Are you thinking of a career change? Wondering if a coding bootcamp is the right step for you? In this article, we will compare FREE coding bootcamps and list our top picks. We will also list essential skills that developers and programmers should learn in any of these curricula and make suggestions on our personal choices.
What are Coding Bootcamps?
Coding bootcamps have become increasingly popular over the past few years, especially after this obscure thing called the pandemic. They offer a shorter, more intensive alternative to traditional computer science degrees. Many colleges and universities offer bootcamps that typically last between 12 and 20 weeks, and cost around $12,000-$20,000. In contrast, computer science degrees can take up to four years to complete and cost tens of thousands of dollars more.
But it’s 2022 and there are SO many options available now so we have to ask ourselves: are free coding bootcamps worth it or are they a waste of time?
How To Choose Best Free coding Bootcamp for You
In our general opinion, a great free coding bootcamp should offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers all the essential programming languages and frameworks that are relevant to careers you are interested in while STILL being truly free.
Any coding bootcamp, free or not, should be providing ample opportunities for students to practice their coding skills in various use cases through realistic projects and exercises. This hands-on approach is absolutely necessary in our opinion and leads to greater engagement and satisfaction.
What separates okay from great free coding bootcamps in our mind is a strong career development component that helps course takers land jobs after graduation. This includes resume and portfolio building assistance, interview prep, and job which some of our candidates below do offer!
Below we compiled our top choices for free introductory courses as well as FULLY FREE complete boot camps available to anyone interested in starting a career or side hustle in coding. We’ll try to specify which have paid components and which are fully free; see you down there!
Top Eight Free Coding Bootcamps
- Flatiron School
- 42: Learn to Code
- MIT OpenCourseWare
- The Odin Project
- Ada Developers Academy
- Mississippi Coding Academies
Free Coding Lessons from Flatiron School
At Flatiron School, you can learn introductory coding for free. That’s right, free! If you want to get a taste of what coding is like before committing to a full-fledged paid bootcamp or degree, this is a great option.
If you’re not sure if coding is for you, or if you want to get started with coding without spending any money, Flatiron School’s free course is a great option. They do also offer excellent full-paid courses for Software Engineering.
42: Learn to Code
42 is a free coding bootcamp that focuses on helping underrepresented groups in tech get started in their coding journey. They have an intense, competitive application process but it’s free to apply and if you’re accepted, the entire program is free.
Best of all, you DO NOT NEED to know how to code before starting. You don’t need a degree. It is 100% tuition-free. One caveat worth pointing out again is that applying is very competitive and the Piscine segment can be quite grueling but still effective.
MIT OpenCourseWare is a free online course provider that offers courses from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Yes, that MIT! While not a bootcamp, they have free computer science class resources available for anyone who wants to learn about coding, particularly Python 3.5.
And come on, it’s M.I.T., you can’t pass that up!
The Odin Project
The Odin Project is a free open-source curriculum that helps people learn web development. It’s self-paced and you can start learning without any prior experience. The Odin Project is unique in that it offers a “choose your own adventure” type of learning experience where you can learn different programming languages, frameworks, and tools based on what interests you.
Folks over at Reddit love The Odin Project for its intuitive approach to getting accustomed to the field of computer science and coding. No Odin Project student portfolio is identical and that’s incredible.
Ada Developers Academy
Ada Developers Academy is a free coding bootcamp that focuses on inclusivity, particularly for women and non-binary individuals who want to learn web development. They have an immersive, full-time program that is free for accepted students. The program includes career development support to help graduates land jobs after graduation.
They also focus on professional communication around code and web development, making it easier for newbies and junior programmers/developers to participate with software teams.
Skillcrush Free Bootcamp for Coding
Skillcrush offers free courses on coding and design for beginners. Their mission is to make learning technical skills more accessible and affordable for everyone. They have a wide range of courses available, from HTML and CSS to Python and Ruby. Skillcrush covers User Experience (UX) basics and you don’t need a credit card to get started!
freeCodeCamp is a FULLY FREE online coding bootcamp that focuses on helping people transition into careers in web development and software engineering. They have an extensive curriculum that covers everything from Machine Learning with Python to APIs, HTML, and so much more. freeCodeCamp also has multiple FREE certifications available, which can help you stand out when applying for jobs.
This is probably one of our strongest choices available for most seeking a comprehensive course.
Mississippi Coding Academies for Free
Oddball choice but hear us out for a moment because there are approximately 2-3 million people that could benefit here! The Mississippi Coding Academies are free, full-time bootcamps that teach full-stack web development and software engineering. The program boasts of being able to turn accepted applicants into “trained junior developers in just 11 months– at no cost to you”. Full-stack refers to the consumer front-end and what makes it all work from the back-end.
Of course, there is a catch for something that sounds this amazing. You must be a resident of the state of Mississippi in order to even be considered for the Mississippi Coding Academies and you must be at least 18 with a high school diploma or equivalent. If you live
Well, there you have it! Our top choices for free coding bootcamps and courses with good curriculum to get you started. While not for everyone, these free coding bootcamps can be valuable for some who wish to learn programming on their own time schedule or without the stress of being in college. Some in particular are fairly strict like 42, but others like the Odin Project shine in self-paced accountability. Hopefully, by now you have an idea of what you want to do and if you’re not sure? Just pick one; these are free!