45 of The Best Places to Learn to Code For Free

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If you’re brand new to the world of coding and web development, it makes sense to start by teaching yourself using all the free resources online.

That way, you can discover what you like and don’t like before investing money into a certain coding language or set of courses.

However, there are so many free resources and classes and books to choose from. Here are 45 of the best.

To make things easier, I broke them down based on topic. Use the table of contents below to jump around.

Table of Contents

Please note: all information, topics taught, etc., have been taken at time of writing (July 2015) and are definitely subject to change. Thanks!

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1. Codecademy
Codecademy is where most people who are new to coding get their start. If you haven’t been to the site yet…where have you been!? The platform revolves around interactive learning; that is, you read a little, type you code right into the browser, and see results immediately.


Image taken from their Facebook page.

Topics taught: HTML & CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, Angularjs, The Command Line, and more

2. Codewars
Codewars offers a fun way to learn coding. With a martial-arts theme, the program is based on challenges called “kata.” Complete them to earn honor and progress to higher ranks.

Topics taught: CoffeeScript, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Java, Clojure, and Haskell

3. Coursera
Large online course library, where classes are taught by real university professors. All courses are free of charge, but you have the option to pay for a “Coursera Verified Certificate” to prove course completion. These cost between $30 and $100 depending on the course.


Image taken from their Facebook page.

Topics taught: Many (far beyond your basic coding/computer science)

4. edX
An open-source higher education program governed by MIT and Harvard. Offers 107 courses under the “computer science” category, teaching various coding languages.

Topics taught: Java, C#, Python, and many more

5. Free Code Camp
Teaches coding first through an established curriculum (approx. 800 hours total), then by giving you hands-on experience working on projects for nonprofits.

Topics taught: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Databases, DevTools, Node.js, and Angular.js

6. GA Dash
General Assembly’s free online learning platform. Entirely project-based. You build a “project” with each walk-through.

They are one of the very few options that have a course on how to build a Tumblr theme from scratch. Read my review of it here.


Image taken from the GA Dash dashboard.

Topics taught: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, responsive design

7. Khan Academy
Tons of subjects (as their front page says, “You can learn anything”), including many on computer programming. A few courses are offered for younger kids, too.


Image taken from their Facebook page.

Topics taught: JS, HTML/CSS, SQL, much more

8. MIT OpenCourseware
Competition to get into MIT may be stiff, but accessing their course material has no minimum SAT score. They maintain an online library of every subject they teach, with no account required for access.


Image taken from their Facebook page.

Topics taught: Many

9. The Odin Project
Made by the creators of Viking Code School—a premiere online coding bootcamp. The Odin Project is their free version. Work with others in in-person or online study groups!

Topics taught: HTML, CSS, JavaScript & jQuery, Ruby programming, Ruby on Rails

10. Udacity
Offers individual courses, as well as “nanodegrees” that train you for specific careers like front-end web developer or data analyst. Course materials are free, but nanodegrees require a tuition fee.

Topics taught: Many

11. Udemy
Paid and free courses. Courses can be created by anyone, so make sure to read reviews. Coupons can also be easily found, too. Check out their development courses here.


Image taken from Udemy blog.

Topics taught: Many

12. The Code Player
A compilation of video tutorials to help you walk through a process from start to finish. Good for learning “smaller” projects/tasks one at a time.

Topics taught: HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, Regex, JQuery

Head back to the table of contents.

YouTube Channels

13. Coder’s Guide
Features numerous series of videos on coding topics: a 19-video series on JavaScript, another 19 videos on HTML/CSS, and more.

Topics taught: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Bootstrap, WordPress, iOS and Android, and more
Subscribers: 35,870

14. DevTips
One of Travis Neilson’s YouTube channels. Focuses on web design and web development, with occasional live Q&As.

