Photo of best resources to learn software engineering

Best resources to learn software engineering

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now software engineering advisor at Pathrise. I work with hundreds of software engineers to help them land their dream job.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of software engineering jobs will increase 21% between 2018 and 2028. Compared to the average increase of 5%, you can tell that there is a lot of demand for software engineers and that won’t be changing any time soon.

So, if you are looking to break into software engineering, need to brush up on your skills, or want to learn more advanced topics, we compiled a list of resources that can help.

1. Udacity

Classes on Udacity range from introductory level to advanced. They are most well known for their nanodegree programs, which they offer in a variety of programming topics like front end and full stack development, data structures & algorithms, and iOS & Android development. 

The nanodegree programs require students to work 10-15 hours per week on their courses. The length varies from 3 months on the low end to 7 months on the high end. They cost between $1100-$1500.

2. Udemy

Udemy is an online platform with courses in a variety of subjects. They have 10000 programming resources, ranging in topics. The majority of their language courses are in Python, but there are also Javascript, Java, and Unity courses. You can also filter their courses by level to match your background.

The courses include pre-recorded videos as well as related articles and resources to help students understand what they are learning. After completion, students are given a certificate of completion. Courses on Udemy range in price, from around $50 to $200, though they often have coupons available online as well as large discounts, often bringing the price down for courses to $9.99.

3. Codecademy

Codecademy is an online educational tool with both free and paid resources. For software engineering, they have career paths are in the following topics: coding foundations (computer science history, career exploration, applications), computer science (Python, data structures, command line, git), and web development (HTML, CSS, Javascript, React). These paths take 20-35 weeks, with the exception of the foundations path, which is introductory and only takes 2 weeks. Students can only participate in career paths on the Pro membership.

They also offer skills paths, in which students can learn how to build websites, create back-end or front-end apps with Javascript or React. These range from 6-10 weeks and all require Pro membership to be completed. The last option is the least commitment – courses can take between 1 hour and 20 hours to complete, depending on the subject. Some courses are free and some require the Pro membership. 

Students learn by watching pre-recorded videos, taking quizzes, practicing problems, and creating projects. The Pro membership for Codecademy is $19.99/month when on a 12 month subscription, $29.99/month when on a 6 month subscription, and $39.99/month when paying month-to-month.

4. Coursera

Similar to Codecademy, Coursera has various types of programs. Courses are a mix of recorded video lectures, assignments, and community discussion forums, which teach a new skill in 4-6 weeks. Specializations are focused on career-specific skills through a variety of courses on the subject over 4-6 months. 

Students who complete the courses and specializations receive shareable certificates. Many of their classes are verified by universities, like Princeton, UCSD, and Stanford. They also offer professional certificates, which last between 50-85 hours, and online degrees (master and bachelor) from universities like Penn, Arizona State, and University of Illinois. They also offer free courses that do not come with a certificate, so people who are just interested in learning new skills could benefit from these.

Courses on Coursera range from $29 to $99, depending on the subject. Specializations range from $39 to $79 per month, meaning the maximum amount someone could pay for a Specialization would $475. The online degrees require an application and admissions process and cost between $15k and $25k. 

5. freeCodeCamp

A registered nonprofit, freeCodeCamp offers certifications in responsive web design, JavaScript algorithms and data structures, front end libraries, data visualization, APIs and microservices, and information security and QA, all for free. Users participate in 300 hours for each certification, which is only completed if they finish the 5 final projects.

6. Thinkful

Thinkful is a bootcamp for people interested in learning the skills necessary to become a full stack software engineer. They offer 2 types of programs for software engineering – immersion, which is 50-60 hours a week, and flexible, which is 20-30 hours per week. Participants receive a written curriculum and the opportunity to meet with their program managers and mentor to discuss what they read and work through the problems. They do not have informational videos or live lectures.

The immersion programs offer an income share agreement of 15% of the participant’s income for 3 years. Participants can also choose to pay via loan, with the total coming out to $19,795, through monthly payments of $3,250 with the total coming out to $17,600, or $16,000 upfront. The data science immersion program is more expensive – $20,000 for month-to-month or $18,500 upfront.

If you are looking to take the next step towards a career in software engineering, these tools can help you get the necessary background you need to succeed. 

If you are already ready to find a great job in software engineering, Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. If you want to work with our industry mentors and career coaches to get help with your software engineering job search, join Pathrise. 

Apply today.

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