Best Free Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps have gained popularity over the years because of their high success rates and affordable prices. These courses have flexible schedules and career services to help you develop the core programming skills you need to succeed in the tech industry.

However, intensive training programs can be overwhelming to new programmers. That’s why most coding bootcamps also offer free courses that will help you develop foundational programming skills without spending thousands of dollars.

In the following guide, we will show you the best free coding bootcamps. All the information in this guide comes from each school’s official website. Some of these programs are part of scholarship plans or introductory courses.

What Is a Coding Bootcamp?

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A coding bootcamp is a training program that teaches a wide range of programming skills. Coding bootcamps offer a short-term, low-cost alternative to traditional education.

Most coding bootcamps offer career prep services like job search guidance, interview preparation, resume reviews, and career coaching. This way, you will be able to get a job after graduation. Some of them even offer a job guarantee, meaning you’ll receive a refund of your tuition if you don’t get a tech job within six months of graduating.

Although a bootcamp is considered an intensive program, they also have flexible schedules, so they’re perfect for career changers who don’t want to spend years pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science.

How Much Do Coding Bootcamps Cost?

Coding bootcamps cost an average of $13,500. While this is a large sum of money upfront, it is significantly less than attending a four-year degree program. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of tuition and fees for a year of undergraduate study is $16,647.

Coding bootcamps usually have different payment options such as loans, scholarships, monthly installments, and income share agreements. However, schools understand that any tuition can potentially be too much for some students. That’s why some schools also offer free courses that can help you build a strong foundation.

Can I Learn to Code for Free at a Coding Bootcamp?

Yes, you can. Several schools offer free bootcamp programs. These are usually introductory courses. Although there are schools that offer more advanced programs for free, most free bootcamp programs out there are entry-level courses.

In a free bootcamp course, you will learn about the foundational principles of the most popular programming languages, such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. You will also study fundamental computer science concepts like loops, functions, conditionals, and data structures.

What Is a Free Coding Bootcamp?

A free coding bootcamp is a beginner-level training course in a programming field such as web development, software engineering, machine learning, or artificial intelligence. A free coding bootcamp won’t usually cover all the topics you’ll see in an immersive program, but it’s a good way to start building your technical skills.

Who Are Free Coding Bootcamps For?

A free coding bootcamp is an ideal program for someone who wants to dive into the tech industry without having to pay for an immersive course. These online coding programs will give you an idea of what an intensive program looks like and what to expect from them.

You can attend an immersive coding bootcamp without any previous coding experience. However, it might be a good idea to have a basic understanding of coding fundamentals. You can join a free coding bootcamp if you want to prepare for an immersive course.

Overview: Top 10 Free Coding Bootcamps in 2021

Coding Bootcamp Free Program Duration Location
42 42 Software Engineering Program Self-paced San Francisco and Paris
Ada Developers Academy Ada Developers Academy 27 weeks Seattle and online
App Academy App Academy Open 6-16 months depending on the program New York City and online
Coding Dojo Algorithm Open Self-paced Online
Flatiron School Intro to Coding 15 hours Austin, Chicago, Denver, Houston,
New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, and online
Fullstack Academy Intro to Coding Self-paced Online
Hack Reactor Software Engineering Prep Course Self-paced Online
Lambda School Free Mini Code Bootcamp Self-paced Online
The Tech Academy Tech Academy Free Online Coding Classes Self-paced Online
Thinkful Thinkful Learn Self-paced Online

In-Depth: What Are the Best Free Coding Bootcamps in 2021?

There are plenty of online resources out there to learn coding. However, a bootcamp gives students access to much better training and career services. The following list will show you the most outstanding free coding bootcamps in the tech industry. We’ve compiled this list based on bootcamp outcome, curriculum, and schedule flexibility. Some of them are part of introductory courses, while others are immersive programs.

In-Depth: What Are the Best Free Coding Bootcamps in 2021?