Topics taught: HTML, CSS, responsive design, development advice
Subscribers: 41,576

15. LearnCode.academy
My personal favorite. Web-development-focused videos made by Will Stern.

Topics taught: Sublime Text, Responsive Design, Node.js, Angular.js, Backbone.js, Deployment Strategies, and more
Subscribers: 92,758

16. thenewboston
Over 4,000 videos on a range of programming, game development, and design. Has almost one million subscribers.

Topics taught: Android development, C programming, MySQL, Python, and more.
Subscribers: 934,845

For a more comprehensive list of 33 YouTube channels where you can learn to code, look here.

Head back to the table of contents.


17. A List Apart
Lots of authors. They write books, have events, and run a great development/design blog. See all code topics here.

18. CSS-Tricks
Goes very thoroughly into CSS with their big, bad CSS almanac. However, the blog now goes beyond just CSS and talks about other things like Sass, JavaScript, PHP, and more. Explore tons of resources and check out their code snippets.

19. David Walsh
Run by David Walsh (a senior developer at Mozilla), although there are others who write on the site, too. Tutorials, how-tos, demos, and more.

20. Scotch.io
Covers lots of topics related to web development and workflow. To name a few: Angular, node.js, laravel, Sublime Text, and more.

21. SitePoint
They have lots of writers and publish often. Topics range from HTML and CSS to entrepreneurship. Also have paid books and courses on their child site Learnable. Make sure to check out their newer “collections” – which includes tutorials on topics like WordPress security, React.JS, and Swift. (And new ones are added daily!)

22. Tuts+
Tons of free tutorials, as well as paid options like actual courses. Has over 570 expertly-instructed video courses (on all topics, not just computer-related). Also publishes eBooks.

Head back to the table of contents.

The Command Line

23. Command Line Power User
Free video series created by Wes Bos. More at an intermediate level, so not for total newbies.

24. Conquering the Command Line
Free online book by Mark Bates. Very in-depth. Can purchase hard copy and screencasts.

25. Learn Command Line the Hard Way
Free online book by Zed Shaw. (My personal favorite command line resource.)

Head back to the table of contents.

Git and GitHub

26. Git Immersion
A guided tour to teach you the basics of Git. Set preferences and create your own projects.

27. Try Git
An interactive series of challenges to learn about and experiment with Git. Created by Code School.

Head back to the table of contents.


28. HTML5 Dog
HTML beginner tutorial here. (They also offer intermediate and advanced HTML tutorials.) CSS tutorials are here.

29. Marksheet.io
For beginners. Broken down into four chapters: The web, HTML5, CSS3, and Sass. It’s like an online ebook, but under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. So you can adapt it for your needs.

30. Mozilla Developer Network
Free documentation on HTML and CSS (also JavaScript). Has tutorials for people of different levels, introductory to advanced.

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Head back to the table of contents.


31. Eloquent Javascript
Another online book, longer than most. it has big-tech financial backers like Mozilla and Hack Reactor (“the Harvard of coding bootcamps”).

32. Javascript.com
Created by Code School. Quick and perfect for absolute beginners. (Warning: JS in real life is a lot tougher.) 9 mini-lessons. At the end, it points you to more in-depth JS learning materials.

33. JavaScript for Cats
It’s like a single-webpage book broken down into sections. Created by programmer Max Ogden. Filled with non-cat gifs but has cat pics at the end. Just because. Lol.

34. NodeSchool
Has in-person workshops and events all over the world, as well as an active web presence. See online tutorials here.

35. Learn JS
Go through lessons, type in the window at the bottom. Created by the same folks who make learnpython.org.

Head back to the table of contents.


36. WordPress.tv
Recordings of live WordCamp lectures around the world. Created by Automattic.

37. WPBeginner
Website for beginner WP users. Great WP glossary of terms, plus coupon deals, video tutorials, and a blog which publishes useful articles by different authors.

Head back to the table of contents.


38. A Byte of Python
Free online book for beginners. Can choose to download as a PDF or spend money for a hard copy.

39. LearnPython.org
Interactive online tutorial to learn Python coding. Has a little window at the bottom where you can write your code as you go through the lessons.

