Where to Learn Coding
If you want to pursue a career in the tech industry, coding is one of the most important skills to add to your toolbox. The question is: where can you learn to code? Even better, where can you learn to code for free?
In this article, we’ll walk you through the best platforms that teach coding, from the best free coding bootcamps to the top online and free coding classes. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started!
Where to Learn to Code for Beginners
Coding bootcamps and massive open online courses (MOOCs) are two of the most popular learning paths that aspiring coders take. Coding apps and coding videos also attract beginners who simply want to learn basic coding.
Below is a comprehensive list of the top coding bootcamps, coding classes, coding apps, and coding videos and workshops at your disposal. The best thing about the following programs is that you can access them without paying a dime.
Free Coding Bootcamps
A free coding bootcamp serves as a primer for students who have no previous knowledge or experience in coding. It’s also a convenient way of preparing interested students for the paid immersive training programs that coding bootcamps are known to offer.
These immersive programs go beyond teaching coding and explore advanced topics in programming. They also give students access to mentorship and career services to help them launch a career in the tech industry.
If you want to learn the fundamentals of coding but don’t have the resources to pay, the coding bootcamps listed below are among the best free options you can find. Despite being free coding bootcamps, these programs offer practical and hands-on experience that you’d rarely see in MOOCs.
Ada Developers Academy
Ada Developers Academy is a nonprofit organization focused on equipping members of underrepresented groups in the tech industry with programming skills. The Seattle-based school was founded in 2013 and reports a 90 percent in-industry job placement rate.
Ada Developers Academy doesn’t just teach coding. It also covers other core aspects of software engineering like pair programming, test-driven development, and agile methodologies. The curriculum also comes with a module on career readiness.
To qualify for admission to Ada, you need to be at least 21 years old and willing to commit 12 months to develop fundamental coding skills. Preference is given to women from low-income communities, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Flatiron School Prep Courses
Flatiron School is one of the well-known coding bootcamps in the United States and an ideal option if you’re looking to launch a career in tech. Its immersive programs focus on a range of tech fields namely, software engineering, data science, and cyber security.
Flatiron School also offers completely free bootcamp prep courses for these three fields, making them ideal for students who want to build a foundation before enrolling in the immersive bootcamp programs.
Bootcamp Prep Online by Fullstack Academy
Fullstack Academy offers Bootcamp Prep Online, a free preparatory course delivered remotely and accessible at any time and anywhere. The program is designed to help students pass the entrance assessment for Fullstack Academy’s immersive programs and the Grace Hopper program.
Hack Reactor Basic Prep
Hack Reactor has a free self-paced online prep bootcamp for anyone who wants to learn about coding. It also has a paid prep course that’s ideal for students seeking real-time support while learning to code. Taking the paid prep course also makes you eligible for a tuition discount if you decide to take the Hack Reactor Software Engineering Immersive.
Anyone can apply for Kenzie Free as no prior programming experience is required.
Free Coding Classes
Free online courses on coding are excellent for those who only want to learn a specific programming language. These coding lessons are also an opportunity for you to get your feet wet without committing to the intensive training that coding bootcamps represent. While there are hundreds of free coding classes online, not all are created equal.
Below is a list of the top five online coding classes offered by MOOCs to develop your coding skills.
Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development and Coding by Coursera
Developed by the University of Michigan, the course covers the fundamentals of coding and equips you with basic web design and development skills. In the time the course has been offered, over 200,000 students have enrolled.
How to Code: Simple Data by edX
In collaboration with the University of British Columbia, edX offers this course to people who want to learn about data science or data analysis. It emphasizes a systematic approach to programming that teaches you how to represent information as data.
The course is self-paced and is estimated to take about eight weeks to complete for a time commitment of two to three hours weekly. There are currently more than 100,000 people enrolled in the upcoming free coding class.
Coding for Beginners 1: You Can Code by Skillshare
Skillshare is an online learning platform that has a host of free online coding courses for complete beginners. Coding for Beginners has 32 lessons that last nearly eight hours in total. Over 10,000 students are currently taking this class, all of whom have unlimited access to the available resources.
By taking this course, you will learn how to use programming languages to design applications from scratch. All you need is a computer for writing lines of code and the time to go through the short videos. No prior experience is required.
