If you're interested in coding but don't know where to start, Codecademy's free online courses are perfect for beginners

If you're interested in coding but don't know where to start, Codecademy's free online courses are perfect for beginners

February 17, 2021

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  • Codecademy is a great resource for free coding lessons in popular programming languages like Python, Java, SQL, HTML, JavaScript, C++, R, and more.
  • The coding classes below offer free tutorials, but a Pro membership ($19.99 per month annually) is required to access quizzes and projects.
  • On top of the free option, Pro memberships provide access to more in-depth classes, certifications, peer support, and more. Current college students can get 35% off an annual Pro membership.

Whether you’re interested in coding but don’t know where to start, or you’ve narrowed your choices down to Python or Java but still feel stuck, it can help to get a feel for a programming language before committing to a longer certificate program or bootcamp. 

Codecademy, an e-learning coding site that serves about 45 million people, offers free lessons and tutorials in the most popular programming languages out there, including Python, Java, SQL, HTML, JavaScript, C++, R, and more. For true beginners, it can be a great, risk-free way to explore a possible new career path at your own pace. And if you still feel overwhelmed with all the options, there’s even a quick personality quiz you can take to help guide you in the direction of a specific coding language.

One thing to note is the free lessons show you how to code, but a paid Pro membership ($19.99 per month annually or $39.99 per month month-to-month) is needed to access projects, quizzes, and certifications. 

The difference in memberships

Codecademy’s basic free membership gives students access to 180 hours of lessons and limited mobile practice, but its Pro subscription comes with 1,800 hours and unlimited mobile practice — as well as perks like real-world projects, step-by-step guidance, and peer support. You can also try the Pro version for free for a week before committing. 

For current college students, Codecademy also offers a 35% discount on Pro memberships.

What you can learn on Codecademy

“Codecademy is all focused on learning by doing,” CEO and co-founder Zach Sims told Insider. Its content, which is all built in-house by a small team, centers on engagement. Learners earn badges and get real-time feedback as they interact with classes.

Codeacademy also has structured curriculum roadmaps. Some are Career Paths that teach the core skills of overarching subjects like Computer Science, Data Science, and Web Development, while others are Skill Paths focused on more specialized, shorter-term goals. 

When asked about how the company has had to evolve recently, CEO and Co-Founder Zach Sims told Insider that “in many cases, there might not be an upfront business opportunity, like giving away free licenses. But I think it’s kind of the right thing to do.” 

9 Codecademy courses you can take for free:

Learn How to Code

Sign up for free on Codecademy

3 lessons, about 6 hours total

If you’re completely new to coding, this three-part intro course covers the basics of programming concepts, so you can leave with a better understanding of what coding is used for, why it’s important, and which programming language might work best for you.

Learn JavaScript

Sign up for free on Codecademy

14 lessons, about 30 hours total

JavaScript is one of the most ubiquitous coding languages out there, and this course teaches you the fundamentals using the latest syntax, as well as basic object-oriented concepts. After completing this course, you can learn to build games, websites, or web apps.

Learn HTML

Sign up for free on Codecademy

4 lessons, about 9 hours total

HTML is the core of all web pages — learning these building blocks is crucial to developing more advanced web development skills. This course covers common HTML tags used to structure websites, as well as HTML tables for organizing data.

Learn Python 3

Sign up for free on Codecademy

11 lessons, about 30 hours total

A solid beginner programming language, Python is widely used in everything from software engineering to data science. Focusing on the latest version of Python, this course covers control flow, functions, loops, strings, modules, and more.

Learn Java

Sign up for free on Codecademy

Java is one of the most popular programming languages, used in everything from software development to Android apps. (Java developers also rank the highest in job satisfaction, according to Glassdoor). This class covers variables, arrays, debugging, and more.

Learn C#

Sign up for free on Codecademy

9 lessons, about 30 hours total

Used in mobile applications and game development, C# is a great language to learn if you’re interested in a career as a developer. This course features lessons in data types, variables, arrays, loops, interfaces, and more.

Learn C++

Sign up for free on Codecademy

10 lessons, about 25 hours total

C++ is prevalent in game design, robotics, operating systems, web browsers, and more. This course covers variables, conditionals, loops, vectors, functions, objects, and everything else to teach you the fundamentals of C++.

Learn R

Sign up for free on Codecademy

10 lessons, about 25 hours total

Whether you want to work in data science, analysis, or visualization, R is a vital statistical language to know. These lessons cover data cleaning, aggregates, joining tables, hypothesis testing, and more.

Learn SQL

Sign up for free on Codecademy

4 lessons, about 8 hours total

Even if you’re not a data scientist, a basic understanding of SQL can help you make sense of complex, relational datasets (especially in a business context). This course covers database creation, queries, aggregate functions, and multiple tables.

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