10 Best Sites For Free Online Programming Lessons


There was a time when learning how to program was only for the geekiest of geeks. Today, that’s not exactly the case. As most entrepreneurs, freelancers and advertisers will tell you, learning how to program will help you excel. Learning how to code will push you to become a much better entrepreneur.

You don’t even need to fork out a lot of money or put yourself in debt to learn how to code. These 11 sites offer free coding courses:



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Coursera is a free online course site funded by Stanford University and venture capitalists. Coursera partners with different colleges and organizations to offer their courses and raise money from its Certificate programs.

What’s great is that Coursera focuses on specializations: collections of courses intended to develop your expertise on a single subject, but not as extensive as a complete curriculum. For example, the six-course specialization “Data Structures and Algorithms” includes Basic Data Structures, Basic Algorithms, Graph Algorithms, String Algorithms, Advanced Algorithms, and Genome Assembly.



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edX is a provider of free college-level online courses, jointly led by MIT and Harvard University. Not only are the workshops available free of charge, but the organization itself is also non-profit, so you can breathe easy knowing that you’re not going to be used for ulterior purposes.

edX courses can be frequent or self-paced. Subjects cover the full spectrum of topics that you may find at any approved institution, but there is a clear shift towards computer science, engineering, and business & management. They are also graded into Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced stages for your convenience.

edX also provides Certificate Programmes, which are curricula designed to master in a particular field, such as Front-End Web Development or Data Science. They’re handy for deeper learning.

MIT OpenCourseWare


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MIT OpenCourseWare is amazing. Full classes are available online for free, and you can take them at your own pace.

That Linear Algebra course (no longer available anymore, unfortunately) is a sure candidate for one of the best courses you will ever take. It’s all video lectures, but the professor knows his stuff and delivers content in an easy-to-digest way. It validated MIT’s prestige as an educational institution.

So you’re going to enjoy MIT OCW’s programming courses for sure. Introductory courses are categorized into General Introductions, Language-Specific Courses, and Follow-up Courses. For a full listing, go to the Computer Science section.



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Udemy is an online education market where everyone can create (and even sell) their courses for others to consume. This is quite a double-edged sword: it allows skilled people to share their expertise without a degree of college, but you have to go through a lot of crap to find it.

Udemy’s programming classes explore all sorts of subjects. You’ll find everything from Python-based data to basics of ethical hacking, from Java fundamentals to master-level web development. You’re also going to discover a number of classes related to game development.



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Udacity is yet another online course site, but unlike MIT OCW, edX, and Coursera, Udacity focuses exclusively on programming, data science, and engineering topics. No math, no social science, no humanities. It’s more about technology.

The goal of Udacity is to train you for professional success in one of its technological fields. The platform pays a lot of attention to its Nanodegree services, which are compact curriculums (usually done in less than a year) tailored to get you ready for work as soon as possible. Yet Nanodegrees cost from $100 to $500 each.

Don’t want to pay for anything? That’s all right. You can miss the entire curriculum-based approach and stick to individual free classes.



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Codewars shows you the ideal programming language through a set of challenges. These code challenges derive from martial arts since each challenge is referred to as a kata.

Each challenge aims to help you sharpen your current skills with a programming language or to learn a new one from scratch.

As you advance through each kata, the obstacles are getting tougher and tougher. When the challenge is done, you’ll be able to see how the answer matches up to others. This will teach you various strategies to solve those problems.

A few of the languages you can learn from Codewars include Java, JavaScript, C#, Ruby, Python, and SQL.

Khan Academy


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The Khan Academy is one of the greatest gems of the Internet. This non-profit educational site has been a fantastic source of quality education for the past decade, and it’s just getting better. Do you want to study calculus? Biology? History? How to do your taxes or spend your money? It’s all there.

To be honest, the Computer Science and Computer Programming parts are playing catch-up. You can only practice JavaScript at the moment, and the fundamentals of algorithms and cryptography, but it’s probably worth keeping an eye on.



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OpenCourser is not an educational website like the other sites listed here. Rather it’s a search engine that aggregates thousands of free educational courses across the world and takes them to your fingertips.

As of this writing, over 900 free online programming courses have been cataloged by OpenCourser, with several more added every day. Yeah, you’re going to see a lot of courses from edX, Coursera, Udacity, and so on but you’re also going to find some from elsewhere, including the Saylor Academy. At the very least, this is a quick way to check all of the above platforms at once.



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Often you need to remember a reference book when you’re stuck with a problem. That’s GitHub, where the site claims more than 31 million developers working together to host and review code, handle projects, and build software together. There are several programming languages used here and the Coding Camp teaches basics.



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YouTube is a hit or a miss. Thousands of instructional playlists exist, but too many of them are misleading or incorrect. Of those that appear promising, a decent number of them are incomplete. And of those that are complete, a large number is out of date.

That being said if you have a discerning eye, YouTube can be a wonderful resource to learn how to program.

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