Learn to Code Online for FREE – 15 Best Places to Start Today

Learn to Code Online Free

Learning to code is the first step to success if you’re planning to start a career in the software development or web development area of IT.  If you’re like me, you would want to learn to code online for FREE! Why pay if you can learn for free, right?

In this post, I will share 15 websites where you can learn to code for free starting today. Yes, FREE!

Why would you want to learn to code online for free instead of going to a classroom?

Well, the reality is that most learning is currently happening online due to the current times.  Then, if you want the flexibility of learning from home, online is the way to go. For me, I have a busy family life and it is not convenient for me to shuttle back and forth from a school.  Finally, if the coding course is being offered by a college or organization in a classroom, you would most likely have to pay for the course.

Why Learn to Code?

So, why are is it important to learn to code for a career in IT? The answer is simple. 

The available jobs in software/web development require those skills.

There are also other reasons why you should learn to code. You can see those in this post about 10 reasons why you should learn to code.

The best way to know what skills are required for a job is to take a look at the job description in detail.  Most IT jobs are very specific about the skills needed to perform a job. 

As you research jobs in the IT field, you will probably come across a lot of software/web development jobs.  These jobs are typically high salary jobs, as I mentioned in this post. However, you need to get some coding skills to become eligible for most of those jobs.

For software development and web development jobs, they typically list the programming languages that the right candidate should have. Those skills are what you need to acquire.

So, you need to identify and learn the right set of programming languages for career success in software/web development. 

I have to be honest here. There’s a problem with identifying the right set of programming languages.

There are MANY programming languages out there, and if you’re not careful, you will get stuck in analysis paralysis. This means, you get stuck trying to choose a programming language and end up, well, not making a decision.

Here’s my EASY 4-step recommendation if you are interested in a career in the development side of IT.

  1. Decide which area of development you are interested in (software development or web development; front-end or back-end development). If you’re not sure of the differences, I’ll be putting up a post on this soon.
  2. Perform a quick job search for your interest area and identify the top 2-3 programming languages required in the job descriptions.
  3. Identify 2 – 3 places to learn how to code those programming languages online (FREE!)
  4. Start learning immediately!

The key is not overthinking what you’re doing and making a decision relatively quickly.  If you start learning a language and find that you really don’t like it, then you can change your choice. You simply go back through the 4-step process and try again.

Of course, you have to be careful not to let that turn into another form of analysis paralysis, but I think you get the point.

In another post, I will discuss why and how to learn to code in more detail. 

So, let’s get to the list of places where you can learn to code online for FREE!


As mentioned earlier, there are many programming languages out there that you can select as your preferred language to learn.

CSS, HTML, Java, Javascript, Python, Ruby on Rails, PHP, SQL are just a few of the popular ones.

After you have made a choice of a programming language, then you need to find a place to learn.  You don’t want to go to just any site. So it’s important to go to the reputable sources that will get you started on the right foot.

Below are 15 websites where you can learn to code for free. They are simply in alphabetical order for easy reading. Check them out and let me know what you think in the comments section.

1. Codecademy

This is a popular site for most beginners to learn how to code for free. They offer both a free plan and a paid subscription service. However, their free plan has plenty of beginner-friendly courses that you can take. 

2. Codeconquest

This is another great totally free online resource guide for beginners. They have basic coding tutorials, links to specific training on other sites, cheat sheets, quizzes, course reviews, and more.  This may not provide you with everything you need to know (there’s not really any one website that does) but it is a great online site to start to learn to code for free.

3. Coursera

I learned about Coursera a few years ago when I completed a specialization course at my job. That specialization course was not in coding, but I came to realize just how much free content they had!

This amazing platform has courses from many of the best universities. They have a lot of beginner-friendly courses to learn to code online for free. If you want a verified completion certificate, they can provide that for a fee.

They also offer a group of courses with a capstone project at the end as ‘specializations’ modules. You can’t go wrong either with a single course or specialization.

4. Cybrary

I have used a Cybrary course to prepare for a certification exam in the past and personally think their content is underrated. For those that want to learn to code online, they have a good selection of free courses.

They used to be completely free, but now they have both a free plan and a paid subscription service. Start off with their free plan and decide if you want to go with their subscription later.

5. edX

I recently just came across edX and wondered why I never knew about this platform before. Similar to Coursera, this platform  offers courses from some of the best universities. These universities include Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, and so many more. Their range of courses include an introduction to Computer Science as well as specific coding courses. If you want to learn to code online for free from some of the professors at top universities, this is a great place to start.

