|Codecademy gets you programming right away.|
Udacity is comprised of high profile educators who come from top tier institutions such as Stanford and University of Virginia who have left their prestigious institutions to offer their courses to the world for free. There are currently two classes on offer which is CS101: Building a Search Engine (for beginners with no programming experience) and CS373: Programming a Robotic Car (for higher level programmers). The courses are 7 weeks long and promise amazing learning outcomes like, "Building a Search Engine like Google or Yahoo". The classes are free and enrollment is as high as 160,000 students! I have not had a chance to participate in these classes yet, but plan to start my first one in a few days. Check out the site and see who is involved in the project (Google) and I am sure you will want to take advantage of this no-cost program.
So, You Want to be a Hacker
Hackthis!!, is an innovative and educational website where you can learn the tricks and tips of website security. The site walks you through all sort of activities that teach you the "ins and outs" of website weaknesses, all the while teaching you the basics of cracking the Hackthis!! website. This is fun, safe, and educational hacking that will ultimately make you a better web developer and a more experienced programmer. In actuality, the desire to be a hacker is not a prerequisite since the lessons are puzzle-like, challenging, and fun. The lessons start out fairly easy and gradually become more complicated. Hackthis!! is a great tool to better understand how modern day hackers do their thing. While you won't be a pro hacker in minutes, cracking every website you see, you will get a basic understanding on how to shore up the security on you own websites and get a little knowledge of how the black hats got their start.