40. Learn Python The Hard Way (Website)
The book costs money, but the website is free. Written by Zed Shaw. (I used the book when I first started learning.)

Head back to the table of contents.


41. Learn Ruby the Hard Way
Free HTML version of the book online. Buying the hard copy also gets you access to videos. Another book written by Zed Shaw.

42. Rails For Zombies
An interactive way to learn Ruby on Rails right in your browser. (This is a better choice for people who know some Ruby already.) Created by Code School.

43. Rails Tutorial
12-chapter book by Michael Hartl. Can purchase ebooks, screencasts from author, and more. Or just read it for free online.

44. RubyMonk
Entirely free, though you have the option to donate. Based on interactive tutorials, where you read a lesson and type in code. Lastly, “run” it.


Taken from a RubyMonk lesson.

RubyMonk has one beginner course option, two intermediate, and one advanced.

45. Try Ruby
Also created by Code School, this is a better option for beginners. Type into an in-browser prompt window as you go through the exercises.

Head back to the table of contents.


Taking advantage of all the free resources out there is definitely the way to go when you’re just starting out. However, they only get you so far.

So once you have the basics down, you’ll want to start exploring paid options. I’d advise signing up for some online coding bootcamps or classes.

Did I miss any awesome free coding courses/books? Let me know in the comments below!

  • Akshay Bharwani

    Following you ever since I saw your inspiring story when I first visited CodeAcademy. Really, this is one of the best sites where one can actually find quality posts about where to learn code. Thank you. And this was another great post.

    • Hey Akshay – thank you for your kind words. It really means a lot! And I am happy to hear that you find my posts useful. Thanks again “D

  • This is a great list! There’s a big site that’s missing:


    • Haha oh right! :-x

      If I added a “kids” category…it could definitely go there! I haven’t checked out their site recently, but I did the hour of code challenge whenever it first came out.

      I liked it…but I found it to be definitely geared to kids, not adults! But they quite possibly could have added on since I last checked…

  • Cerobi

    This is a wonderful list! Thank you so much for compiling it — I’ve saved a lot of resources I didn’t know about before. The only thing I’d say it was missing was a section dedicated to PHP (especially to compliment the WordPress section). Still helpful regardless!

    • Hey! Thank you :)

      Yes — it didn’t include *everything*…maybe there will be an opportunity to update in the future and include more topics :)

      (I chose what I did based on what most people tell me they want to learn about!)

  • Flo L

    Programmr.com has free code challenges, free tutorials, and awesome monthly contests to help developers get discovered and win prizes

  • Chris Lee

    Great list! I’ll also throw in Tealeaf Academy’s books at http://www.gotealeaf.com/books. There are ones on Command Line, Git and Github, Ruby, etc.

    • Hi Chris =)

      Thanks for sharing!

      Are those new? I have a vague memory of stumbling on one before…

      • Chris Lee

        A few are new. The Command Line book, for example, was just released this month. And we’re constantly adding more videos and updating content in those books as well.

  • Ogechi Ike

    Codecademy now has a pro track that is $19.99/month.

    • Yes I heard! Have you tried it out yet?? Curious to know what it is like :)

  • Hey Laurence,

    Maybe worth noting here now that Learnable, which was SitePoint’s online learning platform, has changed to SitePoint Premium.

    Significant amounts more free content than there used to be on the platform, particularly where it comes to the Collections, which are a new thing – groups of free and paid Screencasts around themes and interesting topics to do with coding and web development


    • Hey Simon – thank you for pointing this out! Will make sure to update the post accordingly :)

  • anioko1

    Teachera.org is now allowing anyone to learn to code in group classes organized by private teachers. It is starting in Barcelona , other cities and countries are coming soon. http://teachera.org/learn-to-code-barcelona

  • There’s a great Youtube channel with a full course on learning to build web applications here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdqn_b7Fi_PSKAeO5F8wmA3YmXOtL5wAA

