Codecademy’s Free Courses Democratize Computer Programming

There are good and bad online instruc­tion­al plat­forms for every­thing: some lan­guage cours­es work bet­ter than oth­ers and some approach­es to teach­ing music are more effec­tive than oth­ers.

This is just as true for com­put­er pro­gram­ming, where, like every­thing else, an abun­dance of free cours­es and tuto­ri­als from MIT, UC Berke­ley, Har­vard and Stan­ford offer inter­ac­tive tools for learn­ing web devel­op­ment and com­put­er pro­gram­ming. You can find a long list of free comp sci cours­es from these great uni­ver­si­ties here.

One new site that is get­ting par­tic­u­lar­ly good reviews is Codecad­e­my, a free online learn­ing sys­tem for learn­ing every­thing from HTML Basics  to Python in a “user active” style—meaning that users can use tuto­ri­als to design projects of their own choos­ing. It’s also easy to track your progress.

What sets Codecad­e­my apart from oth­er pro­gram­ming tuto­ri­als is that all stu­dent work can be com­plet­ed with­in a web brows­er. No soft­ware down­load­ing or installing is required. Respond­ing to crit­i­cism that the site did­n’t ini­tial­ly offer enough cours­es, Codecad­e­my has added numer­ous cours­es in 2012 and launched a Course Cre­ator pro­gram. This is a boon for users inter­est­ed in learn­ing how to teach. Codecad­e­my does not put user-cre­at­ed cours­es through an approval process and gives course cre­ators a link that they can dis­trib­ute as they wish. Codecad­e­my does, how­ev­er, screen the cours­es and selects which to fea­ture on its own site.

Enrollees in its Code Year pro­gram receive a pro­gram­ming les­son in their email inbox every Mon­day, start­ing with the fun­da­men­tals of JavaScript and then mov­ing on to HTML and CSS. Hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple signed up at the begin­ning of the year (includ­ing the White House and New York May­or Michael Bloomberg). If you were one the enrollees, it’s still not too late to keep that New Year’s res­o­lu­tion.

Find Free Com­put­er Sci­ence Cours­es in our col­lec­tion, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

Kate Rix is an Oak­land-based free­lance writer. Find more of her work at .

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Comments (8)
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  • Adam says:

    anoth­er great free cod­ing web­site to go along with codecad­e­my is … codeav­engers is being used in New Zealand high schools as part of the new com­put­er sci­ence high school cur­ricu­lum. So its tai­lored to young people…i per­son­al­ly like codecad­e­my too!

  • John Brekke says:

    Great Call! I’ve been doing CodeA­cad­e­my for like 3 months, and I hit 500 points a cou­ple days ago. I’ve fin­ished their Javascript mod­ule and almost all the Web mod­ule. They recent­ly added mod­ules in python and ruby. Great web­site.

  • shahidriyaz says:

    asalam o alaikum;
    sir i have great inter­est in com­put­er hard­ware diplo­ma please give me the infor­ma­tion
    schol­ar­ship will be
    i shall be very thank­ful to you

  • imadudeen says:

    This is inter­est­ing to know but my ques­tion is“why is it that this web­site is not acces­si­ble by phone but only pc”.

  • Okpe Vitalis Francis Mario says:

    I’m an art stu­dent, but I’m inter­est­ed in this cod­ing course. Please what should I do?

  • leo says:

    hello.I wood like learn­ing to code

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