Many people manage to double or even triple their salaries through coding bootcamps. These programs teach everything from web development to UI & UX design, and the strongest programs have an impressive success rate for their graduates. The caveat? Most bootcamps come with a hefty price tag. The good news is that there is now an increasing number of free coding bootcamps popping up throughout the country to help introduce students to software development at no cost.
On top of the free camps, students also have access to many financing structures that help students get on their feet. Flatiron School and Fullstack Academy offer free prep courses that help applicants–even complete code newbies–prepare for the full-time programs. Other schools, like Revature, even employ students after they graduate. Other options also include deferred tuition and Income Share Agreements.
What Are the Best Free Coding Bootcamps?
Bridge, an eleven-week free coding bootcamp for women in software development, works on real-world projects to learn in-demand skills from expert Rangle developers. Classes are in-person, twice a week. Bridge is committed to providing a supportive class so women can ask questions and build on their technical skills. Students leave more confident, with a project for their portfolio, and experience with highly-sought-after technologies taught by industry experts.
One of the most popular massive open online class platforms, Coursera classes are taught by real university professors. All courses are free of charge, but you have the option to pay for a “Coursera Verified Certificate” to prove course completion, usually between $30 and $50. They also offer specializations, which are not free, but can be a more affordable alternative.
GA Dash is General Assembly’s free online learning platform. It is entirely project-based: you build a “project” with each walk-through. They are one of the very few options that have a course on how to build a Tumblr theme from scratch.
Well-loved by students everywhere, the Khan Academy platform offers courses in tons of subjects (as their front page says, “You can learn anything”), including many on computer programming. A few courses are offered for younger kids, too.
The Odin Project
At Udacity, you’ll find individual courses and “nanodegrees” that will train you for specific careers like being a front-end web developer or data analyst. Individual courses are free, but nanodegrees come with a tuition cost.
With Udemy, you’ll find both paid and free courses on a variety of subjects including web development, programming, and data science. Courses can be created by anyone, so make sure to read Udemy’s reviews before diving in.
Skillcrush’s Free Coding Bootcamp
With Skillcrush, you’ll learn what it means to work in tech, get digestible definitions of common industry lingo, and get the chance to write your first lines of code.
NodeSchool is an open source project run by volunteers to create high-quality programming curriculum and to host community learning events.
42 started this free coding bootcamp in Paris, France in 2013 with the aim of improving France’s technology sector by developing more qualified technical candidates within France.
Formerly Hacker Center, Recurse Center is a three-month immersive retreat in New York for people intent on improving their programming skills. The environment is largely unstructured, self-directed, and project-based.
Insight Data Science
Insight Data Science, an intensive seven-week post-doctoral training fellowship, bridges the gap between academia and data science in Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Seattle, and Remote.
The Data Incubator
The Data Incubator, an intensive eight-week bootcamp, identifies Fellows who already have 90% of the difficult-to-learn skills and equips them with the last 10%: the tools and technology stack that make them self-sufficient, productive contributors. The program is free for Fellows. Employers only pay a tuition fee if they successfully hire.
Ada Developers Academy
Ada Developers Academy, a 27-week program in downtown Seattle, offers a tuition-free full-time program to teach full-stack web development to women and people of non-binary gender.
Revature partners with top universities across the U.S. to provide no-cost courses in programming and software development. Through in-person or Hybrid (online and on-campus) coding immersion programs, Revature creates a pathway for individuals with diverse backgrounds to build the knowledge, skills, and abilities to reach their potential as technology professionals.
Founders & Coders
Founders & Coders takes students with little or no knowledge of programming and turns them into full-stack web developers. It’s the first free coding bootcamp in the UK.
Hack Reactor Basic Prep
Hack Reactor Basic Prep is a 12-week immersive coding school that provides education, career placement services, and a lifelong network of professional peers.
Flatiron School Introductory Courses
Flatiron School has led the bootcamp industry on outcomes, backing its 98% job placement rate and $75k starting salary with annual independently-verified jobs reports. This outcomes-focused coding bootcamp that offers Full Stack Web Development and iOS Development programs at its NYC, Washington, D.C., London, and online campuses.
Fullstack Academy Prep Program
Learn to code for free at the cutting-edge of tech education and spend your first 12 months working for Makers Academy on transformation projects across the UK.
Lambda School invests in a small number of ambitious individuals by training them for the world’s most in-demand careers.
RMOTR offers four-month online programs where students interact with teachers, mentors, and classmates remotely. You’ll take a clear and curated path to always know “what to do next”, have scheduled live sessions and mentor support every week to keep you accountable, a set of real-life projects to build your own portfolio, and much more.
Finding the Right Coding Bootcamp for You with Career Karma
So with all the amazing options, how do you choose the right free coding bootcamp? Well, they’re not a one-size-fits-all type thing. You have to ask yourself a few questions.
What are you looking for in a bootcamp? Do you have a specific vision or goal in mind, or are you looking for a primer? Do you want to work as a developer full-time or do you want it to be a skill to complement other skills you already have? Front-end or back-end? What programming languages do you want to learn? How much time do you have? How much are you able to learn on your own? Do you want to learn in-person, or do you like online courses? These questions will help you get a clearer sense of which bootcamps to look towards. Download the free Career Karma app and get help answering these questions.