A laptop displaying code How to Learn to Code for Free

How to Learn to Code for Free for Beginners

If you want to learn to code, all you need is the right attitude and proper resources. Learning how to code is one of the biggest challenges aspiring web developers and designers have during the early stages of their careers. Once they master the basics of coding, it becomes easier to navigate the advanced areas of programming.

There is more than one learning path available to those interested in learning to code. We’ve curated this comprehensive guide to help you find the best resources to help you learn to code, different job opportunities in coding, and the programming languages you should learn first. Use these tips to narrow down your study options. 

What Is Coding?

Coding is the process of writing instructions on a computer using a programming language. Code makes up the building blocks of websites, software, and mobile applications. People responsible for coding are called programmers, developers, or coders. 

Coding is often mistaken for software engineering. It is important to note that these are two different disciplines. To become a software engineer, you need to learn a lot more than how to code. You also need to understand product management and quality assurance. 

Another common mistake is referring to coding as programming. In the early stages of learning, these two words can be used interchangeably. Coding just involves writing code. Programming is broader, including the analysis and generation of algorithms in a chosen programming language.

Programming Careers

Once you master programming, you will have access to a number of top programming careers. There are plenty of tech companies looking for candidates proficient in programming languages. So if you are looking for a well-paying career in programming, you might want to consider the opportunities below. 

Web Developer 

Web developers are professionals proficient in front end and backend web development. They have the right combination of expertise and experience to create responsive and functional websites for companies. These professionals help business owners expand their target audience to a more global level. 

There are multiple pathways you can take to become a web developer. Depending on the level of the role, you might be required to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. Most entry-level positions have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement, but more people are accepting those with an associate degree or a bootcamp certificate.

Database Administrator 

Database administrators are responsible for controlling information access in a company. These professionals are responsible for ensuring that the database of a company is secure. You will find them working in conjunction with developers, cyber security analysts, and project managers to ensure the safety of the systems. 

They need to be familiar with SQL, Python, and Linux. If you want to become a database administrator, you’ll need a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or Computer Science. 

Computer Systems Engineer 

With an extensive knowledge base in mathematical analysis, engineering, and computer science, computer systems engineers come in handy in every industry. These professionals provide effective advice to clients to meet their hardware and software needs. They also evaluate systems and troubleshoot any issues that arise.

You will find computer systems engineers working for top-rated companies in different industries. Whether it’s a consulting firm, tech company, or telecommunications agency, you cannot replace the value these individuals bring. They need to know how to use C++ and C. 

Computer Programmer

A computer programmer is responsible for writing code for software applications and different operating systems. Their expertise allows them to convert the designs that software developers provide into actionable code for computers. These professionals continuously check for errors and troubleshoot. 

Computer programmers mainly deal with coding, meaning that a comprehensive knowledge of coding languages is imperative. A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field is the standard learning pathway, but some knowledgeable people can find careers without a degree. Most coders specialize in one or two languages.

Network Systems Administrator 

A network system administrator organizes, installs, maintains, and troubleshoots computer systems. They are responsible for maintaining local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), network segments, and intranets. Without these professionals, it would be challenging for workstations to operate effectively and remain connected to the central computer network.

There are a variety of programming languages that administrators would find useful. Python is a very popular one, but Java, C#, and C++ can be useful as well. 

Easiest Programming Languages to Learn

Learning to code from scratch may seem daunting. However, it can be easier and more accessible than you might think. Many programming languages can give you the solid foundation you need to start your career successfully. These are the most popular programming languages to jumpstart your professional journey.

Python

Being one of the easiest programming languages to learn, Python is readable and user-friendly. It’s one of the top programming languages taught in both in-person and online computer science degree programs. It is commonly used for backend purposes to improve the functionality of a website. 

Ruby 

Ruby is an open source programming language that is easy to read and write. It is mainly used for building web applications, conducting data analysis, and prototyping. Coders with Ruby skills would do well to also learn Ruby on Rails, which is a framework that helps developers build the backend of web applications. 

HTML

HTML is a simple coding language used to create websites. The language relies on elements and tags to control the display of images, texts, and videos on a web page. It is commonly used alongside CSS and JavaScript. 

At most bootcamps and colleges, you’ll often learn HTML before advancing to more complex programming concepts. It’s a beginner-friendly programming language because it features human-readable tags. It is also relatively easy to debug.

CSS

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is responsible for the aesthetic nature of web pages. Through CSS, developers can alter the text size, shape, font, and background color. You can also determine the placement and readability of the web page. It is often used alongside HTML and JavaScript.

JavaScript 

JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. Through learning JavaScript, developers can easily program the behavior of different web pages. Most times, you’ll hear developers referring to JavaScript as a scripting language. This is because it is used alongside HTML and CSS to implement client-side functionality. 

Java

You cannot master object oriented design without using Java. However, Java is an excellent programming language to learn the basics of design and software engineering. It may be challenging to master compared to the above-mentioned languages, but it can be an effective way to learn at a more advanced level. 

Best Ways to Learn Programming

Two people reviewing lines of code on a laptop How to Learn to Code for Free
To learn how to code, you can attend online or in-person bootcamps, take actual programming courses online, or consult coding videos and other resources on the Internet.

There are infinite ways to learn to program. However, not all of them will help you learn how to code successfully. We compiled a list of learning resources for popular programming languages. Below you will find free online coding classes, bootcamps, and websites.