Master the Basics of HTML5 & CSS3: Beginner Web Development by Udemy
This free online coding class by Udemy covers the foundational aspects of coding, with a particular focus on HTML and CSS. These two programming languages are most commonly used by web developers and UX designers. This makes it an ideal course for complete beginners who want to develop basic websites.
The on-demand videos run for about three hours. The course has taught over 70,000 students at the time of writing.
Free Coding Apps
Free coding apps are unique because they allow you to learn and practice coding offline. Some can be used on mobile devices, while others are designed for desktop use. Many of the apps below include coding games and interactive tutorials to make learning how to code easy, fun, and engaging.
Codecademy offers free and paid web development, data science, programming, and computer science courses. Over the years, more than 50 million people from across the globe have used Codecademy for self-paced lessons. The coding lessons are project-based, so people learn by writing code and designing websites.
It also has a mobile app, Codecademy Go, which you can download on an iOS or Android device. This app provides short quizzes, review cards, and blog articles that you can use to supplement your learning at Codecademy.
This application is free to download on iOS and Android. It allows beginners to learn and practice coding on the go. CodeHub also comes with a PC version for those who prefer to learn from a bigger screen.
The entire content on the CodeHub app is equivalent to a 50-page book on coding. The bulk of the content is made up of introductory programming courses.
While the basic Encode app is great, there is also a premium paid package for more in-depth programming education.
The basic version of Enki comes with a significant amount of resources, but you will need to pay a small fee for access to the complete learning package.
When it comes to variety, Programing Hub is a strong contender. At your own pace, you will learn coding with Python, Julia, Java, and Scala. It is also one of the few free coding apps that offer lessons on C++ programming.
Programming Hub is not just an app for coding. Through Programming Hub, you can learn about the core principles of mobile development, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and digital marketing, among others.
Free Coding Tutorials and Coding Websites
Another excellent option for beginners is to learn through online video tutorials and coding websites. For some of them, you don’t even need to provide personal information to access the learning tools. Below is a list of some of the best interactive coding tutorials and educational websites to learn to code.
Katacoda offers prospective programmers and software engineers an interactive platform for learning how to code, develop applications, and use emerging technologies. You will have to create an account to use Katacoda.
Once you’re in, you will have access to a host of coding courses and tutorials that allow you to learn in real time. With Katacoda, you don’t need to download any content or make a unique configuration to your computer.
Codebasics on YouTube
Codebasics is a YouTube channel with over 320,000 subscribers. The channel is run by Dhaval Patal, who posts coding videos on how to code in different programming languages. The channel also has videos that explore data science, cryptocurrencies, and deep learning.
Programming with Mosh on YouTube
This programming channel is another popular option for coding enthusiasts. It is an extension of FreeCodeCamp.org, and it has over 1.79 million subscribers. The channel doesn’t just teach you how to use the common programming languages. It also offers tips on how to make money by coding.
Intellipaat on YouTube
Intellipaat is more than an online resource for coding beginners and intermediate learners alike. It offers professional training for certification in more than 150 technologies. At the time of writing, Intellipaat has racked up over 994,000 subscribers.
How to Practice Your Coding Skills
After you’ve learned how to code, you can enhance your skills by building a portfolio of coding projects. Doing so will teach you multiple ways to approach coding challenges and allow you to master the relevant programming languages. Additionally, having a portfolio also bodes well for you getting noticed by prospective employers.
You also need to maximize your use of mobile coding apps. Coding apps are a great way to keep your coding skills up-to-date and practice coding anywhere, at any time. Join forums or groups to meet a community of developers who are interested in exchanging feedback. Stack Overflow, CodeProject, SitePoint, and Treehouse are among the best communities for programmers.
Learn Coding for a Programming Job
The technology industry is growing quickly and leading to plenty of career paths for skilled coders. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 22 percent growth in software developer jobs between 2019 and 2029.
Get a headstart by first learning to code for free. As you’ve probably already surmised, there are plenty of ways to learn how to code if you know where to look. Once you’ve learned the basics of coding, consider attending a coding bootcamp to boost your tech skills even further and enjoy the career services that a bootcamp has to offer.