The Best YouTube Channels to Learn to Code for Free
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- There is a ton of content on YouTube aimed at teaching people how to code.
- There is also a lot of general information on topics like interviewing or the tech industry.
- Different channels target different styles of learners.
- There are many options out there, so find something that works for you.
The Internet is jam-packed with resources to learn just about anything you can think of. However, with such a diversity of resources comes a vast discrepancy in cost and quality. YouTube is a diversified platform with numerous free courses, but knowing where to look and how to identify the best ones is important.Learning through pre-recorded videos is not a great solution for all learners, but there is a market for it. These courses are best for those with an intermediate-to-strong background in coding. You should also be good at self-guided learning or looking for an introductory class rather than something in-depth. There are so many channels and content producers on YouTube that we could never cover them all, but here are some top-rated YouTube channels for learning how to code.
Coding YouTube Channels
A YouTube channel founded and run by Maximilian Schwarzmüller and Manuel Lorenz, Academind uploads video tutorials on web development to its over 841K subscribers. The videos cover skills like Python, GitHub, and Bootstrap.
Tutorials last anywhere from 1-4 hours and include crash courses for beginners, along with more advanced topics. The pair also uploads shorter videos about specific topics, like "Why Angular, React & Vue Shouldn't Directly Send Database Queries" and "What Are Pure Functions and Side Effects?"
Schwarzmüller and Lorenz also chat about trending topics, tools, and skills in the coding industry. Learners can visit the Academind website, which offers premium online courses and links to the Academind community on Discord — a good way for aspiring developers to connect with others in the same boat.
YK Sugi, the YouTuber who runs CS Dojo, used to work as a software developer at Google. Now, he shares his expertise with over 1.9 million subscribers through step-by-step tutorials on a whiteboard and easy-to-follow demonstrations.
Beginners can especially benefit from videos like "How to Learn to Code - Best Resources, How to Choose a Project, and More!" and "What Programming Language Should I Learn First?" Job seekers may also appreciate videos that help with potential interview questions, like "How to Crack a Google Coding Interview - An Ex-Googler's Experience."
Derek Banas begins his YouTube videos with the friendly welcome, "Well, hello internet!" The YouTuber uploads tutorials on all sorts of topics, but his main areas of expertise include programming, web design, and mobile development.
His early videos focus on foundational languages and coding skills, like HTML, CSS, and SQL. More recently, Banas has built courses on the math of machine learning, Ruby on Rails, and how to make video games.
Banas has also uploaded units on algebra, precalculus, and trigonometry, which can be as helpful for high school students as they are for programmers who need a refresh in their math skills.
The nonprofit organization freeCodeCamp offers several comprehensive, self-paced courses on coding. Many of these courses incorporate YouTube videos with instructors who walk viewers through different modules.
Unlike some other channels featured on this list, freeCodeCamp uploads videos that learners follow in a specific order to build upon their previous lessons. However, the channel also uploads standalone courses that typically last several hours; while most last 1-5 hours, one of the longest surpasses 17 hours.
Topics vary, although freeCodeCamp is typically true to its name and sticks with coding. Videos cover everything from beginners' tutorials to more advanced topics like "Linux for Ethical Hackers" and "Code a Snake Game With Python and Pygame - Tutorial."
Software developer Joshua Fluke describes himself as an entrepreneur and content creator who helps people get their start in the tech industry. In addition to offering paid courses through his program Grind Reel, Fluke uploads several free resources on his YouTube channel.
His channel includes playlists about learning Python, getting motivated to code, and applying for jobs. Fluke also chats about other aspects of the tech field, including how to avoid exploitative jobs in coding, the advantages of remote work, and how to work successfully through freelance gigs or side hustles.
Fluke also consistently interacts with his audience through live videos like "An HR Lady Asks Me Interview Questions" and "Mock Job Interviews With Viewers," in which he speaks with his viewers directly.
Short for Level Up Tutorials, LevelUpTuts began in 2013 as a free educational resource for people learning web development. Along with his friend Ben Schaaf, Scott Tolinski started the channel after he suffered an injury while breakdancing and had plenty of time to kill inside.
