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13 Free Coding Classes to Help You Start a Development Career Today

Last updated: March 23, 2020
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Some of the most in-demand skills in the job force today include computer programming and web development. If you want to crack into the web development industry, then you’re going to have to learn how to code. And what better way to start than to sign up for free coding classes or other paid online coding courses?

There are plenty of ways you can learn how to code. You can start to scrape the surface by combing through blogs, reading articles, and watching YouTube videos. However, coding is all about getting your hands dirty. You need to get down in the trenches and learn to code by tinkering around and building things from the ground up.

Online learning platforms are a great place to learn everything you need to know to start a development career. Online courses will teach you all sorts of coding skills that you’ll need to kick your development career into high gear.

In this article, we’ll take a look at 13 online coding classes you should look into. Some are completely free while others will require you to pull out the checkbook. Each platform brings something different to the table, but all will give you valuable insight into what makes the internet tick.

Free Coding Classes: What to Look For

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When the time comes to decide on which online coding course you’d like to go with, there are several things you should look out for. You should understand what you want to get out of your coding class, how much money you’re willing to spend, and how much effort you want to put into learning to code.

There are many different online coding courses you can choose from. Quite a few offer free coding training that teaches you a great deal without you having to pay a dime. There are also paid platforms. These paid courses tend to demand more of a commitment from you but will give you a comprehensive overview of different coding languages.

Before you choose a coding platform, you should understand what your end goal is. If you want to get into front-end web development or web design, then you should be on the lookout for platforms that offer courses in HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript. If you are interested in a career in data science, then search for programming languages like SQL and Python.

You should also consider your learning style and how much time and energy you have to put towards learning to code. Some platforms are there to give you help along the way and teach you the basics at your own pace. Others are organized courses that require a lot of effort but will earn you a certificate or even a degree from a university.

Now let’s get into all of the different online coding courses you can look into.

Beginner: Start from Scratch

These courses will allow you to get your feet wet in the coding world. You can virtually start from scratch without any previous experience and start learning today.

Codecademy

Codecademy is one of the original pioneers of teaching people how to code. As its name implies, coding is what Codecademy specializes in. The platform has always tried to stay ahead of the curve of traditional education by making coding courses available to everyone.

As one user put it, “You really feel like there’s nothing you can’t learn, which in turn builds so much confidence in your skills and gives the momentum to keep learning.”

You can enroll in Codecademy as a newbie and be on your way to becoming a coding expert in no time. If you’re unsure what you need to learn, they’ll put you on the right career path and show you which languages you’ll need to perfect to get the job you want.

The one downside that users mention is that Codecademy holds your hand a little too much. For example, you’ll need to take a snippet of code and find errors to move onto the next assignment instead of creating your own code from scratch. While giving you plenty of directions is helpful, there’s something to be said for being able to take some direction and then independently create code snippets on your own.

Price: Free or $15.99 per month for unlimited access

Code.org

Code.org is primarily geared towards K-12 students. The nonprofit’s platform has a huge supply of games, activities, and projects for students to complete. Unfortunately, the site doesn’t go beyond the K-12 curriculum. If you want to continue learning beyond HTML, CSS, and Javascript, you’ll need to go with another option.

Price: Free

Code Avengers

Code Avengers strives to do one thing — make coding fun and engaging. The platform offers learning programs for younger beginners, teachers, and those looking to take coding more seriously. You have the option of choosing different paths, like learning a single language or multiple languages that will get you on track to launch your coding career. One problem people cite is that the course selection is somewhat limited. You’ll be limited to learning HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Python.

Price: $29 per month or as low as $20 per month for a one-year plan

Odin Project

The Odin Project is an open-source web development platform that’s powered by its passionate community. One Odin Project alum said, “Before I started the Odin Project, I had literally zero programming experience. After almost exactly a year of working through the program, I was offered a job as a front end web developer.”

You’ll have access to online coding tutorials, courses, and blogs that will help you complete different projects to put in your portfolio. While you won’t have access to customer support, if you ever have any questions, there’s a built-in community waiting to lend a helping hand. With this option, you’ll learn everything you need to know to become a web developer.

