7 Places to learn Programming Online for Free in 2017

How would you like to be a part of what’s to come…  Internet Technology wise? The internet is an innovation that’s here to stay. Learning your way around IT technology isnt not for super brainy people anymore plus the demand for coding skills in Africa and all over the world is skyrocketing. Soon, programming will play a huge role in every career path.

What’s more? Being IT savvy pays. Africa.com discovered that web programmers and developers generally earn a salary of about $2,900, this is predicted to increase as the skill grows to become sought after and high-end.

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Want to know where on the internet you can begin to hone those programming skills? Here are 7 websites.

  1. Code.org

This site is for infant beginners and for the parents and teachers that want to get kids coding. Code.org is 100% free with no hidden costs, simply open the web page and kids can start bashing out lines of code. In 2013, Code.org was launched by twin brothers Hadi and Ali Partovi with a view to promoting computer science.

A bunch of easy to understand features are available should you choose to create an account like, tracking how many lines of code you’ve done so far and which activities you’ve done.

  1. Free Code Camp

It’s an open-source community that provides hundreds (well, thousands) coding challenges, projects, certificates, and connections for aspiring coders–and it’s not a boot camp, so you learn at your own pace. At Free Code Camp, you’ll learn powerful skills while (eventually) building real-world projects for nonprofit organizations. Unlike a traditional learning course, there is no deadline, the timeframe is just that, a guide for how long you should spend on a section.

  1. Microsoft Virtual Academy

What would you like to develop? Web pages? Games? Cloud services? The Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) offers training in all of the aforementioned fields and more for budding developers. MVA lets you Learn the latest technology on your terms and pick up where you left off across any device, or download videos for offline viewing.

Unlike other sites which focus on training at the grass roots level, MVA is also useful for professional developers looking to spruce up their skills or learn something new.

  1. W3Schools

Rather than thrust you straight into coding, W3Schools assume you know nothing and starts out explaining every element of each language.

This does present a problem if you want to just learn say, PHP, because you may have to go back and read the HTML section. The result is that W3Schools can become quite convoluted after a while if you aren’t paying attention.

For learning, W3Schools is very much a “do what you like, when you like” style of learning.

There are tutorials that you can work through at your own pace and you can get a certification from W3Schools but, it costs $95 just for the HTML Certificate so stick with the free stuff.

  1. Github

This is more of a resource than a “learn to code” site. Github hosts a smorgasbord of repositories created by people. These repositories can hold APIs, tools, and even books that could come in handy when you’re looking for clarification for something.

As a bit of aside to this, looking at another person’s code could help you learn more about problems you might be having with your own code. Github is a great place to pull a JavaScript slide show for example, and see where you’re going wrong.

  1.  The Odin Project

The creators of the prestigious Viking Code School also have a free version: the Odin Project. It focuses on teaching you the skills you need for a successful career in web development. You’ll come out the other side knowing Ruby on Rails, Javascript, jQuery, and more, with a portfolio to prove it. They also provide tools to connect you with other learners, so you can trade tips or team up on projects.

  1. edX

EdX affords you the opportunity to learn from world-class experts. Lectures from seasoned professionals from MIT, Harvard and top Universities are shared into free courses on EdX.  You’ll find a wide range of computer science courses, and unlike with traditional college, you can learn at your own pace. Note that while the courses themselves are free, you must pay if you’d like a verified certificate (price varies from course to course but is within $40-$90 price range).

Honourable mentions

While all of the above might have some payment options the courses and the material you need to complete them are all free. There are however, some sites which offer a few free courses among the paid ones and we think they deserve a mention.

Just be sure to read the course information carefully, a “free seven day trial” can end sooner than you expect.


Khan Academy


Begin a programming course today. Start with one simple coding activity, then scale up to more advanced courses. Learning a skill just like everything else in life, is in stages.

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