laptop and code

Best Websites To Learn Coding For Free | Our Experience

“… Coding is the new literacy. It’s the instruction set for the most powerful tool ever created.” These prophetic words of Naval Ravikant, co-founder of AngelList and star entrepreneur rang in my ears as an alarm bell for many years.

I had this strong urge to learn to code. From afar, the mighty power of code seemed magical to me. However, I was also afraid of anything which was connected to numbers or logic, because my early experiences trying to learn code had scarred me.

Honestly, the very first experiences were not so bad. We were taught some Logo in school. I don’t know if any of you remember this language. It has a turtle which can be programmed by simple commands to make geometrical shapes of all sorts.

Then as I grew up, my sister tried to turn me on to learn coding. It was decided that I would go to a computer center near my home in India to learn C++. This was India in the early 2000s, and I was in 9th grade. When I visited the center, a burly uninspired tutor was appointed to teach me the language. To my horror, they never seated me in front of a computer. Instead, I was taught all coding using a notebook and pen. Day after day she would try pouring all the information into me like I was a fixed receptacle ready to receive it all. I never got to run a program once on their big bulky CRT computers. After a month, I was so traumatized by C++ statements that I decided to give up. All this because of a bad teacher and bad teaching setup.

Years and years after this incident I started listening to Naval and really started getting perspective on how coders are building the new world. The future is in the works right now, and the coders are at the helm. I felt coding was like a superpower, and I was feeling pretty left out. Meanwhile, many of my friends were excelling in coding and that added to the zeal to learn it.

This Is How My Coding Story Started

After this I made a determination to learn to code at whatever cost that may come. I started off with a simple tool called MIT App Inventor which enables anyone to make an Android app, just by using a drag and drop builder. Luckily, I found a course on MIT App Inventor on Coursera by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and I promptly enrolled. What ensued was so much fun that I recognized that if taught properly, coding is not hard. It also involves a lot of creativity and problem-solving that sharpens your aptitude.

Learning App Inventor doesn’t teach you any syntax or language but you surely learn how everything fits together. So I got an idea of how code works, what does front-end and back-end means, how components come together, and other essentials. With this, I was ready to tackle something more challenging.

I searched up the best websites to learn coding from. My first thought was to start off with Codeacademy’s wonderful course on HTML. I was simply delighted by their wonderful triptych system. Now I could learn, write code, and see the results on just one page. It felt revolutionary to me. I found the system to learn fairly addictive. After completing the HTML course, I moved on to Python. Finally, I realized my dream of being able to code. It was liberating.

Why You Should Pin Down The Best Websites To Learn Coding

So why exactly you should learn to code? Every person is different and everyone would have a different reason to learn. I will list a few common ones, starting off with a big one. Coding is part of the new revolution that is taking place right now. We have pretty much inhabited and built the terrestrial world around us. Coding is how the digital world is being made. This will keep on happening for many years to come. So you will never be out of a job, probably until you are alive.

Many people express the fear that coding will also be automated and done by AI. However, it is unlikely that coding would be automated until they make machines that know how to think. This is because ultimately coding is thinking logically. It is hard to foresee what will happen in the future but right now in the present there seems to be an endless demand of coders and it seems to be growing.

If you want to learn something that will land you secure job prospects and a lot of money (provided you develop good skills) coding is what you should do. If you want to lead an alternative lifestyle, working remotely from scenic places like Bali or Thailand- coding got your back. All you need is your laptop!

Right now, I am working from the Himalayas, living on less than $10 a day, while I earn much more working for clients all around the world. I am not worried about the future, I know there will always be more work than I can possibly do and I can save comfortably while living my best life possible amidst nature.

Coding and Your Career

Apart from all these brilliant career options, you can also start your own business if you know coding. There is a brilliant book on this subject, now almost a decade old, called ‘Start Small Stay Small’ by Rob Walling. Rob advocates coders to take matters in their own hand and start small businesses that will enable them to retire early. Sounds dreamy and too good to be true? Well many coders have done that and there are examples all around us.

To make sure coding is for you, take a piece of paper and write down why you want to learn coding. Also try writing down what you want to possibly achieve from coding, and how you will accomplish that. You can choose from the list of the best websites to learn coding and pick one according to your taste. It is better to formulate a learning plan early on and stick to that plan. I will now list the best websites to learn coding online that you can use to kick-start your journey to learn to code.

Udemy Is One Of The Best Websites To Learn coding

This Website is one of the biggest providers of online courses in the format of short videos and lectures. Udemy has more than 10,000 courses on coding so it has a large variety from which one can choose. It also has around 940 courses which are totally free, so there is no excuse that can stand between you and your learning. You can start off by doing a basic course on the fundamentals of programming, then maybe do a Python Bootcamp, or learn HTML.

