Want to learn how to build your own website? Design your own app? Or are you simply looking for a way to diversify your resume? In today’s media job market, having some experience in coding can help you stand out. Even though you may think the cost of a coding class is out of your reach, there are now a lot of free options on the market.

These websites teach you the basics (and sometimes even more advanced skills) without the university price tag.  Whether they’re MOOCs, more hands-on practical methods or in-person seminars, these programs will help you get up to speed on whatever coding you want to learn, at no cost.


This website offers free university-level massive open online courses, known as MOOCs. With options to take classes from schools such as Penn or John Hopkins, you can find the best lecture-style coding or data classes to suit your demands. The website also offers courses in math, humanities and a range of other fields. While the video lectures are at times as tiresome as your undergrad lectures, the built-in testing and assignments – and the all-class forums – make sure that you stay on track.


This program, similar in structure to Coursera, offers courses, but only in programming or tech-related fields. The courses range in level, from beginner to advanced. Most importantly, they allow you to tailor your tech skills to specific areas, whether it’s app development or basic coding.

Khan Academy

It’s the original MOOC-style learning website, and is still a useful tool, even with so much new competition cropping up in the past few years.This has a similar structure to Coursera and Udacity, only without the fancy university names attached. It offers courses ranging in levels from kindergarten to university, in anything from Calculus to Art History, but it also has more targeted code-related courses.


The beauty of Codecademy is in it’s hands-on, project-based teaching style. The course has you building a website as soon as you start, walking you through each step as thoroughly as possible. The only challenge with this? There’s little room to make mistakes – the course holds your hand almost too much.

Code School

This is by far one of the most specific services offered for coding. Through video tutorials and screencasts, Code School walks you through Ruby, JavaScript, HTML/CSS and iOS. Like Codecademy, it takes you through the process of building a website – a big plus for hands-on learners.


Dash functions similarly to Code School and Codecademy, but is a little less comprehensive in the languages it teaches you. The plus is that it allows you to build projects using HTML, CSS or Java in your web browser as you work on other things (like, you know, your day job). It also shows you what your project would look like on your phone or on your computer, making sure that your code is as device-specific as you need it to be. The user experience is brilliant and the learning experience is project-based, if the lecture style doesn’t suit your taste.

Hacker School

This program requires a bit more of a long-term commitment to coding – and a move to New York City. The program involves in-person training and gathers people from a variety of backgrounds – you don’t have to be a coder by trade to take part. And, just like all of the other online coding classes, it’s completely free. You can also apply to get full or partial funding for living expenses if you’re a female programmer through a generous stipend provided by the program.

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