Learn How to Code in 2021 with These Free Online Classes
If you’ve ever considered learning how to code but felt put off by the cost of coding classes, this is the roundup for you.
Yes, if you want to really master coding skills, you’ll eventually want to dive into a more in-depth coding class option. But to learn the basics? You can actually do that for free.
Learn to code FOR FREE?
Yep. And better yet: You can learn to code for free online—meaning from the comfort of your own couch.
That’s great news this year, when the pandemic is keeping us at home and totally changing what it means to learn to code. Many traditional, in-person bootcamps aren’t an option right now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn new skills and change your career. You can start getting real-world experience totally online.
We’ve overhauled and updated this post to give you a brand new list of the best ways to learn to code for free in 2021. Below you’ll find 100+ online coding classes for every learning style, commitment level, and career goal. Take your pick, and you’ll learn to code in no time.
Table of Contents
- General Coding Classes and Programs
- College and University Courses
- HTML and CSS
- Command Line and Version Control
- Ruby and Ruby on Rails
- Mobile App Development
- Machine Learning and Emerging Technologies
The Best Online Coding Classes and Programs to Learn to Code for Free
Start with these free programming classes:
- Introduction to HTML
- Make a Website (this coding class teaches you both HTML and CSS, plus you’ll have a tangible work example at the end)
📌 Related: Should You Learn to Code with Codecademy?
Udemy bills itself as an online learning marketplace, hosting 130,000+ user-created courses on all kinds of topics (including over 2,000 coding-related classes). While some of Udemy’s offerings are paid (costing $20-$200 per course), there are plenty of free coding classes as well, including some shorter Tech 101-type courses that teach code for beginners.
Start with these free coding classes:
- HTML and CSS Essentials
3. Skillcrush’s FREE Coding Camp
Skillcrush’s Free Coding Camp is our totally beginner-friendly intro to tech, techies, and kick-ass careers that you can complete in less than five minutes a day. Delivered straight to your inbox, you will learn how to code in the simplest terms possible — and even get to try writing your own code! — so you can see if learning coding is the right move for you. Start right here.
freeCodeCamp is a non-profit that offers free online coding classes and certifications in specialties such as responsive web design, data visualization, machine learning and more. It advertises itself as “dedicated to teaching the world how to code for free.” Be sure to check out the forums and peruse the curriculum — there are over 30,000 hours of free content!
5. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a non-profit educational platform dedicated to providing FREE online educational tools. That includes a robust selection of coding classes.
Try these free coding classes:
- This beginner HTML and CSS course will get you started learning to code ASAP.
6. Web Fundamentals
Web Fundamentals is a Google project to provide free, open source, online coding lessons and tutorials to the masses.
Try these tech and coding tutorials:
w3schools is a free online learning platform dedicated to coding and web development. Of this list, this coding resource has been around maybe the longest so yes, they know exactly how to teach you to code.
Code.org is a non-profit website dedicated to encouraging all people (but with a focus on school-aged students) to learn to code online. Don’t let that put you off though: we’re all coding beginners after all. (There’s a section for beyond K-12 coding lessons, too.)
Codewars adds some quirk to the proceedings by offering free coding classes with a martial arts theme. Solving specific coding “katas” (a term for training exercises in karate) will earn you ranks and honors as you move your way to becoming a bonafide coder. Who said learning to code online couldn’t be fun? Codewars also offers one of the more diverse lists of programming languages. Choose free coding classes on:
Plus lots more—meaning you can decide what to prioritize when learning how to code.
codeconquest is a full-service, free learn-to-code platform offering onsite tutorials and reviews of premium coding sites. More text-heavy than some of the other resources on our list—but some people learn best by reading!
Try these free coding tutorials:
11. GA Dash
Udacity is an online coding school with a mix of free and paid classes (around 200 of their coding classes—what they call “nanodegrees”—are free).
Try these free coding classes before diving into a full course:
- Version Control with Git Class (This free Git class takes about four weeks to complete and Udacity says it translates easily into their React program—or, if you like a real-talk vibe, add on our React course when you sign up for our Front End Developer course!)
- Intro to HTML and CSS (This free coding class is exactly what it sounds like—the ideal starting point for total coding beginners.)
Tuts+ is an online tutorial library featuring over 20,000 free tutorials (thousands of those dedicated to coding and tech topics).
Try these tutorials to learn how to code:
- WordPress tutorials
- Mobile development tutorials
- UI design tutorials
- CSS tutorials
14. The Odin Project
The Odin Project is a coding resource for absolute beginners that offers a free, open source curriculum. An ideal option for anyone wanting to learn coding online.
Bento is a site that curates free coding classes from around the web and structures them into a comprehensive curriculum.
BitDegree is an online learning platform with free and paid classes dedicated to coding skills, as well as general business, blockchain, and design classes.
17. Code Avengers
Code Avengers…ASSEMBLE! Ok, I’ll stop. But really, Code Avengers is an online platform with a mix of free coding classes and premium courses.
SoloLearn is an online and mobile learning platform with free coding classes in 13 different programming disciplines.
Hackr.io is a site that compiles lists of the favorite programming courses and tutorials from across the web. Use their search engine and upvoting system to find courses on everything from jQuery to Angular to Java to C#.
Coderbyte is a site for developers that provides short starter courses in different technologies, plus a library of code challenges to help you prep for technical interviews.
23. Microsoft Virtual Academy
Microsoft Virtual Academy is a free resource for learning to use tools like Azure and .NET. They offer certifications and customized learning paths based on the tech job roles you’re interested in.
25. LaunchSchool’s Open Book Shelf
LaunchSchool is an online software development education platform. Their Open Book Shelf includes free access to the books written to support their courses. While some may be tough to use without enrolling in classes or having some prior knowledge, others are helpful tutorials for beginners.
26. MDN Web Docs
MDN Web Docs, previously known as the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN), is a powerhouse learning platform for developers that’s been around since 2005. Search the site for answers to your web development questions, or check out their Tutorials page for links to walk-throughs.
27. After Hours Programming
After Hours Programming is a free resource with modules on everything from HTML & CSS to mySQL, Graphic Design, Usability, SEO, and more. This platform is all about giving you a broader view of how web development work fits into the larger business of programming for sites like Amazon, Google, and Walmart.
28. Rithm School
Rithm School is a full-time coding education platform, but they have a searchable library of free courses available online.
Learn to Code for Free Via Colleges and Universities
Coursera is an online learning platform that hosts content from top universities, including over 100 coding classes. If you’re ready to learn how to code, you could do worse than start here. Coursera’s classes are free to audit.
Start with these online coding classes:
- Creative Coding (This course from NYU “will introduce you to the fundamental concepts of object oriented programming, using code as a method for self-expression in a variety of media, such as 2D graphics, animation, image, and video processing.”)
- HTML Coding Essentials (from the coding class masters at W3C)
31. MIT OpenCourseWare
MIT OpenCourseWare is part of an MIT initiative to publish ALL of the educational materials from its courses online for free. Sound too good to be true? It’s not! Aaaaand, that includes plenty of intro to programming and other tech and coding for beginners type classes.
Start with these coding classes if you want to get more specific:
- Introduction to Programming in Python
- Introduction to C and C++
- Programming for the Puzzled This course “builds a bridge between the recreational world of algorithmic puzzles (puzzles that can be solved by algorithms) and the pragmatic world of computer programming, teaching students to program while solving puzzles.”
Learn HTML and CSS for Free with These Online Courses and Tutorials
HTML and CSS are two of the most fundamental skills you’ll need to pick up if you want to work in tech. But they’re still valuable. In just weeks or days, you can start building projects and even making money using just HTML and CSS.
MarkSheet is a free HTML & CSS tutorial, with dozens of lessons covering HTML5, CSS3, and bonus material on Sass to take your sites to the next level.