6. Free Code Camp

When you search for free coding courses online, this site will show up a lot.  A lot of people love this site because of their training approach.  What is great about their approach is that you get to work on projects (free) when you learn to code! This is absolutely critical because the hands-on experience is what will make you better at coding.

7. Google Web Fundamentals

This site by Google is a great place to learn about various aspects of web design.  This is not a course that will teach you all you need to know about coding. Having said that, the articles on the site cover very important aspects of web design. I think the most valuable resource on the site is their Code Labs page.  Their Code Labs page allows for hands-on experience, which is very valuable when you learn to code.

Keep Learning

8. Harvard Online Learning (cs50x)

This free online course at Harvard is an excellent introduction to Computer Science. If you want in-depth background about Computer Science and programming logic, you should check this out. I may be a bit biased because my college major was Computer Science. The course also goes into specifics of Python and SQL. Since they are part of the edX partnership, you will also find this course on edX.

9. Khan Academy

This non-profit site has a good collection of free courses on computer programming. Their courses include web design, database programming, and game design. You can learn to code online for free by selecting any of their available courses.

10. MIT Open Courseware

We may not all be able to attend MIT as full-time college students, but they have amazing free resources on programming. That still makes us MIT students, right? This site has a lot of free courses on programming, computer science, data science, and more.

11. Skill crush

This free coding camp by Skillcrush focuses on different courses in web design. They cover the basic building blocks of creating websites. They also teach the essential aspect of web user experience (UX). This camp is an introductory course to another paid course that they have but should still prove valuable.

12. Udacity

This site has a lot of great courses that beginners can use to learn to code online for free.  Similar to some sites mentioned above, they have both free and paid courses.  They also offer nanodegrees that group related courses in specific areas.

13. Udemy

Udemy is one of the leading platforms that connect instructors to students. I recently just launched an IT Audit course (it’s a paid course) on Udemy that I’m excited about. I was surprised to find that no one else has a course on IT Audit on the platform!

As related to coding, Udemy has a lot of coding courses. While most of the courses on Udemy are paid, you will still find many free courses on coding there as well. Some of the free coding courses have thousands of students and great reviews.

14. Upskill

This site is based on a hands-on approach to learning. Personally, I love this approach because it helps me tie all the pieces together. They have both paid and free courses but the free courses are plenty to start with as a beginner. The goal is to learn to code online for free, so you can select any of the free courses to begin

15. w3school.com

This site is described as the ‘world’s largest web developer site’ due to the amount of web development courses they have. If you are interested in web development, this is a great beginner-friendly place to learn to code online for free.

BONUS: Code.org

I’m adding this bonus site because some of you may be interested in teaching your children how to code. This site is excellent because it provides the very basics of coding in an easy-to-learn way for young kids. 

My son started using code.org in the first grade and he actually got the concepts! This tech mom was super excited.

I was initially skeptical when his school signed them up. But within hours of starting, he actually got the concepts and didn’t need my help much.  He eventually finished two courses with multiple projects by the end of the school year.

I recommend that you definitely check this out if you have younger ones that you want to introduce to programming.

Beware of Research Fatigue.

There are many, many more sites out there where you can learn to code online for free. However, I will caution you against information overload. You don’t want to end up getting caught up in the research and lose valuable time that you can spend actually learning.

I selected the 15 websites above because they cover a lot of the basic knowledge that a beginner needs to acquire. As you develop your skills, get more experience, and even start working with the skills, you can move on to other courses.

So, what do you think about the list of 15 places to learn how to code online for free above? Have you used any of them before? What was your experience? Please leave a comment below and feel free to ask any questions.

You can check out these other posts while you’re here.

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10 thoughts on “Learn to Code Online for FREE – 15 Best Places to Start Today

  1. Heather Ritchie says:

    Coding is such an incredibly valuable skill. I wish it was something I could do well but I’m a disaster with tech and code! I love these resources. I’m taking a class from Coursera right now through UC Davis and Copyblogger. I want to check some of these other places out.

    1. Thanks Heather! That’s awesome that you’re taking some classes to improve your skill. You can do it! I will be putting up a post soon on how to simplify the process of learning to code.

  2. Barshan Turno says:

    Needful content. Keep creating content like this! Tons of love for you

    1. Thanks Barshan! I appreciate the support.

  3. as a blogger myself, I know the importance of having coding knowledge.
    since I know a little bit of html, these resources are a fantastic starting point for improving my coding skills.
    thanks for sharing this truly amazing post!

    1. Thanks Hari. Glad you found the post useful.

  4. Great list. I will have to check out some of these websites! I especially love the bonus for kids.

  5. I’m sending this to my BF so he gets back to studying!

    1. Thanks Diane! Glad you found the post useful.

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