Microsoft has partnered with EdX.org to offer two free courses, taught by Microsoft employees, which start today. One course teaches Bootstrap, the other programming in C#.

New Courses

There is no cost to take the course. The paid option for each course makes you eligible to earn a verified certificate of achievement for completion. This verified track costs $90. I’m sure the certificate is nice, but I’m not as interested in the piece of paper as much as I am the skill set and what it helps me build.

Bootstrap is incorporated into ASP.NET MVC5 projects in Visual Studio, which is why I included the Bootstrap course here.

Bootstrap Course Topics & Alternatives

The Bootstrap course is three weeks long, with two modules posted each week.
Estimated time commitment is listed at 1-2 hours per week.

Prerequisites: Knowledge of HTML and CSS, and it would be “helpful” to know some Javascript.

Topics: Explanation of the grid system; page design and Bootstrap controls; forms and validation

Instructor: Chris Harrison, a Microsoft Certified Trainer who has created quite a bit of content over at Microsoft Virtual Academy. His focus is on web development and Office 365.

Alternatives:

C# Course Topics & Alternative

The C# course is more involved than the Bootstrap course: 12 modules, 6 weeks long, estimated effort is 7-10 hours per week.

According to the course’s page, this is not a total newbie course:

 It is intended to provide an introduction to the C# language and the world of .NET programming for existing programmers who need or want to learn more about C# and managed code development

However, they also say they “teach the basics of C# all the way through the advanced features”, so I imagine it’s just a matter of time investment if you’re really new to the material.

Prerequisites: Some understanding of looping, program flow and database mechanics.

Topics: Data Types, Variables, Operators, Expressions; Decision statements; Methods and exception handling; Arrays, enums and structs; Classes, Encapsulation, Static Methods/Classes, Anonymous Classes; Garbage Collection; Collections; Generics; Events & Delegates; LINQ; Parallel Programming; Asynchronous Programming

Instructor: Gerry O’Brien, Senior Content Development Manager at Microsoft. Also has some video training content up on lynda.com and Microsoft Virtual Academy.

Alternatives: