There’s no need to shell out thousands on a fancy computer coding course, let alone $10 on some subpar curriculum you found online. Amid the ongoing pandemic, many websites and startups are offering free tools to learn the likes of Java and Python. Stuck at home and in the comfort of their homes, many millennials are hopping on the trend and we’ve got you covered with some of the best free options to further your career and learn a new skill set.
Coursera is another great option that offers free introductory courses through multiple world-renowned institutions. You can enroll for free in an introductory fundamentals course at the University of Toronto or an introductory Python coding class through Wesleyan University. Lessons are succinct and expertly designed with a mixture of readings, videos, and quizzes that test your abilities. If you’re somewhat past the beginner stage, Coursera also offers intermediate and advanced courses, with specialization options. For example, try the Python and Statistics for Financial Analysis course from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The website offers thousands of courses across academic fields -- some of which cost -- but the opportunities are endless.
Learn Java, Kotlin, or Python for free, using these newly launched platforms. A majority of the learning happens through HyperSkill.org, a third-party startup that powers much of the curriculum. One of the great things about the website is that it gives coders instant feedback -- a perfect tool for those who need some reassurance. The startup is in the early stages of its development, so coders may face bugs, as JetBrains Academy notes, but for now -- at least it's free.
freeCodeCamp is a great resource for those looking to learn coding through a refined and in-depth curriculum. Since 2014, over 40,000 individuals have used the website’s programs, many of which have earned jobs at the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Using the website you can earn certificates in skills like data visualization or responsive web design. There are also thousands of hours of easily accessible coding exercises that users can use for interview prep. Arguably, one of the greatest resources offered is the forum feature which allows users to ask questions and interact with other users. Courses are a commitment and a certification can take upwards of 300 hours, but if you have the free time, it’s a great resource to thoroughly grasp computer code.
This UK-based website offers access to dozens of free computer programming courses from various worldwide universities and organizations. Try Computer Programming for Everyone, a free two-week course from the University of Leeds or Scratch to Python: Moving from Block- to Text-based Programming, which teaches how to debug code and basic Python skills. FutureLearn is a great website to help you dip your toes into the realm of code.
Like Coursera, edX offers access to thousands of free courses from 140 global institutions from the likes of the University of Michigan to MIT. Through edX, Harvard University is currently offering a 12-week introductory computer programming course that teaches concepts like abstraction, algorithms, web development and software engineering, while also familiarizing students with coding languages like Python, SQL and CSS or HTML. Educators suggest a 6 to 18 hour a week time commitment, which can differ depending on one’s familiarity or grasp of the material. Over 2 million people have enrolled in the course to date.
With all these free options, the opportunities are endless. Do keep in mind that coding is like learning a new language, so don’t be dissuaded if it takes some extra practice. Learning code is hard, but the outcome can be extremely rewarding both personally and professionally. Better yet, any certification or experience is an excellent resume builder and interview talking point.