11 Of the Best Places to Learn to Code for Free
So you’ve decided that you want to learn to code, but you’re not interested in shelling out lots of money into a formal classroom setting.
Fortunately, the Internet has tons of great places that will teach you the skills you need to know to get started coding now and many of them are free.
Here’s a list of 11 places that you can start coding right now with no money required.
Chances are if you have looked into learning to code before, you’ve encountered Codecademy. It’s easy to use and displays the results of your code as you’re coding.
Free Code Camp starts you off with 800 hours of coding in a curriculum (with a summer camp theme). Unlike the other options on this list, there are 800 hours after the coding education of hands-on experience coding for non-profit projects. It’s a great way to build up your portfolio after learning valuable skills.
Unlike Codecademy or Free Code Camp, General Assembly’s free online learning platform is based upon working on projects. Each lesson consists of working toward completing a single “project.”
GA Dash also offers a few different course options that the others don’t, such as responsive design and building a Tumblr theme from scratch.
Codewars offers a fun way to sharpen coding skills. The site offers a series of martial-arts themed challenges called “kata.” You complete kata to gain honor and ranks. More honor and ranks mean more difficult challenges, so there’s always something new to work on.
However, there is a caveat – Codewars does require some knowledge in one of the coding languages that they offer at this time before you’re even allowed to sign up.
Unlike the other sites listed so far, Coursera has a very large course library that extends far beyond programming topics. The classes are taught by real university professors and are 100% free to attend. If you want some theoretical education on data science or even an introduction to programming Android apps, this may be the best option for you.
However, if you want a certificate to indicate that you completed this course, you will have to pay a little – ranging from $30 to $100 – to earn your chosen certification.
Like Coursera, edX offers many more courses than just programming languages, and you could gain a fair amount of computer science knowledge from their courses. All of the class materials are supported by universities and real professors. Many of the classes can be taken at your pace and aren’t limited to certain dates.
But also, like Coursera, if you want some sort of credential for the class, you’d need to pay some money ($30-$100) and take the course in a “verified” format - which just means that they know it’s you taking the course.
Similar to Coursera and edX, Khan Academy offers tons of subjects, more than just coding. However, unlike the others, there is an option to learn the basics of coding in an hour - perfect if you’re interested in getting an overview of topics.
There is no account required to access this collection of MIT course materials. Their programming section ranges in topics from introductions in engineering problem solving to algorithms used in computer animation.
The only downside is that the assignments for some courses will not have any answers, so there’s no way of knowing for sure from this site if you’re doing the work correctly.
Made by the creators of Viking Code School -- a premiere online coding boot camp -- Odin Project is the free version. It’s project-based and also offers a final course in getting hired with your newfound skills, which is always a bonus.
Udemy offers paid and free courses in any topic including programming. However, they are community-created courses. It’s important to read reviews of courses before diving in because it may not be as effective as taking a course on one of the other sites.
It is a compilation of video tutorials that help you walk through a process from start to finish. It may be best used in conjunction with other sites or courses, as it’s based entirely on small concepts and projects.
As you can see from the descriptions of the 11 courses above, it’s best to use a few different resources to learn effectively. It is the best way to broaden your experience and get going in the programming field.
Even if you decide that you don’t want to code after taking a course or doing a few exercises, you can still work in tech!