One of the perks of joining X-Team is the Unleash+ membership. Every X-Teamer receives $2,500 a year to spend on what energizes them. Many choose to spend a significant portion of that on self-education.
Here's a list of ten programming courses that X-Teamers have completed and that they would recommend to anyone interested in the topic, followed by a list of useful subscriptions and, for good measure, a list of other courses that X-Teamers have spent their Unleash+ budget on.
Disclaimer: while many of these courses are expensive, it's worth noting that many platforms provide discounts for these courses at certain points of the year. Udemy, in particular, is known for heavily discounting many of its courses quite frequently. As such, it might be worth keeping an eye on the more expensive courses listed below, until they drop in price.
This Udemy course helps you build professional REST APIs with Python, Flask, Flask-RESTful, and Flask-SQLAlchemy. It wants to guide you in creating simple, intermediate, and advanced REST APIs including authentication, deployments, caching, and more.
"The course was great! It was really easy to learn from and I was able to build a Flask app right after the course for my new client."
The course costs $109.99 and includes 15.5 hours of on-demand video. It's rated 4.5/5 stars (with > 5,500 ratings).
This Udemy course is a complete guide to the Flutter SDK & Flutter Framework for building native iOS and Android apps. You'll learn how to build engaging native mobile apps for both Android and iOS, and how to use features such as Google Maps, the device camera, authentication and more.
This course has a 4.6/5 star rating (with > 5,700 ratings) and currently costs $199.99. It has 25.5 hours of on-demand video.
This is the highest-rated iOS course on Udemy and it takes you from being a programming beginner to an iOS 12 app developer. The course focuses on Swift 4.2, but recent updates have added videos on ARKit 2 for creating AR apps and videos on CoreML2 & CreateML for making apps with machine learning. All apps will be created in Xcode 10 (a free IDE for macOS).
The course has a 4.8/5 star rating (with > 15,000 ratings) and currently costs $199.99. It has over 50 hours of on-demand video.
This is a course from software engineer Kent C. Dodds. It teaches you the principles and best practices for writing maintainable test applications to catch errors before your product reaches the end user. You'll also learn to write unit and integration tests with the popular Jest testing framework, mock dependencies, and use test-driven development to write new features and help find bugs.
"Overall, for me, learning how to test changes how you write code, because a test must make your code better and less coupled. I feel I'm starting to clearly understand the true purpose of tests: to save time, to give confidence in the app, and give us and all the users peace of mind."
The course is part of FrontendMasters, a subscription website that gives you full access to 100+ courses on different programming languages for $39 a month or $390 a year.
This Udemy course teaches you how to build Vue.js apps, from small and simple Ones up to large enterprise-level ones. It explains both the theory and the practice, as well as how to leverage Vue.js in single-page apps and multi-page apps. The course assumes you have working knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JS. Knowledge of ES6 is a plus.
The course has a 4.7/5 rating (with > 25,000 ratings) and currently costs $189.99. It has 21.5 hours of on-demand video.
"All the materials are really high quality, he explains everything clearly [...]. If you’re not particularly interested in videos, you can always checkout final app code in the public repo."
"I actually think multiple people in my team took it when we were starting the project I'm currently on, since we use a lot of GraphQL and it's a really hot topic right now. Wes Bos is pretty great IMO (I ended up also subscribing to his podcast) and I learned so much with his advanced React course, which builds a fullstack app with not only great React libraries and technologies like Next GraphQL but also with some important topics like server-side rendering,"
A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from Stanford University on Machine Learning, available on Coursera and taught by Andrew Ng, co-founder of Coursera and adjunct professor at Stanford University. This course provides a broad introduction to machine learning, data mining, and statistical pattern recognition.
You can either access all the videos and resources for free or pay less than $100 for full access to everything, plus an official certificate after completion of the course. The course has a 4.9/5 rating (with > 100,000 ratings) and takes approximately 55 hours to complete.
The course costs $84.99 and it has a 4.6/5 rating (with > 30,000 ratings). There are 34.5 hours of on-demand video to go through.
This is a Handlebar Labs course that teaches you how to add push notifications to your app, how to request permissions to send push notifications at the best time, how to pre-load content in an app via a push notification, and more.
"It was made by Spencer Carli, a super nice guy and positive force in the React Native community. The course was great not only to teach PNs in react native but also to give a big overview of push notifications, the services involved for both Android and iOS, etc. Pretty good!"
The course costs $29 and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Created by the same developer as the Node.js course mentioned above, this course teaches you how to build GraphQL applications using Node.js, with videos on Prisma, authentication, the Apollo Client, and more. It aims to give you the skills and real-world experience needed to build and launch your own GraphQL apps.
"A more in-depth course, but it is a really awesome course if you decide to get more serious about GraphQL. I really recommend it!"
The course costs $84.99 and has a 4.8/5 rating (with > 1,100 ratings). It includes 23.5 hours of on-demand video and a 110-page PDF guide with notes, code samples, and documentation links.
There are many great online courses on well-known platforms such as Lynda, Coursera, and Udemy. But if you really want to stand out in a particular field, you cannot restrict yourself to the platforms everyone knows about. As such, here's a list of niche platforms that might not be as well-known, but that are excellent to upgrade your knowledge nonetheless.
DataCamp offers interactive R, Python, Sheets, SQL and shell courses, all of which center on topics in data science, statistics, and machine learning. You can register for free to receive the first chapter of all courses or pay $25 / month for full access to all courses.
Pluralsight offers a variety of video training courses for software developers, IT administrators, and creative professionals. It's a US company with > 6,000 courses on a wide variety of topics, from "The Fundamentals of IT Operations" to "Security for Hackers and Developers". The company offers a free 10-day trial, after which they charge you either $35 a month or $299 a year.
Egghead offers concise screen-cast video tutorials that cover the best tools, libraries, and frameworks for modern JS web developers. Although some of their courses are free, you can get full access to all courses for $40 a month or $250 a year.
The clue's in the title, but a Cloud Guru teaches you cloud computing training for AWS, the Google Cloud platform, and Azure. The company was founded by two brothers in 2015, one of which (Ryan Kroonenburg) was the first to be recognized as both an AWS Community Hero and an Alexa Champion. A Cloud Guru costs $29 a month or $20.75 a month when billed annually.
Linux Academy provides in-depth training and certification courses for Linux, AWS, Azure, Google, OpenStack, DevOps, Big Data, and Containers. Pricing starts at $49 a month or $37.42 a month when billed annually.
Microsoft's Dev Collective provides courses on a wide variety of topics: AI, cloud, big data, native apps, UI, and web. They give free access to a good few of their courses. Most of these courses are entry-level or narrowly focused, but they're good to dip your toe in the water if you're unsure about pursuing a particular topic.
X-Teamers don't just spend their Unleash+ budget on programming courses. They also use it to learn how to trade stocks, learn German with Rosetta Stone, learn how to best capture light with a camera, how to play the electric guitar, how to play tennis, or even how to start your own forest garden.
"The Online Forest Gardening Course has been a huge help to my wife and me in planning our small scale forest garden. 15 online videos of various topics from designing the layers of the forest, to plant propagation, forest garden fungi and soil fertility. Loved it, and will be going through the videos again as a reference when needed."
There's no limit and no budget cap on courses to spend your Unleash+ budget on, because we're convinced it's enormously important to keep pushing the boundaries of your knowledge.
Which courses are you planning on taking in the near future?