CodeAcademy

Codeacademy – Codeacademy is where I learned programming by doing it first-hand, so I am a bit biased in their favor. Many would affirm that the setup Codeacademy uses to teach coding is simply brilliant and it remains one of the best websites to learn coding. You learn by doing and not watching. The way they have designed their courses, most of the content is free and you can unlock more practice examples and projects by becoming a pro user. Codeacademy also offers courses in data science, R, among more traditional programming languages like Java and JavaScript.

Team Tree House

Team Tree House – Team Tree House is aimed at taking students who range from beginners to more advanced users and to make them tech industry ready. Apart from video lectures, Team Tree House also offers interactive learning. Top 3 courses include Front End Web Development, Beginning Python, and Full Stack JavaScript. They offer a 7-day free trial and after that it is just $14.99 a month.

PluralSight

Pluralsight – Pluralsight offers 50+ free courses to beginners with a free account. Pluralsight’s content is great because they have full control over who publishes content on their platform. Top 3 courses offered by them include JavaScript, Angular, and C#. If you are confused about what language to begin with, they offer a technology index where they rank 850 technologies by their popularity.

edX

edX – edX boasts association with names such as Harvard and MIT and is one of the best websites to learn coding. Most of the courses are free, however students can get a verified certificate for a small fee. They offer 13 long term programs and 109 short courses on coding, so definitely there is a lot of variety to choose from. They cover all the major technologies and offer many other interesting courses like how to win coding competitions. The top courses on edX include Introduction to Computer Science, Data Science, and Blockchain Fundamentals.

Bitdegree

Bitdegree – If you want to learn the way, learning would be done in the future, you should dive right into Bitdegree. Bitdegree makes use of blockchain technology to record educational achievements and also offers students cryptocurrency based scholarships. The courses are custom courses submitted by educators and most of them are paid. There are a few free options available too. All top courses on Bitdegree relate to python. One can also learn HTML, Django, CSS, and JavaScript.

FreeCodeCamp

freeCodeCamp – freeCodeCamp is the unique one out of all the others on this list because it is a not for profit organization whose aim is to help people learn code and help other non-profits. If this sounds unreal then know that every aspect of freeCodeCamp is 100% free. You can earn verified free certifications in responsive web design, JavaScript algorithms and data structures, front end visualization, and much more. It is honestly one of the best websites to learn coding for free.

Udacity

Udacity – It is certain that wherever best websites for learning coding are mentioned Udacity deserves a spot on that list. This platform is specially geared towards people in the IT industry or people who want to get a job in the tech industry. Udacity partners with tech giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, AT&T, and others to offer nano degree courses to learners. The best part is that Udacity is focused on tech skills and their degrees do have a good value in the job market. Udacity has many free courses including courses designed by Google. Best courses on Udacity include ‘Become a UX designer’, ‘Machine Learning Engineer’, ‘Front End Developer’.

Coursera

Coursera –  Coursera is not just one of the best websites to learn coding, but also one of the best websites to learn anything. Coursera has been groundbreaking in its approach to learning and has democratized education on the internet. Most of its courses remain free, however you might have to pay in case you want to get a certificate or do a specialization. Some of the top courses on Coursera related to coding are ‘Python for everybody’, ‘Web Design for everybody’, and ‘Programming foundations with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. To get started on Coursera you just need to get a free account.

The Odin Project

The Odin Project – The Odin Project is one of the best websites to learn coding, especially if you want to become a full stack web developer. It features a full stack curriculum based on an open source learning environment. It is totally free so you can try your hands at coding before you pay for an extensive bootcamp. The best thing about The Odin Project is that you can access their materials without even having to sign up. It also features a good community of beginners who are also learning to code in their many forums. This enables you to learn together with other people. You will get to learn everything you need to know to become a web developer including HTML + CSS, JavaScript, RubyonRails, NodeJS among others.

My Take-Away of the Best Websites To Learn Coding

So that was a somewhat extensive resource of best websites to learn coding. Learning to code is easy with these websites because they teach code interactively. You participate actively and it is not just passive learning. You also have guidance and community. Plus you can choose whatever suits your personality style, your commitment level, how deep you want to learn. Right now we are living in times when a college degree has never been more expensive and it has never been cheaper to actually learn something. All you need to do is choose a course and commit some time daily to carrying out the practice examples. With commitment, you will see yourself becoming a coder in no time!