Our lives are surrounded by computer code, whether we realize it or not. Work, home, and school have all shifted to increasingly digital models that rely on apps, programs, and software to get us through our days. And the digital revolution is growing by leaps and bounds!
If you dream of becoming one of the many successful coders or computer programmers who helps connect the people of today to the technology of tomorrow, a free online coding bootcamp may be right for you.
What is a Coding Bootcamp?
Bootcamps are intense and concentrated educational opportunities. Unlike other online classes that you may or may not be taking in pursuit of a degree, coding bootcamps take less time and they tend to be more affordable alternatives to online degree courses. Bootcamps allow learners to focus on the skills and training they need without a lot of fluff.
AppAcademy’s coding bootcamps concentrate on full-stack engineering and the most important coding languages you need to know now. They’re designed to help you get the most out of learning to code on your own time and at your own pace.
What to Look for in a Coding Bootcamp — Even a Free One
Not all coding bootcamps are the same. Before signing up for one, or downloading a curriculum for free, make sure you feel confident that you’ll get the most out of your bootcamp. Your time is valuable, so make sure you spend it learning with a bootcamp that will give you what you need, especially if you are a beginner.
Not all coding bootcamps teach the same skills or programs. Are you looking for a career in game development, cybersecurity, financial coding, systems analysis, or something else entirely? Depending on what you want to do with your new coding career, you’ll need to learn the skills that match.
Some online coding bootcamp classes are synchronous (they set the schedule and you need to show up), while others are asynchronous (take the classes at your leisure). Choose one that works with your schedule and self-discipline.
To get the most out of your free online coding bootcamp, you need to learn from the best. This means finding out who the instructors are and doing a little research. Choose bootcamps that have instructors with plenty of experience and/or certifications in the specific areas you’re interested in learning. And make sure the instructors or administrators will be available to answer your questions.
Coding bootcamps can take days, weeks, or even months to complete. The more skills you want to learn, the longer your bootcamp may take. Remember that you need time to practice and develop your new skills when considering how much of a commitment you’re able to make.
What all these traits have in common is reputation. When it comes to finding the best free online coding bootcamp for yourself, there’s no substitute for a program with a solid reputation. Look for online reviews based on metrics like job placement success and recent, verified student and alumni feedback.
The 11 Best Free Coding Bootcamps Online
Finding the best free coding bootcamp doesn’t have to take up all your time. We’ve collected some of the best programs available so you can browse your options quickly.
11. MIT Opencourseware
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of many schools that offer free courses on a number of different subjects; naturally, this acclaimed technology university has a range of courses around computer science, programming languages, and algorithms.
While a few courses are designed for complete beginners, others require some prior experience or understanding. There are even some courses designed only for advanced, experienced engineers. The idea of MIT’s Opencourseware is not necessarily to help you find employment in a particular field, but rather to continue learning and broadening your understanding of different subjects.
It’s also important to note that not all of these programs are necessarily up-to-date with what’s currently practiced or popular in the rapidly changing world of tech. For example, MIT’s Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Python is the curriculum that was taught during the Fall 2016 semester.
10. Harvard University
MIT’s equally prestigious neighbor, Harvard, is another institution that offers a selection of free courses in programming, game development, and even computer science for law students. The school offers one introductory programming course that takes approximately 3 weeks to complete, then sends the learner off for other, more advanced courses that narrow the focus on a particular skill or idea, like data science or app development.
Much like MIT’s Opencourseware, those hoping to land a job as a software engineer may want to look elsewhere or combine efforts with another, more robust program. One strong point: Harvard does offer certifications for completing their courses, you just have to pay for it.
Udemy offers a wide range of paid and free classes that aren’t necessarily specific to coding and programming, but they’re short and provide a decent starting point if you want to see what’s out there. This can be great if you’ve never written code before and want a quick overview of, say, Python for free before committing to a bootcamp.
You can access their videos wherever you want thanks to the Udemy app, the classes offer downloadable resources for you to keep, and you do earn a certificate of completion. However, many of their classes, even the super-short ones, aren’t free. And because they offer so many classes across dozens of fields, you’ll need to do a little digging through the search filters to find what you’re looking for. Even if you pay for classes, Udemy doesn’t offer job placement or alumni services.
