Learn to Code With Free Coding Bootcamps

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Coding bootcamps are intensive, career-focused programs that take less time and often cost less money than traditional college degrees. Free coding bootcamps provide an excellent opportunity for learners to explore the world of programming without making a significant financial commitment.

In the U.S., professionals with coding skills see high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for software developers to grow by 22%, faster than average, from 2020-2030.

This guide offers a great place to start your search for the right coding bootcamp. Read on to learn more about the skills developed in a free online coding bootcamp, along with common careers for bootcamp graduates. This page also rounds up the best free coding bootcamps available online.

Navigate This Page: Skills Learned | Bootcamp Cost | Jobs for Developers | More Education Options | FAQs | Top Coding Bootcamps

What Is a Free Coding Bootcamp?

Unlike paid coding bootcamps, which often incorporate in-person or hybrid learning components, free coding camps usually take place entirely online.

Most free coding bootcamps take an informal approach, providing course materials to anyone who signs up. These programs typically follow an asynchronous format, which allows students to progress through their coursework with added flexibility. Instructor support may be limited.

Most free coding bootcamps take an informal approach, providing course materials to anyone who signs up

However, some free coding bootcamps resemble paid online bootcamps. These programs enroll a restricted number of students in cohorts, following a structured curriculum over several weeks or months. Learners receive live support and instruction.

Compared with an associate or bachelor’s degree, free online coding bootcamps have a narrower focus on career skills. Bootcamps do not require general education or humanities courses.

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Skills Learned in Coding Bootcamps

Online coding bootcamps teach both fundamental and advanced skills. In addition to exploring the industry’s most popular programming languages, bootcamps may provide specialized skills in areas like data science or UX/UI design. Students also receive professional development support and practical training in industry tools and technologies.

  • Programming Methods: Free online coding bootcamps focus on teaching front-end, back-end, or full-stack programming methods. Bootcamps often start with HTML and CSS, building up to more advanced languages like JavaScript and Python. Students learn to read, interpret, and use these languages to change the appearance or functions of software, websites, and applications.
  • Computer Science Foundations: Top coding professionals should know more than just how to write programming languages. Developers and programmers also benefit from understanding how technology works. Many bootcamps offer instruction in essential computer science concepts, including algorithms, data structures, hash tables, and graphs.
  • Industry-Standard Technologies: Coding bootcamps help familiarize students with the modern programs, software, and technology in the field. A project-based coding curriculum integrates opportunities to work with code libraries, frameworks like Flask and React, and popular developer tools like Microsoft Visual Studio and GitHub.
  • Professional Development: Both paid and free coding bootcamps help students embark on new career paths. Paid bootcamps typically offer one-on-one career placement services. Free coding camps may provide interview preparation courses. Bootcamp students may also receive tips for writing resumes, networking, and applying to jobs.

What Will a Free Coding Bootcamp Cost?

Though free coding bootcamps do not charge for access to course material, learners can make financial investments to maximize their education.

A laptop or PC is typically the largest expense for students who do not already own one. Bootcamps require daily access to a reliable computer with sufficient RAM and storage to complete assignments. You may also equip your computer with free text editor downloads to save money on software.

Students also need basic school supplies for taking notes and staying organized.

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What Jobs Can I Get After a Free Coding Bootcamp?

Coding bootcamps can open doors to exciting technical career opportunities. Mastering programming languages and associated technologies can prepare you to work as a software or web developer. Both of these careers feature strong growth projections and lucrative salaries.

Visit the link below to explore more computer science careers.

Compare Careers in Computer Science

Computer Programmer

Computer programmers use languages like Java, Linux, and C++ to write and test code for computer programs and applications. In addition to creating code for new applications, programmers also update and expand code for existing programs. Free coding bootcamps teach the basics for computer programming careers.

  • Median Annual Salary: $89,190
  • Job Outlook (2020-30): -10%

Software Developer

Software developers use coding skills and languages like JavaScript, C#, and Python to build software programs and applications. Developers often work in teams and can specialize in front-end or back-end development. Enrolling in a paid or free coding bootcamp prepares learners to pursue roles as junior software developers.

