Learn to Code for Free
There’s nothing quite like home. You can enjoy your own personal comforts, make your own schedule, and even choose who you’re around. Thus, the home office is the dream of many people.
However, learning how to work from your bed can be challenging. Blogging, a very common home option, can take a decent length of time to start up. And, unless you’re fully on your own, you often still have a boss directing deadlines and topics. So let’s consider another solution.
Coding is a great skill you can use (and learn) online. More and more people are looking for qualified coders to boost the structural integrity of their websites, create a beautiful front end for their users to enjoy, and increase security.
The best part about learning to code? You can do it from home. This means your home office starts as soon as your learning process begins.
Not every program is online though. There are in-person institutions as well for people who enjoy more structure. In fact, there are many different types of coding programs, and they often teach at a price. These hefty price tags may deter you from beginning your learning or place too much pressure on you to succeed in your learning process.
But, there are free options out there! Let’s take a look at some free coding bootcamps for your consideration.
Coding Bootcamps: Offline Options
If you’re better motivated by having a group of people around, or if you need more structure in order to stay focused, offline campuses may just meet your needs! In-person coding academies offer direct access to teachers without having to work through online calls or figure out screen-sharing software. Offline campuses also help you build a community and network person to person over projects, ideas, and concepts. If this sounds like what you need, take a look at the following list … we narrowed down the best offline campuses for you!
42 School is a peer-to-peer learning environment focused on engineering. They hold a more freelance philosophy with no set classes. 42 School is basically the physical version of an online campus. It has high quality tools, peers from all levels, and is 100% free, with no hidden fees or paying back the school once you attain a well paying job. Wondering how to get in? You’ll start by taking game-based tests to catch on to the skillset. As you progress and improve, you will get the opportunity to take their actual “entrance exam,” called Piscine, which they describe as a basic training session. If you pass that, it’s on through the admissions process to get on campus.
This school is a 24-week, Seattle-based program focused on providing free coding school to women, minorities, and non-binary people. Their goal is to create a factory of full stack developers. ADA Developers Academy teaches a wide variety of programming languages and software engineering styles, and they place a focus on keeping each student with the group they started with for a nearly family-like feel to the program. In order to apply, you must submit a resume, answer a few essay questions, analyze a data set, and complete a coding challenge. Once you pass all that, you’ll undergo some video interviews. If you pass, you’ll then be able to begin your coding experience.
Bridge offers free, 11-week courses to marginalized groups, such as women, agender individuals, and non-binary people. They are not for profit, and all instructors are volunteers. Bridge’s focus is software development (front end) and design. Course members meet twice a week in Toronto, Canada and cover real-life projects and interview prep.
The Data Incubator offers a unique experience. Their purpose is to create a fellowship of post-graduates (i.e., graduate school—masters or PhD—students and graduates). They offer free courses to STEM graduates to increase their skill level and help provide future employers a strong and valuable workforce. With several locations on either coast of the US, The Data Incubator offers a wide variety of programs and boasts students who now work in companies such as Amazon, Expedia, and Microsoft. Students pay absolutely no fees, but there is a fairly rigorous application process for admission into the fellowship. Once you get in, you’re set for an intensive, eight-week program. An employer who hires a fellow from The Data Incubator pays a fee to the program. And you? You just get paid!
Flatiron School is a highly versatile school with locations all across the US and even one in London. They offer courses in software engineering, data science and security. While only their introductory courses are free, Flatiron’s programs are worth a look. The school offers amazing instructors and career coaches to push you in the right direction as you grow into your career. It’s also worth noting that if you choose to pay and delve into their software engineering, data science, or UX/UI Design immersives courses, they have a money-back guarantee for if you don’t get hired within six months of graduation.
Insight Data Science offers a remote interface and also has locations in Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Toronto, and Los Angeles. Similar to The Data Incubator, Insight Data Science only accepts applicants who are PhD graduates or students who are approaching completion of a PhD. They offer a seven-week, full-time training course. They do not permit students to continue working their jobs for the entire seven weeks they’re in the program, and they do not permit days off unless absolutely necessary.
The Recurse Center is based in New York and offers an extensive, three-month retreat for programmers to refine their skills. They focus on a free-for-all approach, allowing their students to take control of their education. They have a concept called “never graduate,” where they encourage their students to attend continuing education consistently, and they offer events to facilitate that cause. They do require applicants to have some background in programming.
