6 Best Pre-Bootcamp Tutorials

Bootcamps are designed to prepare you for a job as a developer. After teaching new skills to thousands of students over the years, we’ve seen that introductory tutorials can help students make sure that becoming a developer is right for them before enrolling.
These tutorials will give you a taste of what programming is like and allow you to work at your own pace.

Top 3 Tutorials for JavaScript

While JavaScript has always been ubiquitous because it’s built into web browsers, it has emerged in the last few years as a powerful tool for creating complex web applications that mimic desktop-like functionality in the browser.

Rebecca Murphey: JavaScript Basics

Price: Free

JavaScript is a rich and expressive language in its own right. This section covers the basic concepts of JavaScript, as well as some frequent pitfalls for people who have not used JavaScript before. While it will be of particular value to people with no programming experience, even people who have used other programming languages may benefit from learning about some of the peculiarities of JavaScript.

Pros: This tutorial is a single-page with simple navigation. It hits all the basics of JavaScript, including some topics that are somewhat strange for programming beginners like closures and the this keyword. It exposes any beginner to a lot of the topics that are worth exploring more in-depth to get a real handle on JavaScript, which minimizes the frequent trap of beginning programmers of “not knowing what they don’t know”.

Egghead : Building an AngularJS App From Scratch: Getting Started

Price: Free

In this series, you can learn how to build a non-trivial AngularJS application from the ground up through a series of small, digestible lessons.

Pros: In general, the tutorials that Egghead does on topics related to modern frontend development hit the right balance between exposing the viewer to many potentially useful concepts, but not spending so much time that the video turns into a long-winded lecture. This tutorial is no exception. Lukas does a great job introducing the viewer to some of the more interesting aspects of Angular. Specifically, he starts with very simple directives, one of Angular’s most useful tools, to illustrate some of the magic behind Angular’s declarative approach to DOM manipulation and data-binding. His tutorial walks through controllers, filters and data modeling with Angular, and shows how to update data using event handlers with directives like ngSubmit. The tutorial also has a companion series on Angular app architecture behind a paywall that’s worth looking at as well.

If you are looking to explore standalone concepts in Angular, we can’t recommend Egghead enough. While it may not have the best start-to-finish tutorial introduction out there, the guys at Egghead explore almost every nuance of Angular’s APIs, including testing, design patterns, integrating popular external modules and more.

Code School: Shaping up with AngularJS

Price: Free

Learn to use AngularJS by adding behavior to your HTML and speeding up your application’s responsiveness. Get ready to dive into all the angles of AngularJS!

Pros: Officially sponsored by Google, which leads the open source development of Angular, this class is pretty thorough about exploring the different use-cases of Angular APIs. In addition to going through all of the basics (controllers, filters, models, and built-in Angular directives), it explores Angular services for keeping data management in controllers light, custom directives for abstracting interface components and dives into handling form submission the Angular Way. It also works on some useful, yet comparatively minor features that Angular offers like form validation. Code School’s learning pattern is great as well, as a combination of videos, reading and interactive, in-browser programming allows for short feedback loops and good coverage on the topics it explains. As far as free crash courses on Angular go, this is our favorite.

Top 3 Tutorials for Ruby on Rails

Code School: Rails for Zombies

Price: Free

Learning Rails for the first time should be fun, and Rails for Zombies allows you to get your feet wet without having to worry about configuration. You’ll watch five videos, each followed by exercises where you’ll be programming Rails in your browser.

Pros: Rails for Zombies is part of CodeSchool’s great Ruby on Rails section. It is the the first Rails course in a series of 7 courses. This is a fun introduction to the Rails API. This tutorial walks you through basic MVC, CRUD and database functionality in Rails.  For the price it is a great source for information, entertainment, and is a superb chance to get Ruby practice.

It is slickly produced, with entertaining videos, highly polished course materials, and in-browser exercises. Since the entire course is done in browser, no painful local Rails setup is required. In addition to the 7 Rails courses, there are 3 Ruby courses that range from introductory materials to advanced methods. Access to all CodeSchool courses is available for a very reasonably monthly subscription that can be cancelled/resumed at any time. Overall a great resource for aspiring developers looking to jumpstart their Rails knowledge or intermediate developers wanting to dive deeper into testing, APIs, and Rails 4 patterns.

Ruby Monk: Ruby Primer

Price: Free

You want to learn Ruby for fun, for a new job, or just to see what all the fuss is about? Start here.

Pros: Ruby Monk is easily one of the best and most thorough introductions to the Ruby programming language. The course is divided into 10 sections. This allows for complete coverage of Ruby syntax and programming principles. Each sections has several chapters that clearly explain various concepts, with in-exercise, runnable coding examples. Each section includes a set of 16 in-browser coding exercises to reinforce the concepts covered in the material. The course also has an entertaining monk-apprentice theme that keeps the material interesting.

Ruby Koans: Learn Ruby with the Ruby Koans

Price: Free

The Koans walk you along the path to enlightenment in order to learn Ruby. The goal is to learn the Ruby language, syntax, structure, and some common functions and libraries.

Pros: Ruby Koans are a free introduction to advanced Ruby programming concepts. It is broken into several koans (sections) covering everything from strings and arrays to advanced classes and regular expressions. Ruby Koans are a great resource for people who prefer the brain teaser method of learning. The exercises will challenge even advanced programmers to stretch and grow rarely used Ruby muscles. The Koans can be completed online through the browser based version, or downloaded and run locally.

Solve problems with Ruby, with a focus on test-first. This is a great intro to thinking about programming test-first, which is important for web development and programming in general.

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