In this article, I share the learning resources that I have used to teach myself software development, starting with the fundamentals. I have also included my decision process behind each resource.
CS50 – Introduction to Computer Science (Harvard, 2016)
Online Course at edX
After developing a strong base of knowledge in computer science I felt confident enough to start specialising in a language. At the time (late 2015) I decided learning Java would make me the most employable. After getting an internship and then a permanent position as a software engineer I decided to specialise in the language.
I have included my recommendations in Learn Java with these resources.
Before deciding to change careers (late 2015) I did an Android course just for fun. I started building apps in my free time when I started my first permanent job as a software engineer (mid 2016) until I changed to another company in mid 2017.
I have included my recommendations in Learn Android with these resources.
After getting a taste of Android development (mid 2016) I decided it would be a good idea to look at the other side. Afterwards, I decided to specialise in Android instead.
I have included my recommendations in Learn iOS with these resources.
Free Code Camp
Tutorials and projects
If you are not familiar with testing in JS (with Jasmine) or how to do TDD, this course offers a great introduction.
For almost every project I have worked on, database knowledge has been required, which is why I decided to complete the following course early/mid 2016.
Intro to SQL (Khan Academy, 2016)
This is a great introduction to SQL. I personally find Databases and SQL quite boring but it is an important skill to have and Khan Academy makes it very bearable to learn about it.
The following content helped me improve my abilities as a software developer dramatically.
Clean Code (2009) Robert Martin
One of the classics (and for good reason too), this book gets you thinking in the right direction when it comes to designing software that is reusable, maintainable, flexible and scalable.
Clean Coder (2011) Robert Martin
This book gives you a great insight into the Bob Martin’s professional life as a software engineer and is a fun book to read. Full of handy tips for a career in software development.
Software Engineering Radio
This podcast gives great insight into software engineering. Some topics that I have enjoyed include legacy code, becoming a tech lead and working effectively with unit tests. Episodes come out approximately once a month so it easy to keep up with this one!
I started learning Vim before I really knew how to program (mid 2015). I saw the advantage of using it straight away and used it whilst writing the code for my Master’s Thesis.
Practical Vim (2012) Drew Niel
I use Vim as a text editor (also in IDEs) whenever I can as it increases my efficiency dramatically. Practical Vim is a great resource to obtain in-depth knowledge about the language. I would recommend doing the Vim tutorial (which can be accessed by typing
vimtutor in a terminal) before starting with this book though.
Before deciding to change careers (late 2015) I considered completing a degree in computer science, which requires a strong base in Mathematics. I thought Khan Academy would help me refresh that knowledge. Instead, they helped me master it!
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You might also like:
- Learn how to code with these resources (more material for beginners)
- Learn Java with these resources
- Learn Android with these resources
- Learn how to improve with these resources
- Why I chose to be an Android developer (instead of iOS)
- Why I changed careers
- How I changed careers
- Was studying worth it?