If you are looking to find a career in programming, you can find free online programming courses that will help you get started. There are open course ware programs that allow you to take these programming courses online for free. You don't have to ever pay. Included in the course are the course materials, projects, lectures, lecture slides, assignments, online versions of the textbooks, and other virtual learning features.
You don't even have to register for them. Not only that but these programming courses come from some of the best colleges in the world such as MIT, Harvard, and Yale. You can even download lectures on your iPhone, iPod, or other Apple brand mp3 as their Itunes store offers them for free.
These programming courses tell you all you need to know to get started looking for programming jobs. You can't receive any certification for completing these courses, since they are free, but the information you gain from taking one can help you pass one of Microsoft's certification exams so you can have a certificate in programming. By taking programming courses you will learn about the computer, the different programming languages, mathematics for computer science, the different computer systems, how to represent data, how to manipulate data, data processing, and even normal computing skills.
The programming courses are college level, so you can be sure that you are not going to see basic instructions that you have to figure out on your own. Everything is well explained in the courses and you even have assignments you can complete to test and see where you are as far as your programming skills and knowledge. Since these courses are free, you can take them anytime and work at your own pace. You can do the assignments and check the work yourself and listen to lectures on the go.