Aug 14, 2018

5 Free Coding Classes and Resources for Women Who Code

The tech sector has grown exponentially in the last couple of decades. According to one source, over 60 percent of executives say that they have a hard time finding candidates to fill the technical positions in their company. Women who want to go into this field are also finding that they have access to more and more female web developers who are interested in mentoring novice female coders.

But before you start looking for awesome female coding mentors, you will have to learn how to code. You probably know about some resources that other people told you about, but you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of sites, apps, and books on the market. This article will not only show you some of the best coding programs for women, but all of the resources on this list are 100 percent free.

Free Online Classes

When it comes to free coding classes for women, there is no shortage of options available. But the quality of the material and the teachers can vary widely. Luckily, the classes on this list not only give you material that you will use in the real world, but the teachers know how to present the material in a way that a total beginner can understand.

Some of the best free online classes include the following:

   Free Code Camp: Free Code Camp operates as one of the first places that novice coders go to learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Bootstrap, jQuery, Node.js, etc.

   Codecademy: Codecademy operates on the concept of interactive learning. You read a lesson, then you start coding. Many of the lessons are free, but a $20 a month membership will give you access to more lessons and personal coaching.

   Coursera and Edx: Coursera and Edx courses are taught by university professors who teach in some of the most recognizable institutions in this country. You can take classes for free and earn a certificate for a fee.

Conferences and Meetups

To paraphrase the great writer John Donne, no woman is an island. While much of your coding time will be spent alone, it's a good idea to find "coding buddies" with whom you can talk, laugh, and commiserate about your coding journeys. In every major city around the world, there are coding meetup groups that you can join. Some of these groups you can join are specifically for women coders. One of these groups is called "Women Who Code". They have meetup groups in every major U.S. city, plus a yearly Women Who Code conference where you can meet like-minded female coders from all over the world.

Free Tutorial Websites

Coding is a really big topic. To learn how to do a specific project, you have to know what programming languages and frameworks will be involved. As a novice coder, you'll be told that you will need to learn the fine art of Googling. You may think that you've been Googling since you were five, but searching for coding tutorials is a little different than looking for cat videos you haven't seen. For example, to learn to convert ASPX to PDF, you can't spend your time looking through JavaScript tutorials hoping to find the answer. You'll have to get really specific guide to help you convert ASPX to PDF. But once you really get this skill down pat, you'll find a wealth of tutorials for every possible project.


The following apps can help women expand their coding knowledge:

   Encode: Whether you're starting from "Hello World!" to "if else" statements, Encode's interactive code editor allows you to complete short and sweet programming lessons.

   Udacity: An app that offers free lessons in programming languages such as HTML, JavaScript, Python, and others.

   Tynker: If you have a daughter with an interest in learning to code, Tynker is a great, kid-friendly app for this purpose. However, women can also find Tynker useful in their coding education.

Khan Academy

You may have remembered Khan Academy from your youthful days of struggling with your math homework. Now both you and your daughter can benefit from the plethora of courses they offer on computer programming.

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