  • Median Annual Salary: $110,140
  • Job Outlook (2020-30): +22%

Software Engineer

These professionals use engineering concepts and principles to design software plans to meet user and client needs. Daily tasks vary, but common duties include collaborating with systems analysts and programmers, researching software needs, and writing code. This career typically requires a degree, but a free coding bootcamp provides helpful training.

  • Median Annual Salary: $110,140
  • Job Outlook (2020-30): +22%

Web Designer

These designers create the front-end look and feel of websites and applications. They focus on the creative aspects of user experience, like color choices and layout. Free online coding bootcamps provide fundamental skills for web developers to build functional website prototypes for clients.

  • Median Annual Salary: $77,200
  • Job Outlook (2020-30): +13%

Web Developer

Web developers typically focus on the back end of websites, writing code that enables site features to function. Common programming languages include HTML, PHP, and CSS. Developers may also complete front-end web design tasks. This career does not always require a degree, so a free coding bootcamp may satisfy education requirements for some employers.

  • Median Annual Salary: $77,200
  • Job Outlook (2020-30): +13%

Other Computer Science Education Options

Earning a computer science degree in addition to completing a coding bootcamp can increase job prospects. Some employers prefer to hire college graduates, and certain tech positions require more extensive computer science knowledge than bootcamp coursework alone.

Consider the following education pathways:

Associate Degree in Computer Science

This two-year undergraduate degree builds foundational skills in critical thinking and career-specific areas. An associate program offers an ideal higher education pathway for a bootcamp graduate looking to add a degree to their resume.

Learn More About Associate Degrees

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

Bachelor’s students receive a broad liberal arts education and instruction in computer science concepts and skills. This four-year program suits bootcamp graduates who want additional education or need bachelor’s-level education to meet employer requirements.

Learn More About Bachelor's Degrees

Master’s Degree in Computer Science

This two-year program requires a completed bachelor’s degree. A master’s in computer science provides advanced instruction, ideal for professionals who want to pursue the highest-paying positions and specialize in areas like artificial intelligence, data analytics, or cybersecurity.

Learn More About Master's Degrees

Ph.D. in Computer Science

As the highest degree available in the computer science field, Ph.D.s take approximately 4-5 years to complete. Ph.D.s involve extensive research and independent study, making them an ideal option for computer science professionals interested in academic careers.

Learn More About Doctoral Degrees

Explore Other Coding Bootcamps

After completing a free online coding bootcamp, some learners may want to pursue paid coding bootcamps to gain more advanced knowledge and skills. Bootcamps offer specialized training in popular fields like full-stack development, UX/UI, and data science.

Best Coding Bootcamp Programs

Best Coding Bootcamp Programs

Best Value Coding Bootcamps

Best Value Coding Bootcamps

Online Coding Bootcamps

Online Coding Bootcamps

Data Science Bootcamps

Data Science Bootcamps

Python Bootcamps

Python Bootcamps

UX/UI Bootcamps

UX/UI Bootcamps

Web Development Bootcamps

Web Development Bootcamps

Guide to Programming Languages

Guide to Programming Languages

Best Java Bootcamps: Coding Schools

Best Java Bootcamps: Coding Schools

Best Full-Stack Bootcamps: Coding Schools

Best Full-Stack Bootcamps: Coding Schools

Questions About Free Coding Bootcamps

  • Do free coding bootcamps work?

    Yes. Free coding bootcamps teach many of the same concepts and skills as paid bootcamps. However, they generally offer less scheduling structure and one-to-one instructor support. Students must stay self-motivated and disciplined to complete coursework.

  • Are free coding bootcamps worth it?

    For many learners, yes. Completing a free online coding bootcamp offers a great way to learn new skills and explore your interests in a technical career without a major financial commitment.

  • What companies hire free coding bootcamp graduates?