Price: Free

Intermediate: Improve Your Skills

These courses are for those who have some coding experience but still feel like there’s a long way to go. If you’re starting to take coding seriously, take a look at one of these platforms.

GitHub Learning Lab

GitHub is a community where developers go to learn, create, and manage projects. You can also work on projects with other developers. The GitHub Learning Lab is a place you can learn how to code and become a better developer. Find help and training across introductory coding languages and more advanced languages like React.js and Swift. GitHub is an industry-recognized name that you should definitely keep in mind. The catch is that many of the projects revolve around using the GitHub repository and integrating projects with the GitHub ecosystem.

Price: Free

MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, provides most of its course material online for free. Anybody can head to their MIT OpenCourseWare website and gain access to educational content spanning a range of subjects. You can browse through their catalog of courses and decide which area of coding you’d like to improve in. You’ll have access to course materials like assignments, notes, exams, and readings from a top university, although this option lacks interactivity as you’ll be reading through PDFs.

Price: Free

Skillcrush Coding Camp

Skillcrush is looking out for people who are thinking about transitioning into the web development field. Whether you’re looking for a career transition or getting back into the workforce, Skillcrush gives you the option to take specialization courses or opt for a comprehensive all-in-one course. Classes aren’t cheap, but since this coding camp aims to give you all the tools you need to land a job, it could pay off big with employment.

Price: From $549 to $1599 depending on course

SoloLearn

SoloLearn lets you learn to code from anywhere and at any time, with the option to learn on your computer, mobile device, or tablet. A user by the name of Mat praised, “Probably the best way to use my phone. This is a revolutionary way to learn code.”

The platform will teach you everything from coding fundamentals all the way to specialized language courses. There is also the Code Playground which lets you play games that were created by Sololearn community members. However, if you want to learn more advanced coding languages, you’ll need to graduate to another platform further down this list.

Price: Free

Expert: Master Your Craft

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The following courses are geared towards people who either have a lot of coding experience under their belt or are ready to pay a premium price to learn everything they need to know to land a job in the web development field.

Codewars

Codewars brings gamification to learning code. Think of it as your coding dojo where you can sharpen your skills training with others and complete collaborative code challenges. Codewars is very community based with a leader board, badges, and honors that will push you to complete more challenges with your peers. The drawback is that you must have previous coding experience to be accepted into the community.

Price: Free

Udacity

Udacity is all about tech. They work with industry-leading technology companies like Google and IBM to create curricula that will prepare you for a career in tech. The number of courses and varying topics is impressive. If there’s a new cutting-edge technology that’s changing the industry, like machine learning or artificial intelligence, there’s a good chance Udacity has you covered. However, Udacity is by no means the cheapest option. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth, but you’ll be dishing out a good chunk of cash.

Price: Each course is different, but fees start at a few hundred dollars and go up from there.

edX

edX was created by MIT and Harvard University as a way to provide university-level courses to the world. This MOOC (massive open online course provider) is powered by leading universities, companies, and contributors from all around the globe. You can receive professional certificates across a range of web development courses including Ruby on Rails, PHP, and Node.js. While you’ll be able to learn from prestigious universities, the classes and certificates you receive through edX won’t hold nearly as much weight as attending the schools they partner with.

Price: Some courses are free while others can be several hundred dollars.

Coursera

Coursera is a leading e-learning platform that gives you access to courses created by the world’s top universities, colleges, and companies. It offers all different types of class ranging from courses, specializations, and certificate programs. With Coursera, you can learn nearly every emerging area of coding, but many of these courses will end up costing you quite a bit of money.

Price: Free or starting at $39 per month

Crash Course in Coding

It’s not easy to learn to code, but it’s a hot skill in the job market and worth going after. If you’re ready to take your coding skills to the next level, then give one of these code schools a shot. Before you know it, you’ll be able to take your coding know-how and apply it to the real world. A career in web development is just around the corner.

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