Those who’ve been out of the workforce for a few years often find taking a course or two aimed at refreshing your skills can be helpful, especially if you’ve worked in the tech sector. Technology surrounding computer programming and web development can change rapidly. Taking a course can give you a boost of confidence and demonstrates to prospective employers your eagerness to learn new skills. The good news is that there are many offerings that are completely free.
Use these sites to sharpen your skills or learn some new ones. And for those of you who are making a career switch and are new to coding, these sites approach learning tech in a way that makes it easy to understand and less intimidating.
Free Code Camp (FCC) is a non-profit educational website that has helped thousands of coders get jobs as developers. FCC offers a fully-developed curriculum that goes beyond the basics and challenges you to think critically about your coding. Their certifications take between 200-300 hours and are absolutely worth putting on your resume. They teach you to code for front end, back end, and data visualization and test your skills every step of the way. Their immense online community helps support you in your learning, and you’ll gain real work experience by contributing to open-sourced projects used by non-profits.
The Odin Project
The Odin Project is an open-source learning platform. Their curriculum relies on outside tutorials, so you’ll learn from a variety of experts on the topics you’re covering. In each section, you implement what you’ve learned with hands-on exercises and projects. The Odin Project’s courses prepare you to address challenges people often encounter in a real work scenario, like programming on a team, using version control, and understanding client/developer workflows. They even offer a module on developing your portfolio and getting hired as a web developer.
Your Local Library (and Lynda.com)
Some larger libraries offer coding bootcamps and classes, but they also have access to premium online educational services for free. One of the most notable offerings is Lynda.com, an online-learning platform that has partnered with many libraries over the years. Lynda is one of the oldest online learning sites and offers extensive courses on all aspects of programming. All classes are taught by video tutorials and supplemented with exercise files. Lynda’s learning resources cover all modern programming and development topics, including mobile, servers, databases, and cloud computing. Be sure to check out to see if your library gives you Lynda.com access for free (we know San Francisco, New York, and Denver Libraries do!).