Online teaching of Python or R?
July 2, 2012 4:01 AM Subscribe
I've been asked by a colleague as to how they can learn programming for their professional advancement. Because of the area they work in, the possible languages would be Python or R. Complicating factors are that they (a) don't feel confident about self-learning and so (b) would like something more like a traditional classroom or workshop approach but (c) are in a remote foreign location, far from any educational facility, at least in their native language. So what we're looking for is an online classroom of sorts.
posted by outlier to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
I'm aware of a few choices (O'Reilly, Google, MIT OpenCourseware) but it's been so long since I was taught a programming language (as opposed to just learning it by myself), that I'm probably out of touch with a lot of choices.
To summarize the parameters:
* Must be a structured course of learning as opposed to a reference book or set of lecture notes etc.
* Must be able to be done from a remote location (i.e. cannot come to a learning site)
* Must be English language
* Must be Python or R (i.e. that's what's used in this field)
* Should be suitable for an intelligent and educated person, albeit one without programming experience
* Should have interaction with or guidance from a lecturer, mentor or other authority
* Prefer to have interaction with a group of peers or fellow students
* Prefer free or at least cheap courses
* Prefer some application in the domain of bioinformatics or biomedical research
What's not going to work is advising them to just nut up and read a book. This is a smart person and accomplished in their own area, but computer science and IT is alien to them, they're isolated, and will need some hand-holding at least initially.
Any knowledge or experience of these?