• Advice

Learn to code on the road

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They’ve ditched their office, and their apartment lease too. They take meetings in beach towns, airports, and on the road. Hauling their skills and their laptops wherever they go, digital nomads make an office out of any place with an Internet connection and a power outlet.

Where do digital nomads come from?

Computer scientist Leonard Kleinrock was among the first to predict the emergence of digital nomadism. In 1996 he argued that computer communications infrastructure would spark a culture of working “anytime, anywhere,” and that the computer science community should design flexible systems that can function across various types of Internet speeds and hardware systems.

Kleinrock was correct. Thanks in part to his advocacy, today we’re able to sync our work between Android and iOS devices and switch seamlessly between online and offline environments. Google “digital nomad” today and millions of results appear: subreddits, online forums and blogs document cities with the most reliable Internet connections, cheap rent, and low cost of living.

The digital nomad life is easier and more rewarding than you might think. Shane Rasnak, a Cornell graduate who runs his own marketing consultancy, wouldn’t trade in the free lifestyle that his work provides:

“More than any title or salary that a job could provide, I desired the freedom to choose my own clients, decide where and when I work, live in different cities throughout the year, and spend my days doing the work I love most. The autonomy and ability to design my ideal way of life, day by day, is absolutely priceless.”

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Looking for the right resources to gain the skill set you need to work on the road?** Here are the top 10 sites for learning to code online:**

1. CareerFoundry: personal mentoring

  • Duration: 3 or 6 months
  • Offerings: Web development, UX design

2. One Month: learn to code in 30 days

  • Duration: 30 days (you read that right)
  • Offerings: Swift, Ruby on Rails, HTML, Python, programming for non-programmers

3. Thinkful: community office hours

  • Duration: 3 months
  • Offerings: Python, Rails, AngularJS, Node.js, UX design, web development, Swift, Android development

4. Treehouse: video lectures

  • Duration: 45 hours (6 months)
  • Offerings: Ruby on Rails, PHP

5. Bloc: project-based learning

  • Duration: 12, 18, or 36 weeks
  • Offerings: Full stack web development, frontend web development, Swift, Android, UX design

6. Codecademy: the world’s first net native educational offering

  • Duration: Varies
  • Offerings: HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, Python, Ruby, PHP

7. Udacity: earn a “nanodegree” recognized by industry leaders like Google

  • Duration: 9-12 months
  • Offerings: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Git, Python, Android, Swift, Hadoop, web development, UX design, machine learning

8. Skillshare: learn from professionals, not teachers

  • Duration: Varies
  • Offerings: HTML, CSS, Swift, Python, Ruby

9. Codeschool: “Paths” for diving deep into subject matter

  • Duration: Varies
  • Offerings: Ruby, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Swift, Git

10. Coursera: classes from established educational institutions

  • Duration: Varies
  • Offerings: Python, WebGL, Ruby, SQL

If you’re thinking about embracing the digital nomad lifestyle, then you are in luck! CareerFoundry is giving away a Code & Surf Retreat in Santa Cruz, California, to kick start your new life.

See how others are doing it: Join the Tech Hive discussion group!

Lauren Mobertz is a New York-based freelance writer and editor who specializes in startups, labor, and digital nomadism. When she's not writing about the career moves of gutsy millennials, Lauren is usually running in strange places or trying to dance Brazilian zouk. You can find more of her work on Medium.