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20 of the Best Free Resources to Learn How to Code

Show your brain a little self-care by investing time in learning a new coding language.

Photo by Alexandru Acea on Unsplash

It’s #internationalselfcareday, and rather than simple DIY face mask recipes or meditation tips, we’re giving you a list of our 20 favorite FREE coding resources!

“Wait, learning a new skill isn’t the same as a pedicure!” you say.

Self-care is more than beauty splurges or a massage.

Self-care involves establishing a handful of routines that improve your life, challenge yourself, and spark your creativity.

As programmers and developers, we know that learning new coding languages can be one of the healthiest ways to remind yourself that you’re important. You are more than a frustrating 9 to 5. You’re more valuable than your salary.

You deserve to explore new passions.

Learning to code can boost your mental health, expand your skill set, and even lay the foundations for the side hustle of your dreams.

Self-care shouldn’t be restricted to once a year. Celebrate yourself — even professionally — everyday.

So slather on a face mask, soak your feet in Epsom salts, and explore our 20 favorite free resources to learn how to code:

1. Codecademy

Codecademy is easily one of the largest and most popular resources for people looking to get started with coding. From HTML to Java and more, Codecademy gives anyone wanting to learn a coding language the basics they need to get involved in development. And with a large Codecademy user base, students have plenty of resources from more advanced developers to help answer questions and talk through frustrating issues.

2. CodeConquest

CodeConquest offers everything from basic HTML and CSS to app-focused languages like Swift. Not only do they offer a tutorials for free, but the CodeConquest team reviews other popular coding products to give people the pros and cons of investing in another code tool.

3. CodeEasy.net

The CodeEasy program is one of the newest and most popular ways to learn C#. It’s completely free to finish, and there’s no push to commit to any other service the website offers. Each session is just 20–30 minutes a day, at any time of the day.

4. Codewars

Prove your skills and take on code challenges in a number of languages. Codewars puts a fun, competitive spirit to learning code. The martial arts theme gives the whole site a very “Karate Kid” vibe. Progress through the ranks to mastery by completing challenges called “kata.”

5. Code.org

Want to learn how to code but intimidated by the cold, harsh world that’s a blank screen and blinking cursor? Code.org is aimed at students of any age and teaches them how to code using fun characters they already know. If coding alongside your favorite Frozen or Star Wars characters helps HTML basics stick, then by all means, give Code.org and its Hour of Code a try!

6. Coursera

Another popular coding resource, Coursera gives users real courses taught by real, certified university professors. Professors come from universities around the United States — including UC San Diego, Duke, and Stanford. The courses themselves are free. However, if you want to splurge and be proud of your learning, you can pay for certification. That will run you between $30 to $100 depending on the course.

7. freeCodeCamp

freeCodeCamp teaches millions of people to code for free with a purpose. Users build projects to earn free certifications. The best part, however, is that the code being built directly gives back to the community. Users gain experience by coding for nonprofits and community-driven websites.

8. GA Dash

All you have to do to access General Assembly’s free code tutorial is submit your email address. From there, GA Dash will send you everything you need to get started with HTML and CSS.

9. HTML5 Dog

HTML Dog is where all the cool kids learn to code for free. At least, that’s how their approachable way of presenting code tutorials makes you feel. They offer a complete beginner’s guide to HTML as well as intermediate and more advanced tutorials for developers looking for a challenge.

10. JavaScript for Cats

JS For Cats helps aspiring developers not be such scaredy cats about learning new languages. The best part? Just like cat’s favorite ball of string, the entire tutorial can be unfurled on ONE page. The personable language can coax anyone out from hiding, and there’s plenty of images to walk anyone through the basics of JavaScript.

11. Khan Academy

If you’re wanting to get into coding and starting from the basics, Khan Academy is an excellent free resource for anyone. Given the go-as-you-want nature of the Academy’s courses, users can pick up and drop classes whenever they need. Sure, Khan Academy might be marketed to younger users, but the platform serves as a great playground for learning new skills.

It’s also a great way to establish the fundamentals of thinking like a developer — overcoming those frustrating walls and persevering even when you want to give up on a line or two of code.

12. LearnPython.org

Despite the name, this resource offers way more coding languages than just its namesake Python. A straightforward Table of Contents serves as a resource for anyone to pick up where they left off. The website even has an active Facebook community for anyone needing answers, help, or support.

13. Learn to Code With Me

This is a great resource for anyone looking to discover the communities around code. What does it take to be a developer? How exactly do certain languages benefit your job opportunities? Where do cryptocurrency and blockchain play into these discussions? Learn to Code With Me has an excellent blog filled with these questions (and answers) as well as tutorial resources to get you more comfortable with becoming a developer.

14. MIT OpenCourseware

If it has MIT in the name AND it’s free, what could be wrong? These courses from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology cover just about anything your heart desires — from coding to humanities-based classes and even advanced maths coursework. The programming languages can be found on their cross-departmental courses section. If you’re willing to devote the time and energy into a classroom-style online course, MIT OpenCourseware is an academic’s dream.

15. The Odin Project

May those who take this class be worthy of the power of Thor. The Odin Project is an open-source, collaborative way to several learners working on the same goals. It uses trial-and-error to teach the basics of languages like Ruby and Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, CSS3, and HTML5.

16. Rails Girls

An organization that started in Finland, Rail Girls provides women with the tools and community to “understand technology and to build their ideas.” The non-profit offers opportunities to learn coding in Ruby, Python, and other languages.

17. Skillcrush

They podcast, they teach, they run a bomb blog, and they’re women-owned. We’re big fans of the team at Skillcrush because they offer actionable content in a variety of formats that talk about industry-specific issues. Most importantly, they offer several programs tailored to anyone regardless of gender looking to gain new skills. They even do a free 10-day bootcamp if you’re really in a rush.

18. Try Ruby

You might be shocked by the simple look of Try Ruby, but we can assure you that you’re on the right resource. Try Ruby is a 30-minute primer into the popular Japanese language. It connects Ruby to math, breaking the concepts down into formulaic processes and allowing users to try something out as many times as they need before moving onto the next prompt.

19. Udacity

Udacity has one of the most extensive program options of any resource on this list. The expert-created courses cover subjects ranging from deep learning and AI to everything someone needs to become a full-stack developer. These, however, aren’t the free courses. Udacity offers various nanodegrees for free which you can check out here. It might take a little more legwork to find a free Udacity course that’s perfect for you, but you’re guaranteed to have quality courses whenever you find one that fits.

20. UX Apprentice

Want to learn the basics of UX design? This free resource goes beyond pencil and paper — teaching users how to lay out user interfaces with the latest design techniques and strategy theories.

Want even more resources to learn coding? Check out our 11 Resources for Women Who Want to Learn to Code! And for those wanting tutorials to spice up their websites, be sure to look at the Solodev CMS web design blog.