Best Free Coding Courses and Classes

Coding has never been easier and cheaper to learn. Many free coding courses and programs have helped millions of students master the fundamental concepts of programming. Beginners can use these classes as stepping stones to more advanced courses. Take a look at the best coding classes available.

Full Stack Software Engineer by Codecademy

Codecademy provides interested learners an opportunity to grasp JavaScript. The school designed the program to equip you with knowledge of HTML, React, Express.js, and JavaScript libraries. The program will help you learn front end and backend development. You will also learn how to build and style highly interactive sites.

By signing up for this program, you will not only learn how to build a responsive landing page but a full website with enhanced functionality. This means you will have portfolio-ready projects to convince potential employers of your expertise. You will also receive a certificate of completion. 

Computer Science 101 by edX

This is a fantastic option to learn all the basics of computer engineering. Stanford University has provided this course through edX so you can receive top-notch education for free. The school designed this beginner-friendly course to help you master the basics of computer coding, computer hardware and software, computer security, digital images, and data structures.

In only six weeks of coding lessons, you will learn computer science the hands-on way. You only need to spend four hours programming each day to graduate on time. For an additional fee of $199, you can receive a shareable certificate.

Coding for Everyone: C and C++ by Coursera 

Coursera is known for its free extensive courses in coding and other tech skills. If you want to gain a deep understanding of coding and debugging with C and C++, this is a fantastic tutorial. By the time you finish the program, you will be able to solve high-level problems using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. 

This beginner-level course will only require you to attend the program for two hours each day. In six months, you will have valid experience and knowledge as well as a shareable certificate. To graduate, you will need to complete a hands-on project to showcase the skills you’ve learned. Both the certificate and the project will make a great start or addition to your professional portfolio. 

Best Free Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps are training platforms that help students get job-ready in a matter of weeks. The main difference between a massive open online course (MOOC) and a bootcamp program is the intensity. Bootcamps can teach absolute beginners all the skills they need to achieve their career goals. See the best free bootcamp resources below.

Hack Reactor

Hack Reactor provides a free basic prep course on JavaScript. Whether you choose to attend the basic, self-paced, or live online premium program, you will have all you need to advance in your career. It can easily help you gain entry into the software engineering bootcamp. You will learn all the essentials to pass the Technical Admission Assessment. 

It is important to note that only the basic coding course is free. It is highly recommended for beginners in programming. More advanced students are encouraged to progress straight to the in-person coding bootcamp. 

Fullstack Academy 

Learn demand skills, choose a flexible schedule, build a professional network, and gain professional experience by attending Fullstack Academy. You can take self-paced programs that teach the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They offer beginner-friendly courses featuring 15 hours of videos, exercises, and challenges.

Flatiron School

You can easily solidify your coding career by attending Flatiron School’s introductory course on coding. This free programming class will help you learn how to code and start your career in software engineering. The platform features an introduction to HTML, CSS, Ruby, and JavaScript. 

Whether you want to master basic web design concepts or full-on scripting language, you have options at Flatiron School. You can also learn API integration and the role that different programming languages play in the creation of databases.

Free Coding Websites

A handful of free websites feature particular functionalities to help you write code and debug. The biggest advantage of learning from a free website is that you can learn at your own pace. Keep reading to discover the best free coding websites of 2021.

W3Schools 

W3Schools provides tons of short, interactive tutorials to help you learn to code. Each one-hour tutorial simulates the experience of a live workshop and focuses on a particular programming language. There are video tutorials for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, PHP, SQL, R, Ruby, XML, React, Node.js, and JSON. 

In addition to multiple coding tutorials, you should expect coding games, puzzles, and quizzes. If you fully take advantage of the platform, you can have industry-standard skills and knowledge without having to attend other coding classes.

The Odin Project

Supported by an open source community, this free website will take you through full stack coding in a matter of hours. The website features the best coding blog posts, tutorials, and courses. As part of the curriculum, you must complete a series of real-world projects to validate your skills. 

From the site, you will find resources to learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, and Git at your own pace. Once you finish the introductory courses, you can go further by attending the full stack JavaScript and Ruby on Rails courses. 

Bento.io 

Here you will learn how to be a self-taught developer. The free website features coding resources that will be instrumental in helping you develop the professional skills and knowledge you need to have a successful career. You do not have to attend a four-year college or a coding bootcamp to master full stack web development.

The website features multiple tutorials covering all the major and minor programming languages. You can master all the popular programming languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Python, Git, Github, and SQL. This site will teach you the fundamental concepts you need to start any career in tech. 

SoloLearn

At SoloLearn, you can study C#, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and many more programming languages. The step-by-step courses are excellent for beginners in the field. You can take advantage of the free resources of SoloLearn if you have no experience whatsoever in coding.

With more than 20 courses available, you can learn on the go with their mobile app. In addition, the website features daily goals, progress statistics, lesson shortcuts, and an ad-free learning experience. You will also enjoy a large online community of supporters in the coding world.

Taking Your Programming Skills to the Next Level

Given the demand for professionals with extensive knowledge and experience in programming, upskilling is the best path to success. You can commit to more intensive instructor-led programs that feature valuable input from expert teachers. There are a number of great free coding bootcamps, but the best bootcamps charge tuition. 

If you want to attend an exceptional coding bootcamp, make sure you check its statistics. Most coding bootcamps provide job placement and graduation statistics on their websites. This will give you the proper perspective on the best platform for skill advancement. It is a solid indication that you will cover all the essential programming concepts you need.

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