7 Low-Cost, High-Impact Resources to Make the Most of your L&D Budget: IT & Software Edition

These 7 IT & Software Development resources will help you stay on top of the highly demanding world of technology while still protecting your company budget.

Marian Vazquez
July 15, 2018

In our two previous articles comprising this three-part series, we exposed how investing in your people’s growth and continuous learning is a key factor in ensuring employee engagement and retention.

However, no matter the size or specific circumstances surrounding your company, you might be facing the rash reality of a restricted budget. As a way of helping you tame the budget-balancing beast, we’ve managed to put together some ideas of resources that your employees might find very useful, while still making the most out of your precious budget.

These 7 resources consist of courses, books and services centered around the topic of IT & Software Development. These suggestions will help you and your teammates stay on top of this fast-paced, highly demanding and competitive world of all things technology.

1. Online Course: The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0

Throughout all 12 chapters of this course, you’ll learn the main skills necessary to become a web developer using HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, Python, MySQL, among others. Over 150,000 students have enrolled in this course, which will teach you how to create websites and mobile apps. And the best part? No previous knowledge is required!

Available on:

Udemy: $199.99 (Often subject to massive discounts of over 90% off)

2. Book: Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for Total Beginners by Al Sweigart

This book is ideal if you’re looking to slide your way into the complex world of programming as smoothly as possible. By using a practical approach, the author makes such complicated topics easy to understand. As the book summary states, “you'll learn how to use Python to write programs that do in minutes what would take you hours to do by hand—no prior programming experience required.”

Available on:

Amazon US: $17.99 (Kindle) / $23.96 (Paperback)*

Amazon UK: £16.65 (Paperback)*

3. Online Course: Programming Foundations with JavaScript, HTML and CSS

This course is perfect for people who wish to get a head start on computer programming. No experience in computer science is necessary; in fact, “learners with no prior experience are encouraged to take this course.”

Over the course of 4 weeks, this course will cover modules on Designing a Web Page with HTML and CSS, Algorithms and Programming Concepts, and JavaScript for Web Pages.

Available on:

Coursera: Course materials are available for free (For $79 you can have access to further graded materials, as well as receive a final grade and a course certificate)

4. Online Course: Introduction to Python: Absolute Beginner

This course by Microsoft is featured as one of edX’s Top 18 Courses for 2018. It offers students who are beginners with text-based programming some useful training to understand and apply Python layers and concepts.

Available on:

edX: Free! (Optional certificate available for $99)

5. Online Course: Machine Learning A-Z

This course, designed by two Data Analytics experts, contains 40+ hours of video to help you understand Machine Learning from scratch. You’ll learn how to create robust Machine Learning models, make accurate predictions and you’ll also master Machine Learning on Python & R. No previous knowledge beyond high-school level mathematics is required.

Available on:

Udemy: $199.99 (Often subject to massive discounts of over 90% off)

6.  Book Bundle: 11 Books on Quality Software

According to Leanpub, this selection of 11 books is ideal for those looking to develop quality software and perfect their managing skills. The summary reads: “If purchased in bound volumes, these eleven books would cost more than $200. As ebooks, more than $100.” However, you can get all 11 of them for half that price.

The books included in this collection are: How Software Is BuiltWhy Software Gets In TroubleHow To Observe Software SystemsResponding to Significant Software EventsManaging Yourself and OthersManaging Teams CongruentlyBecoming a Change ArtistCHANGE: Planned & UnplannedChange Done WellFreshman Murders, and Agile Impressions.

Available on:

Leanpub: $44.99

7. Book: Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve McConnell

For over a decade, this book has been considered one of the best sources of practical knowledge for programmers, as the book summary reads. This classic piece of IT literature will help you perfect your coding skills no matter your current experience level.

Some of the topics covered in the book are:  collaborative development, debugging problems quickly and effectively, resolving “critical construction issues early and correctly” and refactoring or evolving code, among many others.

Available on:

Amazon US: $26.87 (Kindle) / $29.97 (Paperback)*

Amazon UK: £26.64 (Paperback)*

Bonus Picks:

Here’s another clever way of making the most out of every penny in your L&D budget: Investing in subscription-based services. Platforms such as PluralsightO’Reilly SafariTreehouse and Egghead offer unlimited access to a wide variety of courses and other content specially designed for Software Developers. They offer monthly, quarterly or annual payment plans, and some even offer special discounts if you purchase bulk subscriptions for several members of the same company.

When it comes to perfecting your IT and Software Development skills, the Internet is without a doubt one of the best sources. There are thousands and thousands of excellent online courses where you can get practical tips, step-by-step explanations, and all the information there is on the latest software available.

It may be the case that your employees’ are not actually looking to become tech savvy machines. They might only wish to obtain specific information on how to use certain IT resources to improve in their particular area of expertise. Even then, we can assure there’s a course, service or book out there to fill their specific needs.

We believe the previous resources cover each of their respective topics in a comprehensive, enlightening and dynamic way. By incorporating these suggestions into your Learning & Development strategy, you’ll be able to offer your employees exciting new professional opportunities, and give your business that extra oomph while still keeping your precious budget practically intact.

*Amazon prices may vary daily
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