Learning to code. I've been at university studying CS for 2 years and I have done most of my learning in this time from Stack Exchange and Codecademy. The only benefit of university is the extra time you have on your hands to dedicate to studying, but you could easily make the same amount of time by managing your schedule more efficiently and not watching 6 episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm every day before starting your studies.
One of the advantages of being in a more structured environment is...well...structure. I've been dabbling at programming and scripting for the better part of two decades but I've never really taken off with it because I find it difficult to grasp programming concepts without something concrete to pin it to. I need a project that requires me to take advantage of a function or library before I really comprehend its use.
Everyone learns in different ways. I can't simply read or listen to an explanation of a practice skill, I have to actually get involved and for that I usually need a project to help direct me.
Yea, I'll definitely give you that. I was in much the same situation - faffing around with bits and bobs for yonks, but the structure of being at uni encouraged me to complete tasks. However, that requirement can easily be resolved through self discipline and purposefully outlining clear projects to get involved with. CodeWars is good for little things and some of the free courses on Udacity are pretty good - I was doing the android development course on there the other week and, apart from some outdated bits (VERY frustrating!!) the course quality and structure is fantastic.
I literaly took a class on Python where the teacher said "Use CodeAcademy"... Mind you that is open to all years. However, about half the class were Freshmen and none of them have ever done any coding before. They literally had to learn everything by themselves. This was because the class was all project based and he didn't want to actually teach. For the rest of us this wasn't that hard since most of us knew other languages, but I felt bad for most of the Freshman.
Jesus, that's terrible. I can't believe how little time is given to workshops or practical sessions at my university. I would have thought in coding modules you'd have at least a few hours contact a week. Nope...just the one in which you have to compete with 15 other people for attention.
I love Codecademy. I use it all of the time when I'm bored!