If you're itching to learn coding, but lack the time or money for a formal class, try taking a course at any of these 11 online academies. All of them offer their courses for free, and some offer certifications for a small fee.
Free Code Camp starts you off with a curriculum of 800 hours of coding, followed by 800 hours of hands-on experience coding for non-profits. It’s a great way to build a portfolio after learning the skills. Available tutorials include Python, Java, Ruby, and PHP, HTML, CSS, DevTools, Node.js, Angular.js, and more.
General Assembly’s free online learning platform is project-based, with each lesson consisting of coding a single project. GA Dash offers HTML, CSS, and Java as well as a few course options that others don’t, such as responsive design and building a Tumblr theme from scratch.
Codewars adds some fun with martial-arts themed challenges called kata. You gain honors and a higher rank with each complete kata. More honors and a higher rank mean more difficult challenges, so there’s always something new to work on.
Coursera is a virtual university with a wide range of science and liberal arts courses taught by professors from leading universities, and they're all free. If you want theoretical education on data science or even an introduction to programming Android apps, this may be your best option. If you want a certificate indicating completion of a course, you will pay a small fee, from $30 to $100.
edX offers a wide range of courses including programming languages, supported by universities and their professors. Many of the classes can be taken at your own pace and aren’t limited to set dates. Like Coursera, if you want credentials for the class, you’d need to pay $30 to $100.
No enrollment is necessary to access this collection of MIT course materials. Its programming topics range from introductions in engineering problem solving to algorithms used in computer animation. The assignments for some courses do not include answers to questions.
Udemy offers paid and free courses in many topics, including programming. They are community-created courses, so read the course reviews before diving in.
This compilation of video tutorials walks you 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.
Your Best Choice
If you're determined to learn to code, try a few of these offerings before diving deeper into the one that is best suited to your learning style.