I’ll admit I have no formal education at the college level to truly say that contributing to open source is better than any collage degree as the title of this article states, but I still believe in that statement personally. Having said that though, if you can afford it and have the grades to be accepted, a College degree is still a good choice for a start. But the real truth is that coding is an ever changing world and is a place where you will always be learning which is why I stand by my statement.
The reason for this is all the real world trial and error that happens with open source as you contribute to it and others critique your code showing you the way that it should be written. Also, there’s other ways that you can learn code other than from a college degree. You can always take a bootcamp or use an online school like I did for my education choice. This allows you to keep going back as technology and languages evolve.
I can recommend two places that you can go online to learn how to code that are free to use. As a bonus, one of them will even give you certificates to show what you have learned.
The first place I went to learn how to build a website was W3Schools.com. This site was created in 1998, and derives its name from the World Wide Web (WWW) but is not affiliated with the W3C. The W3C is a consortium of international organizations that are collectively a standards organization that define the web standards and language that are used by us all who make the sites you visit.
At W3Schools they focus on simplicity, practice easy learning, uses simple code examples and simple illustrations of how to use it, and their tutorials start from the most basic level and move all the way up to the more professional references to teach you everything you need to know. I only found two things wrong with this site. The first was that there’s a cost to taking the quiz to gain the certificate, although this is still a much cheaper option than taking a college course. The second thing I found wrong is the lack of material that you can display on your portfolio to show your talent. This is where my next choice of websites for learning to code comes in to play, and has become my go to choice for online learning at this point.
Free Code Camp
Ever since I discovered FreeCodeCamp in February 2022 it has become my new goto source for education. This learning platform started by Quincy Larson back in 2014. But, ever since then, there have been thousands of contributors that have contributed to the various courses and helped to maintain the forum and the overall website.
This site has courses in all aspects of coding for both web development and programming. Each course has approx. 300 hours of course work, although that really depends on the speed of which you learn at. The reason I think this is a better place to learn is that not only does it give a certificate at the end of each course like W3Schools.com does, but it also has projects at the end of each of the courses for you to do that can be used in your portfolio. Although this site is free, I would encourage contributing to it to support their mission to teach the world how to code.