HTML.com hosts a free HTML tutorial for absolute beginners. If you’re ready to learn how to code for free, you could do worse than start with something this straightforward.
34. w3schools HTML Tutorial
w3schools offers this free HTML tutorial, which is ideal for anyone wondering how to learn coding and overwhelmed with the idea of starting. Consider this your step one.
Get your free, interactive HTML tutorial on at Learn-HTML.org.
36. HTML Dog
HTML Dog hosts free HTML tutorials, along with examples of HTML, CSS, and JS at work, plus techniques commonly used to build websites.
37. Codecademy Introduction to HTML
Codecademy has free courses on all things, well, coding — so of course they have an intro to HTML. The ideal starting point when you’re just starting to learn how to code.
38. codeconquest Free HTML Tutorial
Conquer the most fundamental of all coding skills (HTML) with this codeconquest tutorial.
Bonus: Our Beginner’s Guide to Coding
This takeaway guide is ideal for those of us who love diving into some visual examples and helpful reading. We’ll send it straight to your inbox.
If you want to learn to code online truly, really, you’re going to need to learn CSS eventually. So why not rip the BandAid off?
39. Codeconquest Free CSS Tutorial
Codeconquest returns with a tutorial to help you learn HTML’s sister language, CSS. If you want to learn coding, that includes learning how to style said code. This isn’t a bad place to start.
40. w3schools CSS Tutorial
The line of w3schools tutorials continues with this entry on CSS.
CSStutorial.net is a site dedicated to walking you through CSS basics step-by-step.
42. Codecademy Learn CSS
You know Codecademy’s not going to leave you hanging with one of tech’s most fundamental coding skills, right? Here’s their free guide to CSS.
43. HTML Dog CSS Tutorials
Remember HTML Dog? They do CSS too. ;)
44. HTML and CSS for Beginners—Build a Website & Launch Online (Udemy)
This dual HTML/CSS class is free over at Udemy, and is a great crash course in web development basics.
Learn Command Line for Free
If you want to work as a developer, you need to learn more than the coding languages you choose to specialize in. There are dozens of important industry tools you need to understand how to use.
For starters: the command line. The command line is a way to “speak” directly to the computer by navigating file management using lines of text in a code editor, without a GUI (graphical user interface). Read PCMag’s definition for more. These tools can help you learn to use the command line:
45. Django Girls Introduction to the Command-Line Interface
Django Girls is an org that puts together free one-day coding workshops on Python and Django. Their free command line tutorial can get you up and running with command line on Windows, OS X, and Linux, plus there’s an accompanying YouTube video for the lesson.
46. Command Line Power User
Once you’ve learned the basics of the command line, you can get more efficient with this free tutorial for developers.
Learn Version Control for Free
What the heck is version control? To put it simply, version control is a system for collaborating on code. When using version control, multiple developers can pull, edit, and add code to a shared repository. It makes it easy to tell who’s working on what, identify broken code, and roll back changes. These tools can help you learn one of the most common version control systems out there: Git and GitHub.
47. Git Immersion
Git Immersion is a free walk-through that covers all the fundamentals of using Git, from installing it to choosing graphical clients to make it easier to use.
48. Try Git
Try Git has resources for getting comfy with Git and GitHub. Try their handbook and cheat sheets, or use their tutorials.
49. GitHub Learning Lab
GitHub Learning Lab is packed with lessons created by the GitHub community covering everything from getting started with GitHub, learning Markdown, creating GitHub pages, uploading a project to GitHub, and more.
Nodeschool.io is a platform with open source workshops on Node.js that you can do online all on your own, or at in-person workshops (currently suspended as of Nov 2020, due to COVID-19). Start with the basics and try their core workshops.
Up your knowledge of the popular Vue framework straight from these tutorials at the VueJS.org website.
63. Scrimba Learn React for Free
Scrimba.com’s Learn React for Free course is a collection of 48 interactive screencasts dedicated to React JS.