Coursera doesn’t create its own proprietary material; instead, they compile courses from colleges, universities, and companies directly. For example, you can become certified in Google-specific tools and processes, or you can earn a certification from the University of Michigan in a particular subject.
Much like Udemy, they offer a lot of courses across a broad range of subjects. While there are hundreds of free courses in data science, IT, engineering, and computer science, you’ll still need to assemble your own learning path. And while Coursera offers virtual feedback to help you hone your interview skills for potential jobs, they don’t help you find those jobs.
7. Khan Academy
Another large database of courses in everything from K-12 studies to life skills and economics, Khan Academy’s mission aligns closely with that of App Academy Open, which is to provide high-quality access to education for people around the world.
They offer 3 “One Hour of Code” lessons that include Drawing with Code, Creating Webpages, and Creating SQL Databases. There are also plenty of coding languages to learn at both the beginner and advanced levels, AP/College level computer science courses, and many more. There is an online community and study group, though neither is dedicated to your chosen lessons. You also won’t earn any certificates or get job placement help.
LearnPython.org has one good thing going for it, aside from being free: Python is an excellent language for new coders to get started. It’s user friendly, clean, easy to work with, and offers tutorials from the very basics to quite advanced. Plus, python programmer salaries can be quite lucrative for proficient programmers.
Using Learn Python’s free interactive tutorials and joining their Facebook group for community support can set you up to have working knowledge of Python and potentially even get a job if your portfolio shows strong examples.
Codewars assumes you’re coming in with already-acquired skills in an array of coding languages with the intention of fine-tuning them. They offer a skills assessment and job advice, but no job placement.
The upside is they have challenges in everything from Java to Swift to C and C++. The downside is it’s not for beginners who have never written a line of code before.
4. Flatiron School
Still, Flatiron offers robust career services that includes professional coaching and a “Get Hired Game Plan” to alumni. Keep in mind, though, that these career services only come with the paid programs, and those programs are not cheap.
Both Codecademy and App Academy Open have completely free options. However, Codecademy offers 3 tiers of membership, and the free version offers limited access to their resources. For example, job-hopefuls can only access Codecademy’s curated learning path, professional certifications, and career services (featuring personalized job listings and employer connections) through their most expensive plan.
Both programs provide a similar amount of material but because you have to pay to access job seeker resources, Codecademy may not be the best option for folks who are serious about learning to code for free as a means to enter the industry.
2. The Odin Project
The final free coding resource on our list was actually created by an App Academy grad. The Odin Project offers a free “Foundations” course that gives would-be coders and programmers a thorough overview of coding languages, life in computer science jobs, and tutorials on the tools you’ll use as you progress. The Odin Project also has communities on GitHub, Discord, Facebook, and Twitter.
Users notice how The Odin Project has heavy App Academy Open influence, though App Academy’s learning platform uses video to explain concepts where The Odin Project doesn’t. If you work better by reading rather than watching, that could help you choose a program.
1. App Academy Open
With App Academy Open, you’ll get free access to App Academy’s entire 24 Week Online Software Engineering Program curriculum (that’s over 500 hours of material!), which has placed thousands of people in software development jobs. You’ll learn through topic-based modules that include progress bars and estimated completion times. You’ll have no problem keeping track of your progress.
When it comes to free online coding bootcamps, we offer all the benefits you’re looking for with few (if any) drawbacks. With our Open programs, learners can access:
- Our free world-class curriculum, including over 500 hours of material
- Basic classes for absolute beginners
- Guidance on setting up your own coding environment
- A progress-oriented user interface and experience
- Self-paced learning
Since 2012, App Academy has placed thousands of people in jobs at over 2,000 companies, including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta! We’re experts at training people with zero coding experience and turning them into high-earning software engineers. We’ve been listed as a Best Coding Bootcamp for 2022 and 2023 by Course Report, Switchup, and Career Karma.
Contact App Academy Today!
Gain the skills you need to get hired! Contact us today to find out more about our FREE online coding bootcamp and join the thousands of happy, successful alumni who’ve found success with App Academy!