Coding is one of the most valuable hard skills you can bring to an employer. Regardless of the industry, almost all companies utilize websites, apps, and other technologies that require communication between computers. This communication is done through code. However, learning to code can prove to be quite a daunting task. For newbies, code can look like a foreign language, full of complex and novel symbols without much rhyme or reason. However, the most difficult part of coding is getting started.
Even if you did not learn how to code in college, don’t fret. There’s no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on coding lessons. There are plenty of resources at your fingertips which will allow you to learn to code for free. Here, we will cover some of the most popular options to learn how to code for free.
Code Specific Websites
The internet has virtually everything you need to become a coding wizard, and a great place to start is a coding specific website. Sites such as codeacademy.com are entire sites dedicated to teaching coding to newbies. Many of these sites have a free version of the courses that you can start on today. Here are a few of the most popular options:
CodeAcademy.com CodeAcademy offers tutorials on over 15 different programming languages. Their free quiz allows you to learn which languages to learn to fit your goals. CodeAcademy’s tutorials feature real-time practice with working code and immediate feedback. Their free version of their program provides you with the basic course and many opportunities to practice. The upgrades version will include real-life projects and step-by-step guidance.
Web Fundamentals - Google Web Fundamentals is a free, Google-backed project to provide free coding education to the masses. Unlike Code Academy, this is less of a comprehensive tutorial and more of a resource. The articles and videos are in-depth explanations of many different tools and functions within code. Web Fundamentals is not the site to teach you coding, but it is a powerful resource to leverage once you know the basics.
W3schools W3schools has been around for a long time, think of it as the Harvard of online coding tutorial resources. W3schools boasts a large catalog of coding languages that you can learn for free. These tutorials are broken down by section and allow you to code in real-time. While these tutorials are not the most in-depth or the most engaging, they are tailored to the absolute beginner.
Udemy Udemy is an industry leader in online learning. Udemy’s content varies in price, but rarely does it vary in quality. Contributors to the content Udemy offers are screened by Udemy to ensure their tutorials are up to par. These courses also include lifetime access to the course so you can reference it whenever. Udemy hosts many free courses as well, which are enough to get anybody off the ground. If you enjoy the courses, opting for the paid version will connect you directly with the instructor for one- on-one questions and help.
Coursera/EDX Coursera is different than other online learning platforms because all of its content was created through partnerships with leading universities and companies. You can access all of this content for free as well! Each program is developed by a university or company, boasting names such as Yale, Princeton, University of Michigan, and Google. These courses are quite content-rich, with some programs including hundreds of hours of content. Coursera’s content is the best replacement for a college course if that is what you are looking for.
EdX is another learning platform that is very similar to Coursera. EdX host industry leaders in education as well, such as Harvard and UC Berkeley. EdX has both free and paid content as well. Individual courses, such as an introductory course on front-end development are typically free. EdX also hosts programs where you can spend several hundred dollars for a more substantial course and receive a certification after.
For the quickest exposure to quality educational content, Youtube is still king. On Youtube, you can find video courses, videos based on a specific subject (i.e. variables in Python), as well as personable content guiding you along your educational journey. Youtube is a resource for all of the content you could need, however, it may not offer something comprehensive. Many Youtube coding courses max out at roughly 3-4 hours, compared to the 50-100+ hours of content on previously discussed platforms. But, this does not mean Youtube is not a valuable resource. Youtube will provide you with topic-specific videos as well as more general guidance. No matter your experience level, coding is a great way to boost your career. The internet will equip you with all of the education that you will need for free, you just need to know where to find it. While none of these options and inherently the best, there is one that is the best fit for you. Go and check out these sources and find which one is best for you!