Free Online Bootcamps: A SwitchUp Guide

By: The SwitchUp Team
Last Updated: April 25, 2018

Although bootcamp programs are known to be less expensive than traditional university programs, they can still be out of financial reach for many. The industry has dealt with this financial pressure by developing a slew of not-for-profit and free coding programs to help individuals jumpstart their coding journey. We have compiled a guide of coding courses that include web development and data science, as well as traditional bootcamps with free programs. Just because these programs are free, does not mean they lack quality or rigor. Many of these programs have low acceptance rates, similar to other competitive bootcamps.

In This Article

Benefits of Learning to Code

Coding can be applied to any industry: agriculture, healthcare, law enforcement, entertainment, you name it. We are seeing entire industries revolutionized by technology and software, and this trend will only continue. No matter what industry your first or fifth career falls in, knowing code will always provide you with a skill set to succeed.

Even if you aren't sure if a career in technology is right for you, these free resources can give you a leg-up in any career. Coding helps individuals think critically, problem solve, and stay up-to-date with current world trends. Some consider coding to be our newest form of literacy. It is worth understanding at least the fundamentals to ensure you don't fall behind.

Well-known programs like Flatiron School and Fullstack Academy offer free online bootcamps that help introduce students to intensive programming without the costs. Explore our comprehensive list below to determine where you would like to begin. There's no risk, so get going!

Free Online Bootcamps

Free Code Camp

Description: Free Code Camp helps people build job-worthy portfolios of real apps used by real people, while helping nonprofits.

What you can learn: FCC offers free verified certifications in Front End Development and Full Stack Development, and the 1,600-hour full stack JavaScript curriculum is completely self-paced, browser-based, and free.


Description: Committed to building the best learning experience inside and out, Codecademy is one of the best places for people to learn, teach, and create the online learning experience of the future.

What you can learn: At Codecademy, you can take courses in HTML & CSS, Java, JavaScript, SQL, Bash/Shell, C++, Python and Ruby.


Description: Skillcrush offers a free 10-Day Coding Bootcamp. This is a totally beginner-friendly intro to tech, techies, and kick-ass careers in less than five minutes a day. (Boots optional.)

What you can learn: At Skillcrush, you can take courses that teach UX Design, HTML/CSS and JavaScript.


Description: Udemy's mission is to help anyone learn anything online. Udemy has millions of students, and a wide variety of course offerings, including numerous free tutorials.

What you can learn: At Udemy, you can take courses that teach AngularJS, Blockchain, C#, Cryptocurrency, CSS, Data Science, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, iOS, Javascript, Python and SEO.


Description: EdX is a leading online-learning platform that is open source instead of for-profit. It was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, so students can feel confident that they'll learn cutting-edge technologies and theories. Today, edX includes access to 2000 free online courses from 140 leading institutions worldwide.

What you can learn: edX offers an Introduction to Computer Science from Harvard University, a Python Basics course from IBM, and many more options.


Description: AGupieWare is an independent app developer that surveyed computer-science programs from some of the leading institutions in the U.S. It then created a similar curriculum based on the free courses offered by Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Berkeley and Columbia.

What you can learn: This program offers an intensive computer science curriculum as well as courses in Python, Swift (iOS), hacking and security testing, and Linux.

Khan Academy

Description: Created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan, Khan Academy is one of the original free online-learning institutions.

What you can learn: With step-by-step video tutorials, you can learn how to program drawings, animations and games using JavaScript and ProcessingJS, or learn how to create webpages with HTML and CSS.

App Academy Open

Description: With App Academy Open students get free access to App Academy’s entire in-person full-stack curriculum, which has placed thousands of people in software development jobs. App Academy Open also includes an option to upgrade to a paid online program, which includes dedicated support such as live pair programming, graded assessments, and job placement services.

What you can learn: On the Free plan you'll get over 1,500 hours of material (readings, videos, projects), an interactive coding environment and community features like chat to keep you connected with thousands of prospective developers across the globe.

Free Web Development Bootcamps

42 School

Description:42 is an innovative software engineering school that offers multiple computer programming, coding, and software engineering programs for free. Their goal is to provide access to education, change diversity in the workforce, eliminate student loan debt, and create real pathways to the workforce.

What you can learn: 42 School's major areas of specialization include: adaptation & creativity, algorithms & AI, company experience, DB & data, functional programming, graphics, group and interpersonal dynamics, imperative programming, network & system administration, object oriented programming, organization, parallel computing, rigor, Ruby, security, technology integration, Unix, and web development.

Recurse Center

Description: The Recurse Center (formerly Hacker Center) offers a free, 3 month immersive retreat for people intent on improving their programming skills. Recurse Center fosters a largely unstructured, self-directed, and project-based environment, with an emphasis on self-motivation. Participants attend 12-week "batches" in New York, where they write open source software and grow together as programmers in a friendly, intellectual, and energizing environment.

What you can learn: Recurse will help students to learn the fundamentals of programming on a deep level.

Free Data Science Offerings

Insight Data Science

Description: Insight is an intensive seven-week post-doctoral training Fellowship bridging the gap between academia and data science in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Boston, Seattle and Toronto. There is also a remote program for scientists seeking data science careers in other cities. In the past five years, Insight has grown to over 1,000 alumni working at over 800 top data teams across the US, including Facebook, Apple, Google, LinkedIn, The New York Times, Biogen, Amazon, Airbnb, Yelp, Bloomberg, McKinsey, 23andMe, Wayfair, and many high-growth startups. Insight programs are 100% tuition-free.

