How to Learn programming online for free

You can learn programming online for free without paying a cent for a University diploma or degree. In fact, most developers are self-taught since universities often teach old content that’s not relevant to the current trends.

As a basic rule of thumb, you can spike through from beginner to advanced by taking time to learn programming online for free. There are various resources available online that can help you launch your career straight from scratch.

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Among these, Freecodecamp has garnered popularity in recent years, but W3Schools and Udemy continue to be good choices. Well, if you’re looking to learn programming online for free, below is a step-by-step guide on what you need and how you can get started.

Step 1: Choose your Focus programming language

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Before you learn programming online for free, the very first step you need to consider is choosing a programming language to start with. Much as you may be interested in an array of development languages, you need to first focus on one programming language at a time.

There are many popular programming languages to choose from, for example, HTML + CSS, Python, Java, JavaScript, C++, C, Kotlin, Ruby, PHP, and others that may match your preferences.

Every programming language has its unique features and benefits. For instance, if you’re into Android development, you have to choose between Java and Kotlin. However, it’s recommended to start with a language that is easy to learn and has a large community you can get support in case of any bugs in your code.

Step 2: Find a Free Online Programming Course

With your preferred programming language well set in the chamber, it’s time to find online courses to start learning. Most crash courses range between 3 hours to 48 hours depending on the instructor, in some cases, some break down into 3 or more parts for easy follow-up.

There are many online courses you can select from, but what matters most is the course provider or target platform you may choose. Among the best platforms you can learn programming for free online include the following.

  • W3Schools – HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, C++, Kotlin, PHP, C#
  • FreeCodeCamp – Java, PHP, C++, Python, JavaScript, HTML, CSS
  • Learn Python – Python
  • Cisco Skills for All – Python, JavaScript, Linux
  • Youtube – All languages.
  • ChatGPT – All languages.

Free, but with paid plans.

  • Codecademy – HTML, Java, C++, C#, PHP, Rust, Python
  • Udemy – HTML, Java, C++, C#, PHP, Rust, Python & all languages.
  • Coursera – HTML, Java, C++, C#, PHP, Rust, Python, and all languages.
  • edX – HTML, Java, C++, C#, PHP, Rust, Python and all languages.
  • LinkedIn Learning (Free Trial) – All languages.

Depending on your preferences, we highly recommend W3 Schools as the best platform you can learn programming online for free, it does not have any hidden costs or payment plans, and offers trials when running code. Free Code Camp is another alternative that focuses on Video production as its main delivery mechanism.

Step 3: Practice makes perfect

Learning programming requires a lot of practice. You need to write a lot of code to become proficient in a language. Make sure you practice simple programs and gradually move on to more complex ones as you learn. You can find a lot of programming challenges and exercises that are offered in your course that can help you improve your programming skills.

Step 4: Join online developer communities

Joining online communities is a great way to connect with other programmers and get help when you need it. You can find many online communities dedicated to programming on platforms like Reddit, Stack Overflow, Quora, and GitHub.

Developer communities are great for asking questions, sharing your code, and getting feedback from other programmers when you find bugs in your code.

Step 5: Build Real-World projects

The era of building console applications that you can’t apply in real-world Apps is long gone. Now that you have advanced with a course of your choice, start building projects to apply your programming skills and learn more things on the go.

Build simple projects such as a calculator, or a to-do list application, then, gradually move on to more complex ones. You can find a lot of project ideas in developer communities you can work on, or simply fork and improve projects on GitHub.


When you learn programming online for free, it’s a great way to start your journey as a developer. By following the steps explained in this article, you can learn programming at your own pace and without spending any money on courses.

So, remember to choose a programming language you love, find a free course provider, practice a lot, join online developer communities, and try building real-world projects. With persistence and dedication, you can become a proficient programmer in no time. If there are any missing steps in this article, please share them in the comment section below.

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