Earlier this week InfoChimps marketer Winnie Hsia posted a testomonial of sorts about using Codeacademy to learn to program.
This relevant to the services industry in two ways:
1. Codeacademy is itself a Web service, providing its courses online via the browser. That’s a powerful model for training employees or individuals on just about any subject. Codeschool is another company offering browser-based programming courses, but these courses aren’t free. We’ve been working on our own open source educational project called SiliconAcademy.
2. The utility of being able to do at least some amount of basic programming is broadly useful for employees in many positions (not to mention the broader implications of a society of people who understand programming). As companies like Oracle customization of enterprise tools via scripting languages, and other such as Salesforce.com (via Force.com) and Podio try to enable custom app building through visual programming interfaces, the chance for employees outside of IT to create or customize apps that solve business problems is increasing. Even those engaged in visual programming benefit from knowing the basics of programming, and resources like Codeacademy make it easier to train employees.