Program: The 42 Software Engineering Program
Duration: Self-paced
Location: Fremont and Paris

42 is a non-profit organization, originally located in Paris with a second location in Silicon Valley. This software engineering school was born with the purpose of creating an accessible coding bootcamp for anyone with a talent and passion for coding.

The 42 software engineering program is a free course with a self-paced and individualized teaching method where you’ll learn core software engineering skills. You will study functional programming, object-oriented programming, artificial intelligence algorithms, big data, data security, graphics, network, and systems administration.

This is a complete immersive course, so the admission process is competitive. You need to prepare yourself as much as possible and demonstrate you have a true passion for coding. Admissions are currently closed due to COVID-19 but are expected to resume in 2022.

Program: Ada Developers Academy
Duration: Six months
Location: Seattle and online

Ada Developers Academy is a non-profit organization that helps women and other people who have been underrepresented in the tech community build a career in programming. This school offers a completely free program to outstanding women in the tech community.

The program prioritizes accepting people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, women, and non-binary individuals. Low-income students are also prioritized and to gain admission you must demonstrate that you cannot pay for a coding bootcamp and that you have the passion it takes to start a career in software development.

At Ada Developers Academy, you will learn essential programming principles like HTML, CSS, Python, React, JavaScript, Flash, and SQL. This program includes a capstone module where you’ll develop real-world projects to showcase the skills you learned. Completing an Ada Developers Academy program will demonstrate to potential employers that you are an experienced programmer.

Program: App Academy Open
Duration: 6-16 months depending on the program
Location: New York City and online

App Academy is known for its immersive software engineering courses. It has become one of the most popular coding bootcamps in the country because of its extensive curriculum and career services. However, paid courses aren’t the only way to access App Academy.

This school launched a department of free courses called App Academy Open, where you’ll find more than 1,500 hours of programming training resources for free. You will get videos, testing projects, and an interactive coding environment to collaborate with other members of the App Academy community.

With App Academy’s open courses, prospective students learn about introductory-level programming fundamentals with coding languages like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

Program: Algorithm Open
Duration: Self-paced
Location: Online

Coding Dojo offers three coding courses in web development, data science, and cyber security. All of those courses come with tuition costs. However, this school also offers a free coding bootcamp for beginners. The Algorithm Open introductory course is a self-paced program that will give you programming training in fundamentals like loops, conditional statements, and arrays.

Coding Dojo developed the Algorithm Open application for you to start practicing with your programming skills. You will have online training with experienced developers, videos, coding challenges, and evaluations. It works like a game where you’ll have to face challenges to increase your level.

You don’t have to join a Coding Dojo’s immersive course after completing this free program. The Algorithm Open program is designed for anyone with curiosity, a passion for technology, and aspirations to build a programming career. For more information on this school, check out our bootcamp review.

Program: Intro to Coding
Duration: Self-paced
Location: Austin, Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, and online

Flatiron School is one of the most prestigious coding bootcamps in the industry. It offers a wide variety of subjects including data science, cyber security, and product design courses. Although Flatiron School has a low admission rate, it also has a couple of free courses available to everyone.

These are prep courses in different programming languages such as HTML, Python, Ruby, and CSS. All programs have different modules and schedules, but they’re mostly self-paced. You don’t need to have experience with programming to join these courses.

After completing your introductory course, you can decide whether or not you’d like to join an immersive course.

Program: Intro to Coding
Duration: 15 hours
Location: Online

Fullstack Academy is a New York-based coding bootcamp that offers different programs in data analytics, cyber security, and software engineering. This school is known for having a high employment rate and flexible schedules.

Fullstack Academy also offers free prep courses to help you develop programming skills. The Intro to Coding program will provide you with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript training. This program combines video tutorials and coding challenges.

The admission process is not too strict because this program is designed for beginners and people who are curious about coding.

Program: Software Engineering Prep Course
Duration: Self-paced
Location: Online

Hack Reactor is a software engineering school that offers immersive programming training and career services. This school offers a course that will teach you software engineering from scratch. You will learn programming fundamentals like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. This online coding bootcamp comes in two versions: free and paid ($250).

