How to Learn to Code for Free: Best Way to Learn to Code for Beginners
If you want to learn to code but haven’t found an affordable option, you’re in the right place. This article covers the best free online and in-person bootcamps and courses to learn to code. You will also find coding workshops to help you shine in the tech industry.
For career changers or those wanting to break into the tech field, here are our picks for the best ways to learn to code for free.
What Is Coding?
Coding is the process of using programming languages to write software or computer programs that are meant to serve a specific purpose or complete a particular task. Coding involves the creation of a set of instructions that tells computers what to do and how to behave.
Without coding, we wouldn’t be able to communicate and interact with apps, websites, or computer software systems. Coding is the building block behind all software, and it is an integral skill to learn especially if you aspire to start a technology career.
Benefits of Learning How to Code
Coding Jobs Are In Demand
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts software development jobs are expected to grow by 22 percent between 2019 and 2029. BLS also projects that the demand for web developers will increase by eight percent during the same period.
The average job growth rate is four percent, putting both of these careers ahead of most others. This shows a rise in demand for working professionals with coding skills. If you want a stable career at one of the best tech companies, building your coding skills is an excellent option.
Programming Jobs Pay Well
According to BLS, computer scientists earned an average of $126,830 in 2020. Similarly, software developers earned an average of $110,140. Both salaries are nearly three times higher than the average annual income in the US at $48,672.
Coders Can Choose from Multiple Career Options
When you learn to code, you’ll have an understanding of core concepts that allow you to branch out into various fields. You can work for companies like Google or Microsoft, or you can control your own schedule with freelance work. With coding skills, your career possibilities are endless.
If you’re unsure about which tech field to specialize in, learning to code is a fantastic start. Those who crave diverse working environments will find value in learning to code.
Coding Strengthens Problem-Solving Skills
Learning the core concepts of coding isn’t only for building an app or a website. Working in a programming environment also teaches you advanced problem-solving skills.
By spending hours programming, you will learn how to approach challenges and develop corresponding solutions. The problem-solving skills you learn from coding are valuable for your personal and professional development.
Best Programming Languages for Beginners
We’ve outlined the basics of each of these programming languages below.
Python is one of the most popular programming languages among millions of coding students worldwide because it’s one of the easiest programming languages to learn. This coding language focuses on object-oriented programming with high levels of data structures.
Ruby is a high-level programming language used mostly for building web applications. After familiarizing yourself with Ruby, try to learn Ruby on Rails to wow potential employers. Ruby on Rails is an open-source web application framework that was written in Ruby. Well-known companies like GitHub, Shopify, and Airbnb run on Ruby on Rails.
PHP is an open-source scripting language embedded in HTML. This programming language is best for website development. Among tech rookies, PHP is just as common as Python. You can also use PHP to control database structures, interactive content, and develop e-commerce platforms.
Developed by Apple to create Apple TV, Apple Watch, MAC, and iOS apps, this scripting language is easy to use. Learning the core concepts of Swift allows you to create responsive and refined web and mobile apps. The biggest drawback of Swift is that it’s not as widely sought after as the other coding languages previously listed.
Best Free Coding Bootcamps
Attending a free coding bootcamp will equip you with career-ready tech skills to excel in a programming environment. These bootcamps allow students to gain beginner to intermediate coding skills in a short amount of time. You will also perform actual programming to gain practical experience.
Below are the top five free coding bootcamps to learn the building blocks of programming.
42 is an entirely free bootcamp in the San Francisco Bay Area. You don’t need any prior experience to attend this bootcamp, but you must be over 18 years old. The coding bootcamp runs for four weeks, and classes occur during the day and evening to accommodate student schedules.
To help their students secure job placements, 42 has partnerships with AMD and SigFox Foundation, among other brands. You can check out 42 student projects, ranging from app development to game design and development, on their website.
Eleven Fifty Academy
Eleven Fifty Academy offers multiple tech programs, both free and paid. Among their free programs is an introductory course to coding. While free, this course is instructor-led and scheduled at specific times. You can complete the course on a part-time or full-time schedule.
Expect to learn from an extensive curriculum that covers HTML and CSS, both of which are essential for front end development. Students don’t need any prior experience to attend Eleven Fifty Academy coding courses.
Many world-class companies like Spotify, BuzzFeed, and LinkedIn hire graduates from Flatiron School. If you need a bootcamp that can help you land a job in the technology industry, Flatiron School is a fantastic choice.
The curriculum of each certificate program differs, but all of them require students to complete coding challenges and projects. freeCodeCamp also helps its graduates land jobs at popular technology companies. Many of this bootcamp’s alumni work at Upwork, Amazon, and IBM.
Best Free Programming Classes and Courses
Free in-person or online coding classes and courses offer brief teachings in coding to help you upskill or gauge your interest in coding. Unlike a bootcamp that takes at least a few weeks, classes and courses run for a few hours.
