Education Technology

5 Free Websites That Teach How To Code Online

Your dog learning how to code.
Even your dog is learning how to code. Smart dog.

Code Challenge

Why You Should Learn How To Code

Ever wondered how you could program your own app for a smart phone or tablet computer? Or build an online game? Learning the magic of computer coding is now easier than ever, and it’s an invaluable skill to master.

Nearly every business has an online presence. Knowing how to code will give a boost to your resumé at any job position you apply to in the future. It can also help you if you choose to start your own business.

And, even if you are not particularly interested in the inner workings of technology, coding is a great way to exercise your brain.

Seth Godin, founder of and author of the #1 marketing blog on the internet, puts it this way in his latest book, The Icarus Deception:

Everyone should learn to code.

Not because we have a tremendous shortage of people who can produce things in [insert the name of your favorite hot programming language here] but because once you know how to make something, it changes how you see things. Once you know how to set lead type, typography looks different. Once you know how to assemble an electronic device, every computer seems a bit less mysterious. Once you know how to give a speech, you see things in the speeches others give.

Learning how to make things turns you from a spectator into a participant, from someone at the mercy of the system to someone who is helping to run the system.

Learning how to make gives you the guts to make more, to fail more often, to get better at making.

Estonia is ahead of the curve, recently “implementing a new education program that will have 100 percent of publicly educated students learning to write code.” They’re hoping to turn schoolchildren into developers of technology rather than just consumers.

Still not convinced you need to learn how to code? Watch this video from

So what are you waiting for?

The great news is that you don’t need to leave your house or pay an exorbitant price for computer science classes in order to become ‘tech literate.’

Here are five excellent websites where you can create a free account in minutes and start learning how to code online:

1. Codecademy

Codecademy is a completely free website that will help you learn how to create interactive websites, fun games, and killer apps. They describe themselves as “a team of hackers working hard to build a better way for anyone to teach, and learn, how to code. We’re determined to succeed in realizing our mission to turn a world of tech consumers into one of empowered builders.” They also have an awesome free learning plan that will help you stay accountable and learn a little bit each week:


The authors of the video seen above (it reached #1 on YouTube for a day) have been working to build a worldwide effort to help schools teach computer science. They explain on their website, “We believe that a quality computer science education should be available to every child, not just a lucky few. All curriculum resources and tutorials we author are free to use under a Creative Commons license, and our technology is developed as an open source project.” Check out their tutorials here:

3. Code School

Code School explains that it “teaches web technologies in the comfort of your browser with video lessons, coding challenges, and screencasts.” Users earn badges and can win prizes after completing levels. Code School offers a combination of free and premium courses.

4. Harvard: Introduction to Computer Science

For more advanced students, this is a completely free, self-paced online course developed by Harvard College. Alternatively, you can pay a fee to receive a verified certificate of achievement once completing the course. The course description states, “Topics include abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development. Languages include C, PHP, and JavaScript plus SQL, CSS, and HTML. Problem sets inspired by real-world domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming.” Sign up here.

5. Code Avengers

Code Avengers offers fun and affective beginner web app courses. You can learn how to code web sites with HTML5/CSS3 or learn computer programming with JavaScript. The format is designed to be fun and engaging with game breaks after completing certain levels. Free courses teach how to build a website, an app, and a game.

For younger students, check out CodeHS or Scratch.

You should probably check out each website to find out which learning interface you enjoy the most.

What will you create today?

By Nicole Bianchi

Nicole Bianchi is the founder of Inkwell Scholars. Find out more here.

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