    Graduates of free coding bootcamps may find opportunities as contract web designers and developers with various clients. However, companies seeking full-time software developers and programmers often prefer professionals with degrees.

  • How much money can you make after a free coding bootcamp?

    Free coding bootcamp graduates can pursue careers as software developers or web developers. According to May 2020 BLS figures, these professionals earn median annual salaries of $110,140 and $77,200, respectively. Some opportunities may require additional education or experience.

2021’s Free Bootcamps for Coding

Free coding bootcamps offer an affordable way for students to learn software development. Many free coding bootcamps cater to women and minorities. Others target low-income learners.

These programs often build computer programming experience through capstone projects and internships. They prepare learners for careers in software development by teaching computer science foundations, programming languages, and job readiness.

Our list highlights 2021’s best free coding camps.

  • Ada Developers Academy

    Founded in 2013, Ada Developers Academy seeks to address gender disparity in the tech industry.

    Ada Developers Academy

    Focused on social justice, Ada Developers Academy welcomes women and gender-expansive adults into its six-month program. The program prioritizes applications from students of color, as well as LGBTQ+ and low-income applicants.

    Ada Developers Academy prepares students for roles as junior software developers. The program combines intensive classroom learning with a paid internship experience.

    Coursework covers programming languages and approaches to software engineering. Students also engage in courses on allyship, leadership, and inclusion.

    • Cost: Free
    • Format: Full time, on campus and online
    • Length: 6 months
    • CIRR Member: No
    • Other Courses Offered by ADA Developers Academy: N/A

    Ada Developers Academy’s Job Placement Assistance

    Ada Developers Academy students enjoy access to mock interview opportunities, career workshops, and individual coaching. The school also partners with companies to offer interview opportunities.

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  • Careers in Code (with Hack Upstate)

    Careers in Code graduated its first cohort in 2019. The school offers free coding camps to help women and people of color secure software development jobs in Central New York.

    Careers in Code

    Careers in Code aims to address poverty in Central New York, an area with high demand for tech employees. The program operates free of charge. Students receive a stipend and a free laptop.

    Enrollees can begin the course with no prior coding experience. Applicants must be 18 or older and live in an economically distressed community. Careers in Code accepts students from Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Oswego, and Onondaga counties in New York. Women and people of color may apply.

    • Cost: Free
    • Format: In-person courses from 5:30-8:30 pm, Monday through Thursday
    • Length: 24 weeks
    • CIRR Member: Yes
    • Other Courses Offered by Careers in Code: N/A

    Careers in Code’s Job Placement Assistance

    Careers in Code reports that 64% of its 2019 graduates found jobs in the field within 180 days of graduation. Alumni earned an average salary of $45,480, representing an average 56% increase above what they earned before taking the course.

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  • Pursuit

    Established in 2013, Pursuit provides opportunities for New York metro area residents to study software engineering. The school’s mission emphasizes closing economic gaps and facilitating access to lucrative tech industry jobs.

    Pursuit Fellowship

    Pursuit’s fellowship program begins with a year-long dive into three core areas of study: technical mastery, industry readiness, and personal development. Students learn computer science foundations alongside HTML, JavaScript, and other programming languages. The program also develops essential soft skills like leadership and teamwork.

    Guidance continues after the study program concludes. Pursuit provides 36 months of career mentorship as graduates step into full-time jobs. Pursuit also works with partner organizations that hire directly out of the program. Partners include Citi and Uber.

    • Cost: Free until graduates secure a job making at least $50,000 per year. After that, alumni make payments for 48 months based on their salary.
    • Format: 100% live online, with daytime or evening and weekend classes
    • Length: 12-month program; 36-month mentorship
    • CIRR Member: No
    • Other Courses Offered by Pursuit: N/A

    Pursuit’s Job Placement Assistance

    Pursuit reports that graduates’ annual average salaries increase from $18,000 to $85,000. Alumni work for companies like Microsoft, Apple, Buzzfeed, and Kickstarter.


Featured Image: alvarez / E+ / Getty Images

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