Learn to code for free with these five websites

Whether you just want to learn the basics of HTML or develop the expertise to build a new career or company, coding is an extremely useful skill to have.

There are probably several thousand websites and courses which will teach you to code, but this short list is based on my own experience — I have tried these sites, and found them a useful resource. I hope you do too.

Codecademy

CodecademyCodecademy offers a wide range of courses in every language you will need to develop your own websites and apps. Courses are self-paced and include everything from basic HTML tags to creating travel and retail websites.

Bento

BentoBento is a great tool to help you plan your coding education. Pick a programming language, and this website will provide a list of online resources you can use to learn. Beginners can click on HTML to learn the basic code behind every website, or more advanced learners can choose another language and progress from there.

When you click on a language Bento will also highlight related languages, guiding you through the languages you can learn next to complement your new skills.

Udacity

UdacityUdacity’s Introduction to Computer Science course, the biggest MOOC on the web, aims to give students the necessary Python skills to develop a simple search engine.

Tutor David Evans’ very straightforward teaching style makes this an easy to absorb course which is delivered via video lectures and exercises. The course is self-paced and is designed to take seven weeks, but you can take the course over a longer or shorter period depending on your schedule.

Once you have mastered the basics of Python, Udacity offers a variety of follow-on courses, including web development, mobile web development, and artificial intelligence. Courses are classified as beginner, intermediate, and advanced which helps students to progress at the right level.

Coursera

CourseraCoursera offers an extremely wide range of courses across several disciplines and languages, including many in programming and related subjects. Courses are delivered through a mixture of video lectures, reading resources, quizzes, and assignments.

Coursera courses are synchronous — each has start and end dates, and deadlines for quizzes and assignments — so it is not the best platform if you want to start today, but the deadlines will help to keep you on track once you start.

Keep an eye out for upcoming courses before they start, and bear in mind that deadlines must be met in order to qualify for a certificate of completion.

Python for Informatics: Exploring Information

Anyone who has spent some time researching and learning about technology online will have come across Dr Charles Severance at some point. I have done numerous courses and Dr Chuck is one of my favourite online teachers, he has a relaxed teaching style which helps to make the subject accessible and enjoyable. This course covers Python, an incredibly useful open source language, with a focus on data management.

All materials in the course are open source, including a free textbook.

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