With this program, you will be able to study at your own pace through individual learning. Both the premium and the free programs have the same curriculum and the same structure. The difference is that the paid version has community collaboration and real-time support through Hack Reactor’s online learning platform.

This online platform includes coding challenges and tests to evaluate your skills. Since the free course is self-driven, you won’t have one-on-one instruction with any teachers.

Program: Free Mini Code Bootcamp
Duration: Self-paced
Location: Online

Lambda School is a popular online coding bootcamp that offers full stack web development courses and data science programs. Although most of Lambda School’s online programs are paid, it does offer a no-tuition option for those who want to get started with software development training for free.

In this remote program, you will work with experts in the tech industry to create real-world projects with in-demand skills like Java and backend engineering. This course is fully self-paced so the duration of the program depends on your performance.

You will have four hours of instructional videos that will help you build your career path as a software developer and obtain fundamental skills to get a job in a tech company after graduation. Furthermore, you will gain plenty of real-world experience that will fully prepare for the job market.

Program: Tech Academy Free Online Coding Classes
Duration: Self-paced
Location: Online

The Tech Academy is an immersive coding bootcamp known for its intensive software engineering program. This school also has two free online coding courses that are open to anyone regardless of their programming experience.

These two online courses cover topics like JavaScript and Python. They will teach you full stack web development fundamentals since they’re both introductory programs. They are completely online and self-paced, so you don’t have to worry about deadlines.

Both of these online courses are perfect for beginners. Intermediate coders can join the immersive online bootcamp.

Program: Thinkful Learn
Duration: Self-paced
Location: Online

Thinkful is one of the most popular programming bootcamps with a vast list of programs for all skill levels. You’ll find programs in data science, digital marketing software engineering, project management, and UI/UX design.

These programs are not free, but you can find free training courses in Thinkful Learn, which is an excellent resource to start getting computer science skills. You’ll find basic courses that cover essential topics like HTML, JavaScript, Python, and CSS fundamentals.

So, Are Free Coding Bootcamps Worth It?

So, Are Free Coding Bootcamps Worth It?

Free coding bootcamps are excellent resources to develop a strong foundation in programming. It’s rare to find an immersive free coding bootcamp, but there are some available through 42 and Ada Developers Academy. However, most of the free courses are introductory programs where you’ll learn web development basics that will help you start your coding journey.

Yes, free coding bootcamps are worth it considering you won’t have to stick to a tight schedule or pay a high tuition fee for a programming course. Plus, you’ll get an idea of what it is like to have a career in tech. If you discover it is not a good match for your lifestyle, you won’t lose any money and you can explore other options.

A free coding bootcamp is not for someone who is trying to commit 100 percent to a tech career, since most of them are only introductory programs. However, for some students, free bootcamps can be an important part of their learning path toward becoming professional coders. Here are a few reasons why joining a free coding bootcamp is a good idea:

  1. They have a self-paced schedule.
  2. They allow you to explore what a coding career looks like without having to commit to an immersive program.
  3. They provide fundamental web and software development skills.

Free Coding Bootcamps FAQ

Will a free coding bootcamp help me learn coding?

Yes, it will. A free coding bootcamp can definitely help you learn the basics. In addition, you’ll become more valuable in the eyes of employers. Upgrading your skills is always a good move in terms of career advancement.

Are there free in-person coding bootcamps?

Yes, but not many. Free in-person bootcamp are rare; most free bootcamp programs are online or hybrid programs. However, some schools like Ada Developers Academy or 42 do offer free in-person programs.

Are free coding bootcamps for beginners?

Yes. Most free coding bootcamps are meant for beginners. They provide you with coding fundamentals in different fields like front end programming, backend development, or programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Are web developers in demand?

Yes, web developers are highly in-demand these days and will continue to be over the next couple of years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for web developers and digital designers is expected to grow up to 8% from 2019 to 2029. This is higher than the national average employment growth of 4%.

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