My (Awesome) Experience with Programming for Non-Programmers

I'm just finishing up a great course from called Programming for Non-Programmers.  The objective of this course is to take someone with an idea for an app, and teach them enough about technology to be able to talk to and hire a developer.

What is Programming for Non-Programmers?

It is a 4 week live and online course (hybrid) course that starts with learning how to talk to developers and gives a great overview of web development.  Then you learn about various coding languages and which one to choose for your project.  Finally, you get to code an app with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

This course really excited me for a lot of reasons:

  1. I just hired a developer, who was actually a student of my coding course, and wanted to learn how to work with him effectively.
  2. Excel is slowly moving to a JavaScript API for apps, that will supplement (not replace) the VBA based apps in the future.
  3. As an online course creator, I really like the format of One Month's course.  Especially this live hybrid course.

What did I learn?

Well I learned a TON!  It was great to get an overview of all the coding languages, especially the back-end languages like Ruby, PHP, and Python.  These were ones I didn't know much about.

Learning to wire frame and conceptualize a project or app was also very helpful.  I have done a lot of this, but have never formally been trained.  So it was great to see the techniques that Chris (the instructor) uses to mind map his creations.

I also learned about the BuiltWith service that allows you to see what frameworks and technologies websites are built with. I did a video on all the services I use to run

And another to compare YouTube and Wistia, two video hosting services.

I didn't have any experience with JavaScript, so it was great to jump in and start learning it.  I really enjoyed developing my app, What's for Dinner?  It's a simple we application that helps you randomly decide what's for dinner tonight. Here is a video overview of the app.

What am I going to do with my degree?

I have just started a project with a developer to build a new add-in (app).  This is an app that helps with data filtering in Excel, and something I have been thinking about for along time.  The project is going great and we are now in the testing and debugging phase.

We are keeping the project organized on Trello, and trying hard to not let feature creep set in.  We want to push out a minimum viable product and let our users help shape the future of the product with more frequent updates than I've done with past products.

I plan to release the product within the next two months, then work on enhancing it over time.

The experience with the developer has been great, and his motivations align with my goals for Excel Campus and helping the community learn Excel.

Overall this has been a fantastic course and I recommend it to anyone that wants to learn more about getting started with developing an application or online platform.

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