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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Online Learning Resources

I recently started exploring online resources that my company provides for free to their employees. 

I was pleasantly surprised to see all my favorite O'Reilly books on SafariBooksOnline, but also amazed at how much new technology has been developed over the last few years.  Areas that I thought I was very familiar with have suddenly shifted to include new tools, and new ways of doing things with cloud, big data, automation, and all kinds of new Apache products.

Check to see if your company provides free subscriptions, and then have a look at some of these resources:

Paid Learning Sites

When discussing career development ideas with my colleagues, I usually recommend training courses, or books, or documents to improve skills in some area. 

One reason a formal class is so effective is that the homework forces the student to learn.  I had a book with the title "Data Structures and Algorithms in C", which I had every intention of digging into "some day."  The examples are difficult to understand, and code snippets seemed incomplete, so I felt kind of lost.  Then I took a "Data Structures and Algorithms" class at UCSD Extension, which used that exact book.  Sure the examples were still hard to follow, but taking a formal structured approach to study made the book come to life.  Of course, a good instructor is an important part of any class, but the point is, that having a reason to dig into the content every week made the learning experience much more valuable.

More Programming Resources

Some free, some paid.

iTunes U has some excellent courses, but I don't know what category to put it in.  Some are free, some are paid, and the app is easy to use from an Apple product, such as iPad, and iPhone.  It may require an Apple ID.  Does it work on all devices?  Can it be accessed from a non-Apple device, the web, or Linux, or Windows host?  Still, it's definitely worth checking out.

Of course, I often refer to the Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide, at the

General Education

 Of course, no education list would be complete without the excellent free courses at Khan Acadamey:  And also TED Talks

I have enjoyed MIT Open Courseware for years -, and many other schools have followed their lead.

Other resources are listed on a forum at the forum --

Caljobs maintains a list of online resources

 Start at Unemployment Insurance Claimants Services for Individuals Education Services Online Learning Resources.

Still More

Here are some lists of online learning resources that I bookmarked after a google search:

LifeHack put together a nice list of sites for free online education.


Textbooks are often sold on college campuses for a fraction of the original price, but now they can also be found online at sties such as:

Remember that I mentioned SafariBooksOnline above, but there are other sites that provide access to books on a subscription basis.  For example a "kindle unlimited subscription account" from Amazon may be an option, physical books are not important to have.

Other Resources

Also notice that there may be some additional links for learning elsewhere on this System Notes blog side bars, or other articles.