108 Ways to Learn to Code

April 8 2014 · Steve Benjamins

The other day I was coding and a non-coder friend come up behind me. Seeing the code on my screen he exclaimed:

“Wow dude, that looks hard!”

I smiled and jokingly told him it was “very, very complex and important code.”

Truthfully, it really wasn’t though. The code looked more intimidating than it was.

And because it looked intimidating, my friend assumed it was hard. But if I took a few minutes to explain how the pieces of code fit together, my friend would probably have understood that there was a logic and order to the code.

And that’s sort of the trick behind code: it’s looks more intimidating than it is.

To illustrate this: try to remember how intimidating written language looked to you before you could read. Now that you are literate, you know that there is no trick to reading- it’s something everyone can learn. But if you can’t read, written language can look extraordinarily intimidating.

The same is true of coding.

I can code but I’m far from the stereotypical coder: I was in the “dumb kids math” in high school. I am heavily right brained (more intuitive than logical). I was told many times growing up I wasn’t a “math person” (whatever that means).

If you want to build a website without learning to code, you can just use a website builder. But if you’d like to build a website from scratch— believe me, you can learn to code.

Luckily, these days, there is an amazing amount of opportunities for you to learn how to code.

So without further introduction, I present: 108 Ways to Learn to Code:


Bootcamps are approximately 8 – 12 weeks of intensive, classroom style learning designed to get students well on their way to becoming developers. It’s not uncommon for students to have job offers upon graduation.

Generally, bootcamps range between $5,000 – $15,000. This is not a trivial amount of money for many of us, but in fairness, learning to code will likely create much more than $15,000 of value over a lifetime. Plus, in my opinion bootcamps are the best way to get started quickly in programming.

Bootcamps have been popping up in major cities for the last half decade. Here’s a map (with a list following) of bootcamps in the US and Canada:

New York
App Academy, Dev Bootcamp, The Flatiron School, Fullstack Academy, General Assembly, Metis and New York Code and Design Academy.

San Francisco
App Academy, Apprentice, Coding Dojo, Dev Bootcamp, General Assembly, Hack Reactor, Hackbright Academy and RocketU.

Apprentice, General Assembly, Launch Academy, Metis and Startup Institute.

Dev Bootcamp, Devatory, Mobile Makers Academy, Starter School and Startup Institute.

Epicodus, PDX Code Guild and Prosper IT Academy.

General Assembly, Makers Academy and Startup Institute.

Bitmaker Labs and Hacker You.

Code Fellows and Coding Dojo.

CodeCore Bootcamp and Lighthouse Labs.

Maker Square and Delta Program.

gSchool and Refactor U.

Startup Institute.

Wellington New Zeland
Dev Academy.

Nashville Software School.

Holly Springs, North Carolina
Craftsmanship Academy.

Las Vegas
DevPoint Labs.

Salt Lake City
DevPoint Labs.

Provo Utah
Dojo Dev Camp.

General Assembly and Polycademy.

Hong Kong
General Assembly.

Washington D.C.
General Assembly.

General Assembly.

Los Angeles
General Assembly.


Software Craftsman Guild.

Omaha Code School.

Starter League, Chicago

Starter League bootcamp, Chicago

Online Bootcamps

Online bootcamps are a good alternative for people who (a) can’t relocate for a bootcamp or (b) are looking for something cheaper or © need something a bit more flexible.

BTW – Online bootcamps are unique in that they include mentors. If you’re looking for online courses without mentorship, check out paid online courses below.

Bloc – Online courses along with three weekly, 1-on-1 mentor meetings.

Thinkful – Learn to code online one-to-one mentorship.

Tealeaf – Online Ruby on Rails bootcamp.

Homepage, Bloc

Paid Online Courses

Treehouse – Friendly, video courses teaching web development on various tracks (example: a web designer track).

Code School – Video lessons, coding challenges and screencasts.

Course Marketplaces w/ Coding Classes – Skillshare, Udemy, Udacity.

Homepage, Treehouse

Free Online Courses

Codecademy – One of the most popular ways to learn to code. Codecademy is the interactive way to learn to code. Recommended.

Dash – Project-based HTML and CSS courses. By General Assembly. – A variety of courses covering web development.

Homepage, Codecademy

Female Specific Programs

Hackbright Academy – 12 week engineering fellowship for women in San Francisco, CA.

Girl Develop It – Beginner coding classes in many major American cities for women.

Ladies Learning Code – Events for women across Canada (in 18 cities).

Girls Learning Code – Technology camps and workshops in Toronto for girls aged 6 – 16.

Girls Who Code – Seven weeks of intensive instruction in robotics, web design, and mobile development.

Black Girls Code – Non-profit aiming to increase the number of women of color in the digital space. Programs for girls of color ages 7 – 17.

Rails Girls – Global non-profit teaching sketching, prototyping and basic programming to women.

Ladies Learning Code, Toronto

Ladies Learning Code, Toronto

Apps & Programs for Kids

Coder Dojo – Free coding clubs for young people. With 384 dojos in 43 countries.

Scratch – Kids learn code by dragging and dropping code blocks in an open-ended game environment. To be honest: it just looks fun.

Similar to Scratch and for iOS – Daisy the Dinosaur , Hopscotch and Move the Turtle.

id Tech – Summer computer camps for kids and teens

Digital Media Academy – Also a summer computer camp for kids and teens

KidsCodeCamp – One day coding events for kids. Happening across the USA.

Code Club – After-school coding club for kids aged 9 – 11. UK based.

Black Girls Code – Non-profit aiming to increase the number of women of color in the digital space. Programs for girls of color ages 7 – 17.

Girls Learning Code – Technology camps and workshops in Toronto for girls aged 6 – 16.

Scratch, where kids learn code by dragging and dropping code blocks.

Scratch, where kids learn code by dragging and dropping code blocks.

Coding Games

Code Combat – Action-packed, multiplayer game for learning code. Looks fun.

Code Racer – Timed code challenges in a fun racing format.

Code Avenger – Learn HTML, CSS and Javascript through a puzzle-game.

Code Combat

Code Combat

Free University Courses

EDX – Online computer science courses from Harvard, Berkely and more.

MIT Open CoursewareMIT was one of the first universities to offer free computer science courses online. Worth checking out!

Coursera – Free online computer science courses from 80+ universities.



What am I missing on this list? Let me know in the comments!

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