64. Thinkster.io: A Better Way to Learn Angular
65. Codecademy Learn React JS
Oh, hai Codecademy! What’s that? You have a free tutorial for React JS? Aww, of COURSE you do!
Learn Python for Free with These Online Courses and Tutorials
You want to learn Python basics for free? You go to Learnpython.org. It’s as a simple (or, I guess, BASIC) as that.
67. Byte of Python
A Byte of Python is a free book (totally online) on Python for beginners. According to their site, “If all you know about computers is how to save text files, then this is the book for you.”
68. The Python Foundation: Beginner’s Guide
OR you can go direct to the source! The Python Foundation’s official website hosts free tutorials tailored for both programming newcomers and Python newcomers with programming experience.
69. Python-Guide.Org: Hitchhiker’s Guide to Python
Psst! Did you know Python is actually named in honor of MONTY Python? Well if you don’t know, now you know, and what better way to honor Python’s namesake than to learn from a guide named after the Monty Python-adjacent Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Python-guide.org has your Hitchiker’s Guide to Python right here!
70. Real Python: Learn Python Programming By Example
Do you really want to learn Python? For real? Then check out Real Python’s example-based tutorial.
71. Google’s Python Class
I mean, when you think of tech and websites, you almost automatically think of Google, right? And here they are offering a free Python class. Probably a pretttty good place to pick up some pointers.
72. Codecademy Learn Python
Whoah, whoah, whoah…you mean to tell me that Codecademy has a Python class?? But of course they do!
73. w3schools Python Tutorial
And, never fear, if you’re more of a w3schools person, they have one too!
Bonus Python Guide
Skillcrush offers a Python course! While it’s not free, we do have some great in-depth resources to get you started including this in-depth guide on how to learn Python.
Learn Data for Free with These Online Courses and Tutorials
75. Elite Data Science
Elite Data Science specializes in helping students start new jobs in data. Their crash course is totally free.
Learn Ruby and Ruby on Rails for Free with These Online Courses and Tutorials
76. Ruby on Rails Tutorial:Learn Web Development With Rails
If you’re a book learner, you’ll appreciate this free, digital version of Ruby on Rail Tutorial—Learn Web Development With Rails by Michael Hartl.
77. Learn Ruby the Hard Way
Learn Ruby the Hard Way is a free book (totally online) that covers what it calls the three most essential skills for beginners in programming: “reading and writing, attention to detail, and spotting difference.”
78. Ruby Koans
Do the deepening, enigmatic nature of Zen koans appeal to you? Can you picture yourself learning to code with Ruby using the same kind of format. Well hey, check out Ruby Koans!
79. Rails Girls
Rails Girls is an awesome organization of female Rails users dedicated to spreading the Rails love. And they’re doing that here with their free Rails guides. Bonus: the guides are available in 10 languages.
You want to learn Ruby online? You go to learnrubyonline.org. Case closed.
81. Codecademy Learn Ruby on Rails
You could do a LOT worse than going to Codecademy for your first intro to Rails. In fact, it’s a top choice.
82. w3resource Ruby Tutorial
No, not w3schools, this is w3resource, coming out of nowhere to school you on Ruby. For free.
83. tutorialspoint.com Ruby on Rails Tutorial
What do we want? RUBY ON RAILS TUTORIALS! Where do we find them? Well, tutorialspoint.com has one right here.
84. Learn Ruby on Rails From Scratch (Udemy)
Starting with Rails from nothing? Like, literally from scratch? Try this free class from Udemy: Learn Ruby on Rails From Scratch.
Bonus Ruby on Rails Guide
Not sure what Ruby on Rails is, let alone whether it’s right for you? We wrote this handy beginner’s guide to Ruby on Rails that’s perfect for you.
Learn PHP for Free Online with These Courses and Tutorials
If you’ve gotten this far down the list, you’ve noticed that every coding language has at least one or two tutorial sites totally dedicated to learning it. PHP is no different, and learn-php.org is no joke!
