to me at our Contact Us page.

Recommended Training – Treehouse

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Read our full review of Treehouse…

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

  • Lindsay

    Thanks for the great read, Chris! Since you’re a self-taught programmer and I am heading down that path, any helpful tips for how to keep going? I am already going through online courses to learn Front-End Web Development and I have a side project in my blog made from scratch, but I am not sure if there’s anything else I should be doing. Thanks for any tips you might provide!

  • codeconquest

    Hi Lindsay! – Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the read! When I started, I always had something to create. I threw myself into the fire and figured it out as I went. I loved to see something I created helping people. Whether it was a linux shell script that automated something for a fellow co-worker or a very basic website that served a niche, I always had a project. You’ve done great to create a side project in your blog and I would use that as your motivation for your next project. Don’t stop by simply creating it, look at other sites that you like and find things to add to your site. Just keep creating and you’ll start to gravitate towards something. Once you figure that out, you will advance quickly and be able to market your skills.


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