Forget “Hello World”: Technical skills and how to learn them

Today, I’ll be giving a talk at the Support Driven Expo about where to start learning technical skills (like code) when you come from a non-technical background. This page is for some resources to help you get started. 🙂

You can see my slides and I’ll add video of the talk when I receive it.

A great place to start to understand some of the building blocks of code is this Hour of Code Star Wars game.

You can download it to try out offline and, as implied by the name, it won’t take you forever.

Some other choices:

Usually my go-to recommendation is Code School but it looks like their resources have been absorbed into Pluralsight and require a subscription. If you can use them, I recommend their courses on Chrome Developer Tools and SQL.

Code Academy is another resource with lots of paths to learn new skills and is free to use.

Codeland is a conference specifically design for people new to coding and is a great place to learn without judgement.

BaseCS is a podcast you can listen to to learn some fundamentals of computer science. Vaidehi Joshi is really great at explaining things in a fun and engaging way.

Both of the above are part of CodeNewbie.

Ashley McNamara is an excellent human (and great person to follow on twitter). She has a github repo entirely dedicated to resources for beginners.

If you want to learn about APIs:

Zapiers API guide is a great place to start. It talks you through things in a comprehensive and easy to understand way.

Postman is a tool you can use for free to test out API calls and is really helpful when you’re learning.

Snipcart also have an API skills guide.

If you want to learn about git:

To be completely honest with you, I struggle with git a lot but I recommend both this git cheat guide and this guide to git in the real world.

Chrome Developer Tools:

Here’s a really handy cheat guide! 🙂

This is definitely a non-exhaustive list and I’ll add more resources as I find them. 🙂



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