Tech & Work

10 free resources to help you learn to code

Get started coding with one (or several) of these 10 free resources for learning to code.

Image: iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

If you've recently gotten the bright idea to learn to code, you're not alone. The facts are that there exist more jobs than talent to fill them in the tech sector, and if you're willing to dig in and build your skillset and portfolio, you could have a career before long.

But where to start? There are many options out there. Some choose to go back to school, some sign up for for-profit bootcamps, others for workshops and seminars. If you're not ready to commit a ton of time and money just yet, one of these 10 free resources might be just what you need to get started learning to code.

Hour of Code

Hour of Code comes from non profit Code.org. It's basically what it sounds like — an hour-long introduction to computer science and coding. Supporters of Hour of Code include companies like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, and other organizations like the College Board and Boys and Girls Club of America. There's no age limit on it, either.

Free Code Camp

Free Code Camp lets you work through Full Stack JavaScript coding projects, with the support of the Free Code Camp community via chat rooms. The cool thing is you actually build apps for nonprofits after putting in about 800 hours of work.

MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT's made materials from more than 2,000 of its courses available online, for free. You can find a mix of video lectures, class notes, assessments, and online textbooks, depending on the course.

Code School

Code School offers both free and paid options. The free account gives access to 10 introductory courses on topics like SQL, Objective-C, and jQuery, which could be a good means of getting started.

W3Schools

W3Schools offers free tutorials on HTML and CSS, JavaScript, PHP, jQuery, and lots more. They also have ton of references. So, if you need to look up what <span> means, you can quickly find that it "defines a section of a document."

edX

There are multiple platforms for massively open online courses (MOOCs). EdX is one. Unless you register for a course with certification, it's free to take a class like Introduction into Computer Science and Programming Using Python from MIT.

Coursera

Similarly, there's Coursera. You can take courses like Computer 101 from Stanford University or Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems from University of Maryland, for example.

Khan Academy

If you learn well from short videos, check out what Khan Academy has to offer in computer science.

Bento

If you need more organization in your search for coding resources, check out Bento. Bento offers a grid arranged by subject matter, and each box lists their picks for the best free tutorials out there, as well as what order to complete them. It starts with web fundamentals and moves through other areas like front end development, back end development, databases, etc. There are also some paid options for supplemental content.

Codecademy

Go at your own pace and network with peers as you learn to code. Codeacademy offers things like question and answer forums and study groups on topics like Ruby, Python, jQuery, and more.

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About Erin Carson

Erin Carson is a Staff Reporter for CNET and a former Multimedia Editor for TechRepublic.

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