Best Sources For Free Computer Programming Courses

Times when only a certain group of programmers had the privilege to form the IT elite in the industry have passed away. Today almost each and everyone, despite the educational background, age, place of living and other factors, can obviously learn programing languages and built a major tool, which can go viral all over the world.

Sounds exaggerating, isn’t it? But let’s take one guy from Vietnam as an example. Dong Nguyen, born in 1985 is the one who launched the game called Flappy Bird.

This guy from a poor village near Hanoi developed this idea to create a simple, yet addictive game back in 2014. This independent game developer could never imagine that the world would never be the same after the launch of The Flappy Bird. The game was downloaded 50 million times in couple of months and during that time period was adding $50.000 to his bank account on a daily basis.

Although the popular game is no longer available neither in App Store nor in Google Play, those who downloaded it are still generating millions of ad impressions and Dong is still getting paid for that.

Although programming is not a result of overnight success, we decided to search for the top free places you can learn programming online. The example of Dong is not an exceptional, everyone can learn programming and here is how…and let me start with my favorite.

Udacity

This for-profit educational company founded by Sebastian Thrun was launched in 2012. In 2 years it gathered more than 1.5 million active users. Udacity offers massive open online courses (MOOCs). This includes more than 87 available courses teaching Computer Science, Algorithm, AI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, Ruby, Python, API, iOS, Android. Some of the courses are quite deep and specific bringing Udacity to the top level of similar website, who normally offer basic lessons and levels for customers.

The best thing I enjoy about Udacity is it’s app. It’s really unique, allowing me to select course, play video tutorials and then do some exercise, check my mistakes and go back and watch tutorials about the points that I missed or was wrong to fulfill. And all within one smooth app.

Another nice thing is that users are listening not regular interns and self-made programmers, but real professionals including some major names from IT industry and lecturers from top American Universities.

Offline learning is another feature that brings Udacity on the top of similar web platforms. It allows to download courses and access them even without internet.

How much does it cost to enroll in a Udacity course? This is the most tricky question about this brand. Udacity courses give users free access to materials, yet you may subscribe to a plan for selective number of courses or ask for a coach or verify your certificate. The bad thing about this situation is that there is no official list of plans with prices. Udacity claims to have individual calculator, presenting amount of fee for each and every member personally. The only thing is for sure that all prices are given per month.

Treehouse

It’s worthy to invest free time for learning fundamental programming and in this case Teamtreehouse is a Pro tool for such destination. This platform includes mostly all programming languages. Treehouse focuses towards different audience, offering language programs for beginners and advanced users accordingly.

Treehouse likes to headline their main goal which is to make technology education affordable and accessible to everyone. And this is almost true. Why almost? Because you’d keep seeing offers to sign-in to one of their plans. One is Basic Plan, including access to 1000+ video tutorials, live chat with code challenge engine, full access to forums and online help from developers and that will costs $25/mo.

For Pro plan you’d need to pay $49/mo , and get access to the 3 points we mentioned above, plus watch talks and lectures from popular developers of IT industry and as it promised “enjoy exclusive bonus content”, which, probably will not bring life-changing experience.

Besides coding these guys offer design classes. You may design a game online, for example.

Hundreds of businesses, schools and community organizations use Treehouse for Groups to fuel their successful training programs and keep their workforce sharp.

And the last thing I enjoy about Treehouse is their activity on social networks, especially on LinkedIn. There users may connect and follow the CEO of the company, other major developers and people who make Treehouse happen.

Udemy

It’s fair to say that Udemy is among the very first marketplaces to appear in times of online education boom.

They state that unlike academic MOOC programs driven by traditional collegiate coursework, Udemy provides a platform for experts of any kind to create their own courses.

Udemy has over 7 million students, with massive pack of 30,000 courses, including a lot of masterclasses, personal trainings, testings. The good thing about Udemy is that you can search for program/language you need to learn and navigate between free and paid courses, chose prefered language of the course and select the level. Besides, you may read the reviews before applying for a course.

Udemy gives a change for users to become an instructor as well. Their website gives almost everyone a chance to teach online and make money out of it. A lot of programmers started their job here. Now you’ll find around 16K instructors from about 190 countries earning around $7K. Unlike other similar projects Udemy does not require teaching experience, yet it’s a good thing to remember when choosing a course, lecturer or a tutor, but also it became hard for newbies to kick their business over here.

Another unique thing of Udemy is that the website comes in 4 major languages, including English, Spanish, German and Japanese.

And the last thing I enjoy about Udemy is their newsletter campaigns. I normally unsubscribe from newsletters, leaving only those that really matter. In case of Udemy I am not getting a lot of spam during a week, emails are sent once or twice during 10 days and include very nice offers. The last one I got was this offer to pick any program/course for $10 only. Which is awesome, because, for example full course of Photoshop would normally cost around $200-$500

Code Academy

Code Academy is another nice stop for those seeking for coding education. The website comes in 5 different languages, including French, Portuguese, Kyrgyz and Arabic.

With around 24 million learners from around the globe, CA is pushing the brand on social network nicely. I love seeing them on platforms such are Reddit (not that big audience though, only 1,298 readers), StackOverflow (this time the audience is massive).

Back in 2011 when the company was founded, these guys had huge PR campaigns and made all the papers to write about them. In 2013 the site has received positive reviews from many blogs and websites, including the New York Times and TechCrunch.

Currently, Code Academy offers courses in seven main areas, including HTML and CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, Python, Ruby and APIs.

After some fundamental lessons brought by text topics, students are moving forward to courses delivered via the built-in console and text editor of the site.

Some claim that biggest drawback of this website is that the lessons lack in-depth context, yet I have to admit that it is rather a tendency in many online coding tutorials. Of course many claim that you will be able to apply obtained knowledge in a live web framework, yet I’d suggest not to stick with only one source, but search for additional information in different places.

After considering these giants of free coding sources, it’s fair to mention rather minors, but still important players of the industry.

Among them is Code School. This website is probably for those who prefers to avoid fancy and colorful design and appears as nerdy future programer, who wants to work and learn on point with not a single attraction.

Code School teaches web technologies through video lessons, coding challenges, and screencasts.

Currently it offers JavaScript, Git, Ruby, iOS, CSS and HTML paths. Lessons basically touch beginner level of mentioned languages.

The good thing about Code School is that you can subscribe to individual or team plan and get access to unlimited number of exclusive material. Monthly subscription costs $29, customers will save $58 by paying annually which shall cost $290.

Others coding platform is Android Training (which used to be Google Code University, now it is no longer actively maintained). Training for Android developers helps to learn basics about Android app development. Video tutorials and additional material helps to develop simple apps for Android.

And the last website of free source for coding will be Bloc . They claim to teach user to “become a web developer in 12 weeks.” Offer courses of Rails Web Development, Frontend Web Development, iOS, Android and UX/UI design.

Give each of these websites a shot!

And just before hitting those sources to learn programming, remember that coding isn’t just for the supergeeks! The right desire and motivation will drive you to the right path

Gregor is an experienced technology blogger, focused on covering WordPress related topics. He is a regular contribur at Web-Dorado blog, mainly writing on the latest premium WordPress plugins and themes.

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