11 Best Free Online Coding Resources for Beginners

Before you dive into a longer bootcamp program or computer science course, it's a good idea to start learning with the abundant free resources that are available online. Learning for free brings zero-risk and allows you to test out lots of new coding languages and skills to decide which direction you want to take. We've highlighted 11 awesome resources that you can access online for free.
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Sometimes the most intimidating step of embarking on a major project is simply getting started. This might be the case for you if you’re thinking about diving into the world of coding. Should you learn HTML, Ruby or Python? Are you going to go down the front-end or back-end development path? And just what is the difference between Java and Javascript (or for that matter, C# and C++?)

A great way to get a sense for coding, without a significant financial or time commitment is to leverage a free coding class. Luckily, these types of resources can be found in abundance online, and offer instruction in a wide variety of programming languages for all types of learners. Becoming fluent in a coding language is an important first step towards a career in the tech industry, and can serve as a prerequisite for completing a bootcamp, or even a degree program in computer science. Currently there’s demand to be met for qualified candidates with coding knowledge across a variety of fields, like software engineering, data science, web development and more. 

Coding Bootcamps vs. Coding Classes

Bootcamps are rigorous programs taught offer a period of weeks or months that prepare students to enter the tech workforce through real-world projects and specialized instruction in job critical skills. These types of programs might go deeper than just language fluency, and dive into adjacent topics like web and app development, data structures and algorithms. 

Coding classes, like the ones we’ve outlined here, differ in the sense that they are typically self-directed and require a much lower time commitment. Of course, cost is a differentiating factor. Although the resources on this page are free, some of the providers offer a “premium” or “pro” package, which requires payment of approximately $100-$500/class. The average full-time coding bootcamp cost $14,142 according to Course Report. For these reasons, coding classes are a great resource to turn to if you’re not sure where to begin. Already at a more advanced stage and ready to dive into the world of bootcamps? Check out our coding bootcamps listings page to learn more about the options available to you. 

How Hard is it to Learn Coding?

The answer? Probably easier than you expect. Just like any other new skill, with time, patience and persistence, anyone can master it. The proliferation of resources make coding the perfect skill to pick up for any type of learner. Some “learn to code” sites provide video tutorials and 1:1 instruction, while others go off of written instructions for self-taught learners. Some even gamify the learning process, or are geared towards kids. Many widely used programming languages, like HTML Python, Javascript and PHP are considered high-level and among the easiest to learn. 

Free Coding Resources for Beginners

Below, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite free coding resources found on the web. For each, we’ve provided a summary of the type of learning experience you can expect, as well as the programming languages instruction offered. 

1.Coursera

This is one of the largest online learning platforms, offering free courses from more than 200 partner institutions, including top-tier schools like the University of Michigan and Yale, and major corporations like Google and IBM. Their computer science catalog is vast, and broken down into topics like fullstack web development, software engineering, gaming and app development. Students are able to read reviews from past course participants to help them get a sense if that program is right for them.

Languages Offered: All major programming languages

2. Khan Academy

Yes, this platform is primarily known for its K-12 educational content, but its signature short and easy-to-digest videos can serve as a great primer for anyone totally new to the world of computer programming. The curriculum takes students through a mix of video tutorials and embedded challenges and projects.

Languages Offered: Javascript, HTML/CSS, SQL, 

3. EdX

This provider partners with world-class institutions such as Harvard, MIT and Georgia Tech to offer courses that run anywhere from six weeks to six months. Most classes can be taken for free, with an optional paid “verified” track that offers unlimited access to course materials, graded assignments and a shareable certificate upon completion. The course catalog is vast, with specialities in topics like cloud computing, artificial intelligence and ethical hacking. 

Languages Offered: All major programming languages

4.Skillshare

Skillshare is a membership based online learning platform, where independent industry experts and professionals upload courses on a variety of topics. Each course contains several video lessons and a capstone project. While Skillshare membership does require users to pay monthly, a seven day free trial is available, as well as a number of free courses. These are typically shorter in length, and a great way for undecided students to sample multiple topics. 

Languages Offered: All major programming languages

5. freeCodeCamp

This non-profit offers ten core developer certifications, that each entail students to build five web app projects, with the option to complete hundreds of additional coding challenges as needed. Each course takes approximately 300 hours to complete and more than 40,000 students have earned certifications, with alumni landing at corporations like Apple, Google and Microsoft. 

Languages Offered: HTML/CSS, Javascript, Python, additional fullstack development skills

6. Code Avengers

As you might have guessed based on the name, Code Avengers brings a sense of fun to the learning environment, and specializes in coding for games and mobile apps. Courses are available for adult and child learners, and a seven day free trial will grant you access to the first five lessons of each of their courses. 

Languages Offered: Python, HTML/CSS, Javascript

7. W3 Schools

One of the oldest learning platforms on the web, this site offers tutorials and reference guides for all types of web development. Users can choose from written instructions, videos, exercise and quizzes, and even interactive games as they master the language of their choosing. Paid self-paced courses are available for those ready to take the next step in their coding knowledge. 

Languages Offered: All major programming languages

8. Codewars

This is one of the most unique learning offerings out there, and entirely powered by its users. Community members create coding challenges called “kata” (a martial arts term) and students earn ranks and honors as they correctly solve these increasingly complex coding problems. The library of languages offered is one of the most comprehensive, with more than 25 lesser-used languages in beta. 

Languages Offered: All major (and several minor) programming languages

9. Envato Tuts+

Thousands of free tutorials are housed in this library, as well as more comprehensive video courses and ebooks that can be accessed for a subscription fee. This resource is great for answering specific coding inquiries; if you’re stuck and not sure why, you’re bound to find an answer amongst the hundreds of categories available. 

Languages Offered: All major programming languages

10. The Odin Project

The Odin Project offers an open source curriculum for “absolute beginners” in the world of web development. All students take a foundation course, before choosing between a Ruby on Rails or Javascript focused path. The entire learning experience is project based, giving students real-world experience they can use to build a portfolio.

Languages Offered: Ruby on Rails, Javascript

11. Hackr.io

Not a provider in and of itself, but still one of our favorite resources for learners on the web. Hackr.io aggregates courses available online across all types of tech topics and allows users to filter based on subject, price (including free), course reviews, language and more. All entries are crowd-sourced, making this a great place to read unbiased reviews and get a comprehensive understanding of the learning options available. 

Languages Offered: All major programming languages

Embarking on a Programming Career

We hope this article has given you a sense of the type of free online resources you can expect to find as you embark on your learning journey. Becoming an expert in the coding language of your choice is only the first step towards a successful career within the booming tech industry. Be sure to check out all the resources right here on codingbootcamps.io if you’re curious about some of the education and professional opportunities that might await! These include:

And many more articles on career paths, specific subjects to learn and resource topics!

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