Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes OptionalBits Different From Other Coding Sites?

Many other sites focus on syntax and hacking bits and pieces together to produce something somewhat useable. The problem is that simple syntax doesn’t prepare you for coding in the real world.

At OptionalBits, we focus on teaching the basics of programming first – important concepts that are true regardless of the programming language you use. If you have a strong understanding of these concepts, you can build anything in any language.

We’ll give you the tools and the knowledge to build practical, useful, and professional applications. We teach real life programming skills that you can use to build your dream app or begin a new career in the tech world.

Who Is OptionalBits For?

OptionalBits is for anyone who wants to learn coding skills for the real world and isn’t sure where to begin. Our lessons go beyond the hobbyist level by focusing on professional development and full-time employment.

Whether you’re looking to start a new career or build that killer app idea keeping you up at night, OptionalBits is the perfect place to begin.

Why Should I Learn From OptionalBits?

Because our lessons are designed to teach skills used by professional developers and sought after by employers. We believe that anybody with ambition and dedication can become a successful programmer when taught how to code the right way.

Our founder and content creator, Nick, has been programming for over 25 years and has built multiple applications and companies as a self-taught developer. He has years of experience working in IT and teaching people just like you how to code like a professional.

What Will OptionalBits Teach Me?

Our courses emphasize learning the basics of coding first, starting with basic programming theory before moving on to more advanced concepts. Once you’re comfortable with those, we’ll begin to apply your knowledge by using several different programming languages to build real and useful desktop, web, and mobile applications.

What Language/Stack/Framework Will I Be Learning?

It’s too early for that! Asking “which framework should I use?” without knowing proper programming is like asking how a watch works when you can’t tell time: you’re putting the cart before the horse.

We often hear people saying “I learned this language, but I don’t really know how to apply the concepts.” This problem is partially due to new programmers not being taught proper software design – how to think and solve problems like a programmer.

We focus first on general concepts and theories of programming that are true across all languages, frameworks, and stacks. A framework is only a tool: without a firm foundation in the nature of programming, you’ll struggle regardless of the tools you use. All you need to know at this point is that you will learn how to build desktop, web, and mobile apps – we promise!

If you really need to know, there will be some Ruby, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Rails, SQL, Swift, and tools like Git – plus more to come in the future.

What Do I Need To Know Before Starting?

Can you turn on a computer? Copy files? Install programs? That’s really all you need to know!

We’re going to start at the very beginning, so we don’t assume anything beyond basic computer usage. It doesn’t even matter what kind of computer you have: our lessons will work on Mac, Windows (except for the lessons specific to iOS), and Linux.

If you can find this site, you know enough to get started.

When Will New Lessons Be Added?

We are adding new lessons on a regular basis, usually every few days. You can follow @OptionalBits or sign up to learn when new courses are available.

How Much Does OptionalBits Cost?

Absolutely nothing! Our courses are completely free of charge – you can even create an account and participate in discussions. By doing so, you’ll also be alerted when new – and free – content is available.

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