Learning to Code in Chicago

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What is coding?



  • Runs fast. 
  • Embedded and cross platform application. Particularly interactive features in websites. 
  • Over 3 billion devices use Java. 

C (C++, C#)

  • One of the oldest programing languages (1972). 
  • Influenced C++ (1985) and C# (2000) which are extensions of the original program. 
  • Used for system programing and databases. Embedded systems such as car interfaces are often programmed in C. 


  • Concise syntax. Shorter code needed to perform functions than other programs.
  • Easier to learn than C and Java. 
  • Best for data science, AI, machine learning. 

How do you pick which language to learn?

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Which programming language should you learn? 

Which programming language should you learn? 

  • Web-based startups often use Python and JavaScript.
  • Larger companies tend to develop their internal software applications using C# or Java and their Web applications using PHP.
  • Data analytics typically use R and MATLAB.
  • Embedded devices use C, C++, or Rust.
  • Applications that run on the cloud use Go or Scala.  
  • Mobile applications increasingly use Swift or Kotlin.

Sources: https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/most-popular-programming-languages/


Education: Degrees and Certifications


Certification Program: A certificate demonstrates you have a single skill, often not granted by a university. Often take a few weeks to several months to complete.


University Program: Degrees take longer, there are different requirements for an Associates Degree (generally 2 years) and a Bachelors degree (generally 4 years).



City Colleges of Chicago 


Google IT Support Professional Certificate

  • Program Cost: Free
  • Need an average of 6-8 hours of study each week for up to 6 months to complete coursework 
  • Students are expected to take the certification exam upon completion
  • It is a synchronous class that meets weekly with an instructor/coach

Code Platoon


Women Who Code Chicago


Free Geek


Free Online Resources

Code Academy 


Code Academy 

Languages & Subjects

HTML & CSS, Python, JavaScript, Java, SQL, Bash/Shell, Ruby, C++, R, C#, PHP, Go, Swift, Kotlin Web Development, Data Science, Computer Science, Developer Tools, Machine Learning, Code Foundations, Web Design, Game Development, Mobile Development, Data Visualization, Full Catalog




Code Academy

+ Aesthetically pleasing courses. For paid service, only $20 per month.   
+ Good guides for finding information.
+ Explains errors.
- Reported bugs in some courses. Also reported it runs slowly occasionally.
- No certifications

Free Code Camp 


Each certificate curriculum takes 300 hours to complete by submitting 5 required projects.

When coding, what is an extra benefit of creating projects?

Free Code Camp Certifications

  • Responsive Web Design (HTML, CSS, Flexbox, CSS Grid)
  • Algorithms and Data Structures (JavaScript.)
  • Front End Libraries (React, Redux, Sass, Bootstrap, jQuery)
  • Data Visualization (D3.js)
  • APIs and Microservices (Node.js, Express.js)
  • Information Security and Quality Assurance (Chai, Helmet.js, BCrypt, Passport.js)

Free Code Camp

+ Completely free.
+ Grants legitimate certifications.
+ Project based, completed projects required in order to earn certifications. 
- Stylistically less pleasing to look at. 
- The “help” button opens on a chatroom. You will need to rely on past forum posts for answers instead.
-No progress indicators. 






Languages & Subjects

187 Free Courses

Python, AI, Machine Learning, Statistics, app development, Rapid Prototyping, Linear Algebra Refresher Course, and more 
59 Programs 

Hybrid Cloud Engineer, Development for Microsoft Azure, Data Science for Business Leaders, Introduction to Cyber Security, and more





+ Stylistically pleasing to look at.
+ Code error notifications.
+ Great selection of free courses. App development for both Android and iOS not common. 
- $200 a month.
- Paying a monthly subscription instead of paying by course is not suitable for everyone.