When you’re learning a new skill, a support system is key. And what’s more supportive than a buddy?? In this case, a PHPBuddy!
PHP is a developer’s friend, particularly if you are working with WordPress and WordPress plugins, so add it to your own developer toolkit by checking out the tutorials on developPHP.com.
88. PHP The Right Way
So there’s two ways you can learn PHP: the right way, or the wrong way. Um, I’m guessing you want to learn it the right way, though? Right? Then head over to PHP The Right Way for their free tutorials.
89. Killer PHP
Want to learn PHP but worried you have to be a techie or a “nerd” to do it? Then allow me to introduce you to Killer PHP! They’ve been offering free PHP lessons to “non nerds” for ten years now, making them to PHP what Guy Fieri is to restaurants.
90. Codecademy Learn PHP
Well, I guess we can move on. Nothing else to see here as far as PHP resources. Haha, kidding. Codecademy has a free PHP course.
91. w3schools PHP Tutorial
Aaand, rounding things out for PHP is w3schools (or, as we like to affectionately call them, “Good Old Trusty”) with a free PHP tutorial.
Learn WordPress for Free with These Online Courses and Tutorials
92. WordPress.com Learn
Looking to level up your basic WordPress skills? You go straight to the source and get pointers from the WordPress team with these tutorials.
WordPress.tv is a hub where you can find videos of WordCamp talks, and more.
94. Smashing Magazine: Beginner’s Guide to Creating a WordPress Website
Smashing Magazine is the home to a lot of great pointers and tutorials, their Beginner’s WordPress Guide being one of them.
The wpbeginner website hosts a…wait for it…Beginner’s Guide to WordPress on their site! This guide is designed to be able to teach you WordPress basics for free in a week or less.
96. WPMU DEV Your Startup Guide to SEO: A WordPress SEO Tutorial
WordPress knowledge site WPMU DEV offers this unique WordPress guide—it’s specifically a dive into how to configure a WordPress site for SEO.
Learn Mobile App Development for Free Online with These Courses and Tutorials
97. Android Documentation for App Developers
If you’re planning on developing mobile apps for Android, it’s important to get acquainted with best practices directly from Google itself. And you can do that with the Android team’s Documentation for App Developers.
98. Google Android Training
Looking for more training straight from Google? Learn Android development from the folks who built it: Training for Android and web developers.
99. Android Developer Training for New Programmers
Aaand, if you’re completely new to programming and you want to learn about developing Android apps, start here!
100. Apple: Start Developing iOS Apps (Swift)
If iPad and iPhone apps are more your jam (or you just want to learn about those, too), check out Apple’s tutorials and documentation here.
101. Apple Swift Playgrounds
Website documentation feel too dry? Then download Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app, a gamified, app-based way to learn about building iOS apps.
102. Line25: Design & Code a Cool iPhone App Website in HTML5
Want to get a third party look at what building an iOS app is all about? Try Line25’s free guide to building an iPhone application with HTML5.
Learn UX for Free Online with These Courses and Tutorials
Looking to dive straight into UX, or user experience? Start here:
103. The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction
The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction is just what sounds like! Sorta. It’s a compilation of textbooks thousands of pages long covering everything from websites and smartphones to household objects.
104. UXPin: Free UX Ebooks
Similar to the encyclopedia above, UXPin offers a compendium of UX-related books on topics like prototyping, wireframing, mockups, and more.
Free Machine Learning Resources
105. Google AI
Get Google’s free training on machine learning. Even if you’re a total tech beginner, you can start getting up to speed. Try tutorials, free guides, and more.
106. Machine Learning Mastery
If you’re already a developer, Machine Learning Mastery is a resource that can help you start learning what you need to know about machine learning. Try quick-start guides or dive into tutorials.
Psst, when you’re ready to graduate to paid, instructor-led coding classes, check out our Skillcrush Courses page. Most of our courses are designed to be completed in three months by spending just an hour a day on the materials