The IT world can be a large and scary place. This is mostly due to the nature of the so called "beast", which deals with intangible goods 99% of the time meaning there will be all-nighters, weekends behind your computer screen as well as the stress of 3 jobs and having to cancel plans last minute due to a server on the other side of the world deciding to go down or some other reason that you possibly cannot cater for.

With smart phones and the digital age taking over at an exponential rate, careers are booming in the IT sector. From designers (creative), to project managers (leader), to quality assurance engineers (perfectionist), to support staff (helper), to developers (creator), to social media experts (marketer), there are roles for anyone really. What with campaigns moving away from print to digital, and more companies wanting apps along with their websites, there is plenty for everyone.

One of the most important and sought after roles is for developers. Seen as the team members with a "God complex" (due to the fact they see themselves as having to create something basically from scratch) in the software development lifecycle, they are basically the team member with one of the toughest roles in ensuring every piece of code works and the end product does what the client expects it to.

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Back in the day, four-year university degrees were required to get your foot in the door of a software development house. However over the years, a lot of self-taught coders are breaking grounds with their own start-ups, and running teams at successful agencies. Fortunately it's not that difficult to learn the tools of the development trade. All you need is an internet connection, the drive to learn a new skill, some free time, and access to the following sites:

Tree House - http://teamtreehouse.com/

Their mission is to bring affordable technology education to people everywhere, and their reputation is preceding them. From learning the basics in HTML and iPhone/Android development, this is really a step in the right direction for users who may feel overwhelmed with getting into the world of coding. They also offer valuable information on the business side of things, so this would help with regards to getting going on your own should you be an entrepreneur.

Code School - http://www.codeschool.com

An alternate online training facility, Code School throws in a "gamification" aspect to learning, rewarding you when you finish tasks whilst learning the basics. With the emphasis based on learning whilst doing, another valuable tool to getting started in learning a programming language.

iTunes U - http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/

iTunes U offers over 500,000 public resources to users, so finding information on a course you are interested in is easy to do. For example: iPad users can gain access to information from the likes of Stanford University, who offer an iPad and iPhone development course (although it is dated as 2011, the iOS basics and fundamentals are still the same, even though the Apple operating system is now heading into its seventh iteration). So once you have the basics waxed, grabbing this info for free can push you ahead, as it contains HD videos of lectures as well as other resources.

Lynda.com - http://www.lynda.com/

Lynda.com offers video tutorials on many an aspect of the IT world, from documentaries on start-ups, instructional videos on programs and information from industry experts, you will always find something interesting as well as valuable in aiding in your personal development. It's always great to see the success stories of indie programmers, and always an inspiration when they succeed from a self-taught environment.

 article about Why You Should Get into Writing Code
So should you be a school/college student with too much time on their hands on the weekend, a full-time employee who is looking to make some extra cash on the side, or a developer looking to broaden their skillset, these online sites will help in teaching you said skill. One other thing though, as these courses are mostly online, ensure that you have some protection for your PC, as you never know who may be in the relevant forums sharing information that could be malware.

Developers are raking in the cash either by building custom apps for companies who don't have the expertise, or via making their own apps and using the in-app purchase mechanisms that are available to them. So next time you have a great idea for that app you think will be incredibly useful, why not start a course and build it yourself.

Who knows, you may have the next million pound start-up on your hands.