11 Free Online Sources to Teach Yourself Code

The unemployment rate in software is around 2% while the country’s unemployment rate is at 7%. Statistics like this make you wonder why more people aren’t investing in technical skills such as learning to code. Do you not know where to start? Is the time commitment over bearing? Do you think coding is beyond your abilities? Don’t sell yourself short. There are plenty of sources out there to help you, and with diligence and careful planning, anyone can learn to code and become a programmer. Here is a list of 11 sources that can help you code and launch a career in software technology. Did I mention that they are all free (to start)?

1. Code Academy


If you don’t know about Code Academy already, you need to get familiar with it and quick. Code academy provides interactive lessons in HTML & CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, Ruby, PHP, and Python. It also provides more challenges for you to take on. The best part about code academy is that it is really fun as you get to constantly test your skills and win badges. You even get your own profile to track your progress.

2. Treehouse


Treehouse is a video tutorial site that is currently giving away a 14 day free trial with $25/month basic membership. It measures how much you are learning based on  a tracking meter. According to Treehouse, 2000 points earned through their courses equals $10,000 in increased earnings due to your new found skills. Treehouse also lets you take specific programming courses (i.e. Ruby or JavaScript). Or you can take broader learning paths such as becoming a web developer!

3. Rails for Zombies


Click “Start Course Now”and begin. Rails for Zombies is completely free and teaches you how to write code in Ruby with cartoon visuals and a lively instructor. Ruby is a popular back-end programming language. You even get a chance to build Twitter for Zombies! Twitter was actually one of the popular products built using ruby on rails.

4. Code School


This one is part of three since  Rails for Zombies is a free course within Code School. Not all courses on Code School are free, but some have free previews. There are four paths you can choose from: Ruby, JavaScript, HTML/CSS, and iOS. There are many different courses within each path. For example, the iOS path has a free obective-c course, which can be of use for those learning to build iPhone apps.

5. Girl Develop It

Girl Develop It is a international organization whose mission is to empower women to code. They have a lot of great free material you can dive through regardless of gender.

6. A Beginner’s Guide to HTML & CSS

Here is a complete beginner’s guide to HTML and CSS. Topics include: terminology, syntax, positioning, typography, and many more.

7. Stack Overflow

stack overflow

Stack Overflow is a place to ask questions and get help. You can search for questions that are similar to yours and see what answers others have given. It can be a quick way to resolve any issues you’re having with your code.

8. JS Fiddle

Use JS Fiddle to test your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It shows you the output of your code, so you can see what is working and what isn’t.

9. Learn to Program

Free e-book that teaches you about Ruby.

10. MIT Open Courseware


You may have heard that MIT has all of their courses online for free. Not bad for the most well-known technical college on the planet. Choose any of these intro level programming courses and look through the lecture notes.

11. CS50: Harvard

This is a Harvard Computer Science course page for anyone interested in learning more about basic computer science. You can roam through the lecture notes to go through topics such as algorithms and recursion.

As you can see there are plenty of free, meaningful courses out there to teach you to code. And there are even more that haven’t been listed here. Are you  ready to start? Lunch break is just around the corner.