If you live in the Burlington area and you want to learn to code, you're in luck. There are not one, but two programming classes in the next couple weeks geared toward beginners. And the second annual Burlington Ruby Conference is also right around the corner.

Alex-chaffeeWant to learn Ruby on Rails? This Introduction to Ruby Workshop on July 27, organized by Burlington's Girl Develop It chapter, is taught by native Burlingtonian Alex Chaffee. He lives in San Francisco now, but he's coming back to lead this session in advance of the Burlington Ruby Conference. Chaffee is a software developer and author who has a pretty impressive resume. Looks like there are still a few spots left, though Thursday, July 25, is the last day to sign up. Tuition is $80 per person. Don't miss this chance to learn Ruby from a pro.

If you can't make that class, and you haven't taken all of your summer vacation days yet, you can sign up for the inaugural Tarrant Code Camp at the University of Vermont August 5-9, organized by the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education. Tuition is free. Campers can choose from three different strands — one focuses on Ruby, one on HTML/CSS, and one on Scratch. 

Camp director Penny Bishop explains that the day camp is open to all, but geared toward youngsters 10-15 — and their teachers. She hopes that mixing the two groups will allow both to learn from each other. "Everybody's taking risks together," she says. The hope is that students and teachers will be able to take what they've learned back to their schools in the fall.

And campers won't just be sitting in front of their screens all day. The week kicks off with a Monday afternoon field trip to the Great Vermont Corn Maze in Danville, the setting for a lesson in computational thinking and coding principles. Sounds cool.

The Tarrant Code Camp instructors hail from UVM, Champlain College and the Burlington Ruby Conference.

LogoSpeaking of the Burlington Ruby Conference — that gathering of top-notch coding talent from the Northeast and beyond will take place Saturday and Sunday, August 3 and 4, at the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center in Burlington. Find more information and register at the conference website.

There's a kick-off party on Friday, August 2, sponsored by Vermont's Office of the Creative Economy.