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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

The Tech Deck

Learn how to program with MOOCs

You should learn how to program.

Right now, more than any time in history, learning how to program is easy. In the ye olden times (1960s-1990s), programming was relagated to über nerds and scientists, but with the advent of MOOCs, almost anyone can learn right from home.

(Thanks to Nerissa Kresge of Glover Middle School for reminding me of this video!)

Steps in learning how to program

Step 1: Learn how to Google things. Seriously, do a Google search for MOOC, then do a Google search on some of the results. (I'll pretend you're doing that now.)

Step 2: Sign up for one or more of the MOOCs.

Step 3: Go through all of the course material of your MOOC, and don't cheat. Just do it. Then do another one. If you still haven't figured it out, do another one.

Step 4: Profit!

I particularly recommend the following resources:

Some are free, some are not, all are worth it. I keep telling people this, and no one has yet taken me up on this offer, but if you were to dedicate yourself to learning you'd be able to get it done within a year.

If you were to learn Python or Ruby or become a Javascript guru, you'd be able to make $40-50k to start, and work your way up to $70-90k. If you were to learn Objective-C, which is used to program iOS and OSX devices, you could practically start signing your own checks.

No PHD, Master's, or BS degree required, no student loans to pay back, no major infrastructure investments (other than a decent computer). If you're interested, what do you have to lose?

My recommendation? Just do it.

Daniel Gayle
Dan Gayle joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He is currently a Python/Django developer in the newsroom, primarily responsible for front end development and design of

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