Get going with coding — for free! — at these 15 top websites

One of the common questions many people ask is where they can learn coding without spending a dollar? Dustin Moskovitz, one of the founders of Facebook, learned how to code over a weekend of reading — the book was Perl for Dummies. It is amazing what you can do when you are motivated.

Here is a list of 15 reliable websites where you can do exactly that. (For a list of websites where you can pick up programming skills for free, check out our previous story.)

1. CodeAcademy

CodeAcademy is among the most popular websites that teach coding. More than 24 million students have benefitted from this website dedicated to teaching people how to code. Here, you will find interactive and intuitive lessons for:

  • HTML & CSS
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby

2. Coursera

Coursera was founded in 2012. From its inception, it has focused on providing quality education to mass audiences. This technology company working in the education sector has developed key relationships with over 119 colleges and universities and offers more than 1,000 courses.

It has many paid courses, but free courses in many fields are also available. You are likely to find free programming courses from the following universities here:

  • University of Washington
  • Stanford University
  • University of Toronto
  • Vanderbilt University

3. edX

Similar to Coursera, edX is also a platform that offers online courses. But edX is open source and not for profit. Harvard and MIT collaborated to create the platform in 2012.

Therefore, you can be sure that what you learn here will be high quality and up to date. 60 institutions are part of the edX platform now. A suitable place to begin would be Harvard University’s free course “Introduction to Computer Science.”

4. Udemy

Udemy was founded in 2010. It’s a website where you can both learn and sharpen your coding skills. The site offers paid programming courses along with free beginner level video lessons on diverse topics including:

  • Programming for Entrepreneurs — HTML & CSS
  • Introduction to Python Programming

5. Free Code Camp

paid programming courses

Free Code Camp offers you two big advantages.

  • Learning to code
  • Practical exposure — you can get an opportunity to build applications for nonprofit organizations

Thousands of coders use this open source platform. By becoming a part of this community, you will:

  • Meet other coders
  • Connect with beginners like you
  • Collaborate on projects
  • Obtain certificates

The learning is self-paced and completely free. You may even meet other wannabe programmers from your city here.

6. Codewars

Here programming is styled along the lines of martial arts. The coding arena is the “dojo” where you will learn different aspects of coding through challenges called “kata”. The more you work on the “katas” the better you become at your craft.

With each level, the complexity of the challenges you face will increase. You can utilize help from the online community to get ahead in these quests. As you grow more comfortable with the language, you can create your own “kata” and post it as a challenge to others.

7. The Odin Project

The Odin Project is a free version of the famous Viking Code School. Its goal is to help you obtain the skills needed to have a successful web development career.

When you complete learning here, you will know, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, jQuery, and other tools necessary to become a full stack developer and have a portfolio of projects to confirm it. Here, too, you can interact with other students and collaborate on projects.

8. MIT Open Courseware

learn coading free

Once you have learned the fundamentals of coding, and if you wish to expand your knowledge to theoretical and conceptual frameworks of computer programming, make most of MIT’s open courseware. You will find classes on topics including:

  • Introduction to Computer Science and Programming
  • Introduction to Programming in Java
  • Practical Programming in C

9. is on a mission to make coding a part of the mainstream curriculum. More than one million people have learned and improved their programming skills here.

You have the freedom to choose the structure of learning which best suits you. You can open the window to:

  • Hour-long tutorials (or)
  • Structured learning process

The courses are also cataloged based on the age of the learner.

  • School level (for example K-5, 6-12, etc.)
  • University level

10. Upskill

At Upskill, you can learn from basics to advanced concepts. No prior coding knowledge is mandatory. Teaching is through video lectures that follow a steady pace and acquaint you will a broad range of projects. This too is focused on helping you become a full stack developer. Subjects covered are in tune with this objective and include:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Git
  • Bootstrap

11. Khan Academy

Khan Academy (profiled on 60 Minutes years ago) is one of the pioneers in the field of free online teaching. Here the video tutorials follow a step-by-step approach to teach learners to use JavaScript and ProcessingJS to program:

  • drawings
  • animations
  • games

You can also learn to develop web pages using HTML and CSS.

12. freeCodeCamp

free programming courses

This is a place to learn and polish your skills in:

  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript
  • Databases
  • DevTools
  • js
  • js
  • Agile

Networking and collaborating with other students is the norm here as well. You can team up with others and develop your own apps on this platform. Your projects will address real world issues. Nonprofits can use the code developed here.

13. HTML5 Rocks

This online platform was launched in 2010, and it offers:

  • Lessons
  • Resources
  • Updates for HTML5

HTML5 is open source and therefore coders can experiment with it. Be warned, this is not the best place for someone to become acquainted with coding. You will find this site more useful if you visit after you are thorough with basics and have some coding experience.

14. HackerRank

This is a site where programmers develop their programming abilities by participating in challenges. Over one million programmers are on this platform. The competition awards points for entries and participants vie for the top position on the leaderboard.

This is not your typical classroom/video tutorial website. Instead, the site follows a philosophy of “learn by doing”. This can be the site where you practice what you learn elsewhere.

15. Dash General Assembly

Dash teaches web development free of cost, online. You can learn fundamentals of:

  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • Javascript

Aside from learning how these three integrate and form a website, you will have to complete several mini-projects that will then be combined to create a full-fledged website. Dash is ideal for beginners with little or no prior programming experience.

Get going with coding

With this list of 15 top websites where you can learn coding for free or for a very low price, you have no more excuses not to become a programmer

Featured image: Pixabay

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