Coding Bootcamps: Online Options
Online coding schools are wonderful options for those of you who are self motivated and don’t need person-to-person interaction when learning new concepts. Online schooling allows you the flexibility to learn on your schedule. While the programs can be rigorous, you’ll be able to choose where you study—whether it be in your home or on the road.
The trade off for this flexibility is community. In-person institutions allow you to build stronger, more extensive networks, and provide you with more resources (for example, people) at your disposal. Even so, if you need to work, need to be home, or can’t afford to move, online schooling is a great option! If online is what you’re looking for, this list may just help you make your decision.
App Academy does have physical locations, but its online courses are stellar. There’s no tuition required to attend the program, but they do require that, once you’re hired as a software engineer making over $50,000 a year, you pay a certain percentage of your income back to the academy. App Academy Open allows users access to 1,500 hours of material and a large variety of online resources. It is ranked the #1 coding bootcamp in the US. However, App Academy’s free version does not offer career placement services or access to the alumni community. It’s really up to you to decide what you’re looking to gain from your bootcamp.
Codecademy is a wonderful source for learning to code and includes an on-site text editor. The free plan does only come with basic lessons, but this may be all you need to jumpstart your learning process. While their paid plan offers more in terms of support and teaching, Codecademy is not as focused as some of the other programs on launching their users into the job market. This option would be perfect for those of you that are unsure if coding is what you would like to do in the tech industry and need a free way to delve a little deeper into it.
Codewars is a fantastic way to learn to code. They aren’t a coding bootcamp, but a fun tool to hone in your coding abilities. Codewars allows you to either learn on your own or collaborate with others, and test your knowledge and skills with a feature called “Kata.” Kata offers programming challenges that allow you to attain ranks and achievements. Codewards even allows you to create your own Kata as you become a better developer.
Coursera offers free classes from university professors. This program is a wonderful resource for LinkedIn professionals as, for an additional fee, you can buy a certificate verifying that you’ve taken a course and improved your skillset. Coursera doesn’t simply provide a smattering of classes here and there; they offer enough resources for progressive learning, making it possible for you to build enough skills to confidently enter a professional technological career.
EDX is a high quality resource for anyone looking to learn coding. They offer free courses from a variety of Ivy League and industry-leading institutions. They can even help you get microdegrees, professional certificates, and full online degrees—though for a fee. The microdegrees and professional certificates are, however, commonly offered at discounted rates.
FreeCodeCamp is a nonprofit that focuses on teaching people via coding challenges and building projects. They don’t offer dirent help in getting you into a career, but their alumni boast many wonderful careers due to FreeCodeCamp’s education. They are completely free, using certifications that take about 300 hours of learning each to teach their students. FreeCodeCamp is not technically a bootcamp, but the result is the same.
Khan Academy is a very well-known resource for a variety of topics. They host a variety of well-educated professionals who distribute their information for free on Khan Academy’s platform. Khan Academy is not a coding bootcamp; in fact, it isn’t even technically a coding site. Their topics range from STEM to the humanities, and all their courses are of very high quality.
Revature Project does have physical locations, but its users can find Revature’s best free resources online. They are focused on training university graduates from diverse backgrounds. One amazing benefit of participating in Revature’s coding program is that they hire program graduates for software development consultancy jobs within their company. Their program runs 12 weeks and is completely free.
Udemy offers a large variety of classes on nearly any topic you could hope for. Not all of their classes are free, but they offer high quality courses taught by professionals. Udemy is a great alternative for those that can’t afford college, and participation in courses on the platform can help boost a freelancer’s repertoire. The site itself does not guide users, nor does it help build any particular set of skills. Rather, it works as a platform for others to offer bootcamps and classes to a larger audience than they may be able to attain on their own. When searching for courses, there is a filter you can use that allows only free options to appear, but many of the paid courses are not wallet breakers and may boost you well into your coding career.
Living by the Code
Whether you learn best with a set structure and in-person instruction or desire to be set free and pave your own way, there is a bootcamp, class, or experience out there for you. Becoming a web developer, software engineer, or app programmer may boost your freedom, excitement, and success, and there are ways to do it without spending your salary-to-be in the process. If these options aren’t quite what you’re looking for, keep searching! There are plenty more possibilities ahead!