Tolinski continues to run the channel on his own, publishing accessible and user-friendly tutorials with high production value. LevelUpTuts offers over 1,000 free videos on various (and sometimes ultra-specific) topics — for example, "How I Make 4k Video Intros Without After Effects."
The channel includes several series; most videos don't run over 10 minutes. Viewers can make their way through the "Meteor 1.4 + React for Everyone" series in five parts, along with many similar video collections.
LevelUpTuts also runs paid programs with advanced video tutorials in topics like code automation in GitHub, testing with Cypress, and animating React with Framer Motion.
Life of Luba
Luba Yudasina carves out a place for herself in the male-dominated field with her Life of Luba channel. Originally from Belarus, Yudasina has worked as a software engineer, chief of staff, and product manager at Airbnb and Yelp. Now, she also uploads videos related to entrepreneurship in technology.
Her videos include some beginner lessons on coding, like "How to Learn Code (5 Quick Simple Steps)!" and the two-minute tutorial "Get Started With Coding: Learn This Line of Code!" Many of her videos focus on navigating the tech industry: She speaks about her experience in Silicon Valley, how she landed an internship at Yelp, and how to put together a software engineering resume.
Luba also chats about work and tech topics such as productivity tips, book recommendations for entrepreneurs, digital organization, and coworking spaces.
The Coding Train
Daniel Shiffman describes The Coding Train as a YouTube channel "dedicated to beginner-friendly creative coding tutorials and challenges." Shiffman's playful teaching style uses bright graphics and full-screen demonstrations to cover many topics — he even has a whistle to demonstrate that the Coding Train is departing at the start of his videos.
Topics include the basics of coding variables, conditionals, loops, functions, and more niche topics like building Twitter bots. Shiffman engages his audience with live streams and by collaborating with expert guests. He also encourages viewers to play along with coding challenges, like "Estimating Pi From Random Numbers With Euclid's Algorithm" and "Times Table Cardioid Visualization."
Interested viewers can find more resources on The Coding Train's website, including access to a GitHub account.
The Net Ninja
Run by U.K.-based Shaun Pelling, The Net Ninja is a YouTube channel with tutorials on foundational, intermediate, and advanced programming skills.
Students can follow along with several playlists, including a Deno tutorial, a Node.js course, and a Flutter Animation tutorial. If you're looking for information on any coding language or a somewhat under-the-radar programming skill, there's a chance that Pelling has covered it.
Unlike some other channels, Pelling focuses on teaching skills without uploading videos on the tech industry, his personal life, collaborations, or live streaming. For individuals who might prefer straight-to-the-point videos that typically stay under 15 minutes, The Net Ninja delivers.
With over 2 million subscribers, Traversy Media is the YouTube channel of Brad Traversy, a former freelance programmer who now creates tutorials for people learning to code.
Traversy occasionally uploads stories that may appeal to those just beginning a career in programming. Videos like "My First Freelance Gig Was a Disaster" relate Traversy's personal experience as a new coder, and videos like "5 High Level Skills & Traits for Programmers" and "7 Tips to Ace Job Interviews" include actionable tips and advice.
Frequently Asked Questions About Learning to Code
Where do I start to learn to code on YouTube?
It largely depends on what you are interested in learning about. It can be helpful to start with any of the above channels but don’t hesitate to look around for another channel that fits your needs. In addition to the topic, it is important to find a channel or presenter that is at your level and has a teaching style you engage with. It is easy to lose focus during a non-interactive video, so pick something you will like.
Are there resources besides YouTube where I can learn a specific programming language for free?
Can I learn to code without taking a course or attending a bootcamp?
If you have determination and self-discipline, then you can learn to code on your own with free online resources. That said, coding can be challenging. It's good to stay motivated and create goals and deadlines so that you can keep progressing. People who struggle to keep themselves on track may prefer the support of a coding bootcamp.
Where else can I learn to teach myself to code?
There are many methods to teach yourself coding. On top of free online coding courses and YouTube videos, there are several ways to teach yourself to code. You can read books, play with interactive tutorials or online coding games, and build your own small projects.
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