In today’s digital world, having an understanding of how apps and websites work makes you stand out as a modern professional. Whether you want to be a pro developer, familiarize yourself with the basics or get into creative coding there are numerous online coding courses that you can easily complete at your own pace and are flexible around your schedule.
However, finding decent courses can be tricky. There are a lot of options and sometimes the hardest part of the learning process is knowing where to start, and knowing what you don’t know so you can improve and grow as a developer, as part of a broader team or flying solo.
Additionally, everyone is at a different point in their coding journey - so we’ve put together a list of the best online coding courses for people at each level to get involved with, both free and paid.
13 online coding courses
Beginner online coding courses
If you’ve never touched a line of code before and want to learn more about computer programming, check out these courses.
W3Schools | Free
FreeCodeCamp | Free
FreeCodeCamp is famous for their great coding courses, and this one is perfect for aspiring web developers who want to make sites and apps which can be used on any device, from desktops to mobile phones. The course walks you through the basics step-by-step ensuring you don’t move too fast and get lost.
Academind | Free
This YouTube course is over three hours long and is taught by Maximilian Schwarzmüller who has the ability to make complex topics clear and understandable.
FreeCodeCamp | Free
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs for short) allow your website or web app to communicate with some sort of back-end to request data or complex functionality - which can supercharge your site or app. This is a fundamental piece of knowledge for web developers, and the instructor Beau Carnes takes you through the basics and encourages you to write code that leverages APIs from real tech companies like Spotify.
Junior developer online coding courses
If you’ve got the basics down and you’ve had some experience of creating interactive websites or web apps, then these courses should take you to the next level.
Google for Udacity, Free
Accessibility is a tricky topic to get right when developing for the web - and this is reflected in the fact that so many sites are inaccessible and unusable to people with different abilities.
Fortunately, Google has published this excellent course on Udacity which takes you through the key foundational knowledge required to build accessible digital products. On top of its great quality of teaching, this course is also rich with interactive quizzes for testing your knowledge as you learn to code.
06. Web Frameworks
Maximilian Schwarzmüller for Udemy, Paid
We already covered Maximilian’s excellent course on TypeScript in the beginner’s section, but not mentioning his web framework courses would be a disservice.
Web frameworks are vital for a front-end or full-stack web developer to know right now, so if you haven’t looked into them yet, now is the time. Angular, React and Vue are some of the most popular frameworks, and so you can find the right coding course for whichever you favor.
Wes Bos | Free
If you’re serious about web design, then you should understand how to use CSS Grid and Flexbox to style your pages and components. These two paradigms are arguably the most powerful improvements to CSS in years and they make some tricky layouts much easier to build.
There are various places to learn these two concepts. I would first recommend Wes Bos’ free tutorials for CSS Grid and Flexbox - you get access to 45 videos that take you from zero to layout-expert in no time.
Once you’ve understood the concepts, you could try your hand at Grid Garden and Flexbox Froggy by Codepip as a fun way to test your new CSS skills. Both games ask you to write either CSS Grid or Flexbox code to align elements of the game correctly in order to continue to the next stage.
Google | Free
If you want to build an interactive web application, Firebase is a great tool to get to grips with. It’s like the Swiss-army knife of web tools. You can do a lot with Firebase, including backend infrastructure management, monetization of your application with ads and monitor user engagement with analytics.
This short course will give you all the knowledge required to build your first web application using Firebase.
Mosh | Paid
Stanford Online | Free
It is critical for web developers to understand how their own applications may be used against them by cyber-attackers. This online coding course from Stanford University introduces you to the threats faced in modern web development and allows you to be one step ahead when it comes to cybersecurity.
You’ll cover topics like password breaching and compression attacks which can be critical vulnerabilities if not protected against properly. What’s more, you’ll be learning how to defend your application from experts at an Ivy League institution.
Senior developer online coding courses
If you are already experienced in building websites or complex web applications, or it’s your long-term goal, here are some courses and resources I recommend to reach your full potential.
The Chang School | Free
I mentioned accessibility in the junior developer section already, but that was just a taste of the resources available to help you get skilled in building and analysing inclusive products.
While not strictly an online coding course - this digital book from The Chang School and Ryerson University is perfect for any developer who wants to become more aware of how they can expertly audit sites and applications on the web for accessibility issues. It’s free to download and available in a variety of formats, so there is really no reason not to give it a read.
Udacity | Free
If you’re comfortable with your knowledge building APIs, then it is probably time for you to understand and develop RESTful APIs. A RESTful API is a type of API that has an agreed-upon set of characteristics that help standardize how the API works and makes it easier for other developers to understand and use.
Udacity is offering a free course that explains the concept in more detail and allows you to practice your new skills by building a social foodie application.
Udacity | Paid
If you are looking for some fully-certified online courses, Udacity’s nanodegree programmes are ideal. While far more expensive than the other options listed above, these advanced courses are more similar to a university course where you learn concepts as part of a bigger picture, rather than cherry-picking what to add to your armoury of web dev skills.
The full-stack developer nanodegree and front-end developer nanodegree courses are both four months long, and during that time you will take classes and assessments, plus you’ll have access to technical mentor support along with career services.