Resources to learn software and coding

By Ashley Crockett

Photo courtesy of Best PSD to HTML
Are you ready to take the first step in learning software and programming languages? If so, read on to learn how.


JOURN 4502
Multimedia Planning and Design
Learn to build websites using HTML5, XHTML, CSS3 and jQuery. Secretary Nicole Garner and I just completed this course and loved it. Rob Weir, the director of digital development for the Columbia Missourian, will teach the class in the spring. He starts by teaching the most basic tools, so his students can build beautiful websites by the end of the semester.

JOURN 4430
Computer-Assisted Reporting
Data journalism takes tons of information and breaks it down into bite-size pieces for people to understand. In CAR, students use everyday programs like Microsoft Access and Excel to turn data sets into stories. Students learn how to pull information from databases using Structured Query Language (SQL) as well as how to think critically when analyzing findings. CAR isn't just for investigative reporters: It offers a variety of skills every journalist can use.

Division of Information Technology

The division of IT at Mizzou offers classes for HTML5, Dreamweaver, Excel, Flash, Photoshop -- and the list goes on. These are held on campus and most are free for students.

From the DoIT website:

"All IT Training courses, except IT Pro Training courses, are available for free (if you attend) to MU faculty, staff, and students, University Hospital, System, and Extension employees. Retirees enrolled in the Retiree Access IT Program can also take courses for free (if you attend). Cancelling enrollment within 48 hours of the start of the course, or not showing up for class, will incur a fee. Please review our enrollment policies before registering.
Members of the general public and companies are also eligible to take IT Training courses* for $89 per course. IT Pro Training course fees vary depending on the course. New users will need to create an account.
For more information, call 882-2000 or email"

So if you have free time, sign up for a class -- they're great starting points and are 100-percent free.

Websites is a subscription-based service that lets users tailor their learning experience. Software tutorials for Adobe, Apple and Microsoft, among others, are available. Skill levels range from beginner to expert.

W3 Schools is an incredible source for answering specific questions about HTML, CSS and more. Its "Try It Yourself" editor is useful for testing effects before adding them to your own code.

Don't Fear the Internet uses short tutorial videos to teach HTML, CSS and PHP. As its authors say, "You’ll feel empowered rather than crippled by the internet and worst case scenario you’ll at least end up having a better idea of how professional web designers turn your design dreams into a reality on screen."

What other resources do you use for software and coding?

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