    It’s pretty in-depth and by the end you learn how to build a recipe search engine! Go check it out :)

  • Miguel

    For learning Python, I recommed https://pythonspot.com

  • CodersPlanet

    Thanks Laurence for such a great article. We would like to add ourselves to this list, We aren’t another place to learn to code but our code coaches do some great work to support, plan, motivate and inspire learners to finish what they started. We know how tough it is for beginners as we have all been there ourselves. You can see more over on our website – CodersPlanet.com …

  • The Dev Masters

    Great list! The Dev Masters ( http://www.thedevmasters.com) will be another great choice for someone who wants to learn coding. We have wide ranges of courses from beginner to masters. One of the benefits of being student here is our mentoring services. They will hold your hands until you succeed!

  • Monish

    This is a nice post. Thanks for the article. I have also found http://learn.shayhowe.com/ this to be a nice site to learn HTML and CSS. It does not offer an online editor, its like a book but really nice to read. Do check it out..

    • Yes – he does have a great guide! Thanks for reminding me. I will remember to add it when I do an article update :)

  • Jack Polkowski

    Hi! For learning SQL, I would recommend Vertabelo Academy that is quite new since it was released a few months ago. You can find free SQL courses there, with lots of interactive exercises. After completing a course, you can test your knowledge with a quiz. All courses (and quizzes) are available in a browser, completely free.

  • Yannis

    Learn JS is buggy. I wait for code to be executed.. one minute, three minutes, ten mnutes.. nothing.

    • Ah okay – thank you for letting me know! Will keep this in mind when I update the post soon.

  • Jose

    http://learnwebsitedesign.com/ is a nice reference for the basics

  • Aleksandar Petrovic

    freecodecamp.com is best way to learn web developing (full stack). Since 800 h theory and work on many projects. This not for apsolutly beginer, but if you have elementar knowlege in HTML, JS and CSS its best place.

  • irishguyny

    or learn yourself :) load’s of free programming ebooks at http://webwork.io/ebooks

  • Microsoft Virtual Academy is free and not all the courses use Visual Studio, also free, some use, Code, free. http://microsoftvirtualacademy.com

  • Michael Debatin

    If you are interested in C# and OOP, you can give http://www.coding-school.eu a try. You can start without any knowledge and you code a lot to pass the lessons. The automatic-test tool checks your code and give direct feedback. Additionally, the concepts and theory is described.
    It uses Visual Studio 2015 and C#.

  • Oskar Johnson Hägglund

    I’d like to recommend http://www.bento.io for HTML/CSS/JS + Python. It’s a guy who made his own syllabus of links and resources (He links to Codecademy for example) based on how he became a self-taught Fullstack Engineer from scratch. For me at least, it gave me a nice way to track my progress from “Learn how the internet works” to front end all the way to back end with Python and SQL.

  • Maša Hrašovec

    I recommend http://www.cybrary.it, it is about IT security. Free. Certified courses like CompTIA+, lessons are free and certificate you pay

  • Siva Nookala

    Thanks a lot Laurence for the detailed list of languages and the learning resources.

    This is Siva Nookala, founder at Merit Campus. At Merit Campus we are trying to get the complete list of Java Topics and lots of practice tests to perfect the learning. We offer high quality instructor led online course, 1:1 premium courses for affordable prices. Can I request you to review our website and if found useful, please add a link in this blog.

    Most of the content is free and we only charge for instructor led courses.

    The relevant links are


    Thanks a lot for your help and do let me know if you need any other information.

  • IndiaTechie

    https://w3clan.com is user curated tutorial network. You missed this one. Best thing about https://w3clan is , it is user curated tutorial network, where user creates tutorial and share to community. You must include https://w3clan.com

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  • Eugene

    Try http://www.scriptacademy.net/ it is a free website which helps your kids learn JavaScript by making games.

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    SOLOLEARN.COM – The largest community of mobile code learners today. Anytime and Anywhere, on Any Device. SURPRISED ?! : )