What you can learn: Insight Fellows learn cutting-edge data science and engineering technology through project-based learning and are mentored by industry leaders and data scientists from top teams. Fellows start interviews immediately upon completion of the program.

The Data Incubator

Description: The Data Incubator is a Cornell-funded data science training organization. They offer a free advanced 8-week fellowship (comparative to a data science bootcamp) for PhDs and Master's students looking to enter industry. The program is free for admitted Fellows.

What you can learn: The Data Incubator offers an intensive 8-week fellowship. This free program is offered to anyone who holds (or is in the process of earning) a PhD or master's degree.. This program is paid for by employers and is focused on professional Data Science skills.

Coding Bootcamps with Cost-Free Options

Ada Developers Academy

Description: Ada Developers Academy is an 11 month (6 months of classroom training followed by 5 months in a paid industry internship) program in downtown Seattle offering a tuition-free full-time program to teach full-stack web development to women and people of non-binary gender.

What you can learn: At Ada Developers Academy, you can learn CSS, HTML, Javascript and Ruby on Rails.


Description: Revature partners with top universities across the U.S. to provide no-cost courses in programming and software development. RevaturePro is available to current college students and graduates. Through in-person or hybrid (online and on-campus) coding immersion programs, Revature creates a pathway for individuals from diverse backgrounds to build the knowledge, skills and abilities to reach their potential as technology professionals.

What you can learn: With Revature, students can learn Data Structures, Java and .NET.

Founders & Coders

Description: Founders & Coders runs the only free full-time coding course in the UK. It takes students with little or no knowledge of programming and turns them into full-stack web developers. After completing the course, students are encouraged to join their freelance community and contribute to a growing array of community activities, including the course itself.

What you can learn: In this free web development course, students will learn Javascript, Node.js, and UX.

Hack Reactor Basic Prep

Description: Founded in 2012, Hack Reactor is a 12-week immersive coding school providing software engineering education, career placement services, and a lifelong network of professional peers. Hack Reactor has campuses in San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, and New York City, as well as an online, remote immersive (full-time and part-time.) Their cost-free basic prep program prepares individuals to participate in their full-time, immersive program.

What you can learn: Hack Reactor Basic Prep is a concentrated prep program designed to take participants from beginners to coders ready to tackle the full-time Hack Reactor program. Through 60 to 90 hours of supported learning, students are able to access many of the beginner Hack Reactor resources. Class is conducted entirely remotely using various online tools. Learn JavaScript fundamentals, how to build basic programs and how to think like an engineer.

Flatiron School

Description: Flatiron School is an outcomes-focused coding bootcamp that offers Full Stack Web Development and iOS Development programs at its NYC, Washington, D.C., London, and online campuses. Flatiron School has led the bootcamp industry on outcomes, backing its 98% job placements rate and $75k starting salary with annual independently-verified jobs reports. Flatiron School also offers several free introductory courses, including Bootcamp Prep, and Certificate courses on their online campus.

What you can learn: Flatiron Schools offers over 75 hours of free learning for Ruby and JavaScript.

Fullstack Academy Prep Program

Description: Fullstack Academy is an immersive software engineering coding bootcamp located in New York City and Chicago. Students of the full-time flagship course learn full stack JavaScript over the course of a 13-week, on-campus program. Students can participate in a free, preparation program to gain basic skills to prepare for the full-time, immersive course.

What you can learn: Fullstack offers over 50 hours of JavaScript instruction for free in their online preparation program. This program is used to prepare students for entry into their full-time program. Use promo code FS-PREP-JUMPSTART to access this course for free.

Rithm School

Description: Rithm's full-stack web development program is a four-month accelerated learning experience. Rithm School takes independent and thoughtful students and turns them into confident and creative full-stack developers. Rithm School values an intimate learning community and therefore class sizes are 8-16 students. Our curriculum is centered around JavaScript and Python, and also features two weeks of time to contribute meaningfully to open source.

What you can learn: At Rithm you can access free courses in HTML, CSS, JS (Express, React), Python, Linux, Git and Algorithms.

Other Resources

Complete Scholarship Guide: If you are applying to a coding bootcamp, you'll definitely want to check out our complete list of scholarships. We've compiled over 80 scholarships from top schools to help you launch your career in tech - or just skill up! - in 2018.

Women in Tech Scholarship Guide: SwitchUp takes pride in helping elevate the successes of women in these industries through Q + A's, student spotlights and most importantly, through our resources. This comprehensive list makes it a bit easier for women to see the schools that are making gender diversity a priority. Scholarships, grants, and other opportunities are listed.

Best Bootcamp Prep Guide: We've rounded up the best prep programs to help you get started. Each of the following courses will help prepare you for the admissions process, and determine whether a career in tech is right for you.

Best Data Science Bootcamps: If you are considering data science programs, this guide has everything you'll need to kickstart your research.

Best Web Design Bootcamps: Over the past year and a half, we've amassed hundreds of UX, UI, and web design bootcamp reviews and gathered thousands of data points. To jumpstart your career change, take a look at our list.

Best Code Bootcamps: Access the top 40 coding boot camps and coding schools around the world, arranged in alphabetical order.

Don't see your bootcamp on this list? Let us know at

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