Want to become a coder but don’t know where to start? These are the courses and platforms that can get you on your way.
As remote work has become both increasingly popular and necessary, it’s brought new meaning to who essential workers are and which job skills can survive — meaning who can work remotely and who can’t.
Coding is one skill that can easily be done remotely and is often done outside of an office setting. Not to mention, coding is necessary for countless professions and is highly sought after by companies. It is also a skill that can easily be taught online, from the comfort of your own home, and for a pretty reasonable price, depending on where you enroll.
Why learn to code?
If you’re new here, coding is used to program websites, apps, and various other technologies that are used every day. Oftentimes, coders (programmers, developers) are in high demand by companies and individuals alike — which equals pretty good job security for people who know their way around coding languages.
If you don’t know how to code and are interested in picking up a new skill, coding can easily be taught through online classes. As online courses have become increasingly popular and convenient, they’ve allowed users to learn from the comfort of their homes and at their own pace — which is especially important if you’re already working a full-time job. It’s also relatively cheap — cheaper than a college class, that is.
What should I look for in a coding course or platform?
When starting (or continuing) your coding journey, there are a few things you’ll want to look for other than price.
1. Does this course or platform offer a certificate of completion?
A certificate of completion shows potential employers that you’re not fooling around. You’ve done the work (or at least made it to the end of the course), and have a certificate to prove it.
2. Does this course offer feedback or answer your specific questions?
Feedback and question-answering are things you’ll probably want if you’re just getting started, or if that’s your learning style. Some course platforms, like Coursera, offer peer feedback from their global community. Others, like some Udemy courses, for example, have instructors who will attentively answer your questions as you move through the course. (You can usually find out if a course has attentive instructors by reading the reviews.)
We’ve done the work for you and compiled a list of top online courses and platforms that will have you coding in no time. While we’ve pulled out specific coding courses for each platform (with a focus on beginners), you should definitely explore their offerings, since most of these platforms have many coding courses available, so you can choose the ones that fit your skill level and learning style.
LinkedIn LearningIf you use LinkedIn regularly, this is a great option to not only expand your knowledge, but also beef up your LinkedIn profile with a certificate of completion.
Price (for all LinkedIn Learning access):
$29.99/month after one-month free trial
LinkedIn Learning offers a range of courses, including business, technology, and computer skills that are taught through expert-led course videos. It features more than 15,000 courses, including coding. A popular course to start with is HTML Essentials, which can be used for building a website or web application. It’s ideal for those who are leaning toward web development.
LinkedIn Learning is pricey, but gives you access to thousands of courses, many with certificates of completion. It also comes with a one-month free trial, and is free with LinkedIn Premium, which also helps with job searches. There’s also the option to access the course through its mobile app, which is available for Android and iOS users. This way, you can access the course anytime and anywhere.
Once users complete the course, there’s an option to add your certification of completion to your LinkedIn profile, which you’ll want to do. Recruiters and professional connections will want to see what skills and applications you’re familiar with. Plus, those certifications will help beef up your résumé.
SkillshareSkillshare functions like a working classroom. It’s ideal for creative types and offers instruction through video tutorials crafted by industry professionals.
$15/month or $99/year for Skillshare Premium
Skillshare courses are led by educators who are acclaimed in their respective fields, such as software engineers and web developers. Courses are taught through video tutorials, which is important if you’re learning code, because you can easily see and follow along with the instructor’s lesson. However, what makes it unique is the opportunities for community collaboration.
One of Skillshare’s most popular courses is “Coding for Beginners: You can code!” It’s split up into 32 different lessons that takes about eight hours to complete in total. Before the course is over, there’s even a class project. Video lengths vary greatly depending on the lesson. Some are as quick as seven minutes, others are nearly 16 minutes long, which is totally doable.
Skillshare also features video suggestions at the bottom of the page that build upon the course you just completed. Other videos include “Python in 90 Minutes,” and “Learn How to Develop Programming Skills.”
Price-wise, Skillshare Premium ($15/month or $99/year) lets you enjoy full access to everything the platform has to offer, and comes with two free months.
UdemyUdemy classes are rated and reviewed by users, so you can find the most popular one for your needs.
Varies by class, but they are frequently on sale for under $20
Udemy is unique in the sense that it doesn’t have its own curriculum, like most sites. It advertises that its courses are created, owned, and managed by Udemy users. Anyone can create a free course, should they choose to do that, but you’re probably better off paying for a popular and well-reviewed course. If you’re interested in being an instructor and wanting to charge for your course, you’ll have to apply to be a premium instructor to see some cash flowing in.
An advantage to being structured like this is that Udemy has about 2,000 coding course offerings. So, chances are you’ll find a class that works for you. Users are able to take a class at their own pace, from anywhere and everywhere. It’s available to download for both iOS and Android users.
For one example, Udemy offers The Complete Web Developer Bootcamp, which is designed for aspiring web developers. Upon completion, the course promises that users will be able to apply for jobs as a junior developer with a portfolio of websites.
CourseraCoursera is user-friendly and gives students the opportunity to receive feedback. You can even get transferable university credits. But it’s pricey.
Price per course:
$29 – $99 per month
Yearly access to 90% of courses:
$399 per year
Coursera boasts video subtitles that are available in more than 40 languages. A more unique feature to this platform is that you can request feedback through peer reviews and can receive troubleshooting assistance from its Learner Support Team. If you’ve ever taken a technology class such as coding, then you know this is a must.
Even better, this learning platform is mobile. It’s available through the app for iOS and Android users, so you can stream a lecture anytime and anywhere.
Unlike many platforms, most of Coursera’s course offerings are created by associates from leading institutions from around the world — aka the best and the brightest in their respective fields. One great coding course for beginners? Programming for Everybody, offered by the University of Michigan. It’s $49 per month after a seven-day free trial, or you could opt for Coursera Plus, which offers access to 90% of courses (with certificates) for $399 per year. (College credits are a whole different story, and vary by course, though financial aid is available.)
After you successfully complete the coding course, Coursera will even give you a certificate of completion that you can use as evidence of qualification.
TreehouseTreehouse is designed to help build up your skill set. It differentiates itself from the competition by offering learning tracks and bootcamps.
Price for courses:
Treehouse is also a good option because its objective is to educate you so that you can get a job in your chosen field, not just provide skill development. Its courses are taught by in-house experts, not random people on the internet whose credentials you’ll have to search for.
Treehouse teaches its enrollees through interactive video instructions, like most online courses do. It’s a pretty easy way to follow along, especially for coding. Although coding is relatively easy to learn, it’s a skill that’s easily buildable and allows you to learn more sophisticated tips and tricks. A neat feature that Treehouse offers is its Tracks, which create roadmaps for you, so you’ll know what to learn next and build upon skills you already have or have recently learned. Treehouse even offers a free quiz you can take to learn which course or course track to take based on your career goals.
If you’re very serious about choosing a coding path, Treehouse also offers a bootcamp-style Techdegree series of courses that gives you the benefit of weekly office hours as well as a Slack group to answer your questions as you move along. It’s $199 per month, which is steep, but a good deal compared to most coding bootcamps, especially since you’ll emerge from the bootcamp with a certificate and a portfolio of projects to show to potential employers.