The free programming courses and classes listed below are a great option for professionals in the field who want to learn a specific coding skill without paying a dime. Most classes and courses are self-paced, making them a flexible option for anyone with a busy schedule.
Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)
You can find this free course on Coursera, and it requires around 19 hours to complete. Students determine their preferred schedules for the Programming for Everybody course, with the classes taking place online.
This course is one of five courses in a specialization in Python. Its curriculum covers only the basics of Python. After finishing this course, you will earn a certificate of completion.
Object-Oriented Programming in Python: Create Your Own Adventure Game
Offered by FutureLearn, this four-week Object-Oriented Programming in Python course helps students learn how to code adventure video games.
With a focus on using Python, this course is ideal for students who want to build and design their own games. Those who want to transition to a career in game development will also benefit from this course.
How to Code: Simple Data
How to Code: Simple Data course is offered on the edX platform. This self-paced course demands around seven weeks of studying. Students will learn about data interpretation and data structures for programming.
Although this course is free, you can receive a verified certificate of completion for $125. It’s also important to note that this class begins at specific times during the year.
Code Yourself! An Introduction to Programming
Offered by Coursera, you can complete the Code Yourself! An Introduction to Programming class online. It should take about 12 hours to complete this course, but you can study at your desired pace. Students will receive a certificate upon course completion.
Expect to learn about basic programming languages, remixing games, and control structures.
The Learn HTML course provides students with basic knowledge of HTML functions. You will learn about HTML elements and structures, tables, forms, and semantic HTML. You can complete this nine-hour online course on the CodeAcademy platform.
Students also get to gain some practical experience by completing a project. After finishing the course, you will earn a certificate of completion.
Best Free Coding Apps and Tutorials
Free coding apps and tutorials are software applications to help you learn to code on the go. These apps and tutorials are typically for beginners and integrate gamification and interactive tutorials to make programming more approachable.
A few of these apps and tutorials also offer a certificate of completion, which is a tangible career benefit. You can learn Python and Ruby from scratch, along with other skills. Many of these apps also include short video lectures and animated stories.
To enhance your learning experience, GrassHopper offers real-time feedback. You can also collect achievements based on your progress.
A significant advantage of this free coding app is that you will earn a certificate of completion for each course. To make learning fun, SoloLearn includes quizzes and coding challenges.
Available for iOS, Apple, and desktop, Mimo specializes in coding basics. You can complete exercises with immediate feedback and experiment with code. Mimo also allows its users to set daily goals and encourages them to maintain a streak of accomplishing those goals.
Users can complete real-world projects to gain hands-on expertise. Many publications like TechCrunch and GIZMODO have acknowledged Mimo for its convenience and impressive quality.
Programming Hub offers over 10 free online coding courses. These courses include HTML, machine learning, and CSS. You can complete these courses on Android, desktop, or iOS.
This free coding app has received several awards and recognition for its coding courses. Much of these have to do with Programming Hub’s unique teaching methods, interactive quizzes, and visually stimulating puzzles. Programming Hub is also one of the certificate programs awarding a tangible career benefit.
Programming Hero focuses on delivering a personalized and enjoyable solution to learn to code. This coding app allows users to build a game and earn points and gifts through active learning. The concepts taught by this free coding app are for beginners.
There are 660 video lectures, 301 quizzes, and 11 assignments in this coding app. Completing the entire course requires around three months. Like all the other free coding apps we’ve mentioned, you can use Programming Hero on iOS, Android, and desktop.
How to Develop Your Programming Skills
Using interactive coding apps is an easy and fun way to develop your programming skills. You can also attend a coding bootcamp to gain job-ready skills or take online coding classes and courses for a quicker solution.
However, paid coding bootcamps, courses, classes, and apps offer more advanced coding skills. So, once you’ve gained basic coding knowledge, consider paid options to help you master programming.
Learn to Code FAQ
Can I learn to code without going to college?
Yes! You can learn to code without attending college. You can even learn to code for free. Join a free coding bootcamp, course, or class. You can also download a coding app to learn coding basics on the go. Once you know the basics, you can move on to paid bootcamps, courses, classes, or apps that teach more advanced coding skills.
Can coding get me a job?
Having coding skills makes it easier to get a tech job. Many of these jobs are in high demand and offer competitive salaries. If you learn to code, you will also find ample job flexibility in the technology industry.
How do I learn to code like a pro?
To learn to code like a pro, attend coding bootcamps or take advanced coding courses, and classes. For beginner-friendly knowledge, you can find free alternatives to any of those options.
Can I learn to code for free?
Anybody can learn to code for free. Free coding bootcamps and courses are some of the training options you can look into. You can also download coding apps to your phone so you can learn to code at any time. That said, it’s important to consider paid options once you know the basics of coding and want to master your expertise.