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10 free online resources that'll teach you to code

Coding is an increasingly important skill and is the way we build our digital world. As business and commerce continue to transition onto online platforms, companies need to be on the cutting edge of digital architecture to standout and deliver high-quality service.

Learning to code can be a transformative skill for any business professional, but it doesn't have to be an expensive pursuit. There are dozens of free resources available on the Internet that make learning to code a very real possibility. Here are some of the best and most interesting ways to learn to code for free.

1. Code Academy
One of the premier free online resources, Code Academy can be used to learn anything from JavaScript and HTML to Python and webpage best practices. This is a tool for anyone that is dedicated to becoming proficient in computer programming.

Through a series of lessons, quizzes and projects, Code Academy makes the different aspects of coding accessible and easy to understand. Some skills can be learned in only a few hours, while others may take weeks to master.

Code Academy gives anyone in the world the ability to get their feet wet or become fluent in any computer language, and getting started is sometimes the hardest step.

2. HTML5 Rocks
Another well-respected resource for in-depth lessons on computer programming is Google's HTML5 Rocks. The platform is best suited for those with some previous experience in coding, but can be used by anyone. Likewise, it has helpful information on how to use coding skills to improve your business' digital fingerprint.

Not only is computer programming an increasingly important skill, but knowing how to optimize your company's web presence is equally critical, and for that reason, HTML5 Rocks is a great resource for businesses that want to build a successful online identity.

3. Coursera
Pooling online resources from universities across the world, Coursera is one of the best free tools on the web for all things computer programming. Registering for a course is free and available remotely.

For example, Coursera hosts the University of Michigan's course on learning to use Python, one of the best coding platforms available. Coursera condenses what would otherwise be an 11-week program into just a few weeks, and helps anyone interested get a sold grasp on computer programming.

4. Udacity
For the most ambitious folks interested in getting involved in the vast world of computer programming, Udacity is a great platform. Companies like Google, AT&T and Facebook have contributed resources, and there are helpful courses for building skills in areas like web or iOS development, as well as generalized computer programming.

Udacity also offers information on things like data analysis and tech entrepreneurial best practices, making it a great tool for business professionals.

5. Khan Academy
As one of the the most revered names in online education, Khan Academy has expanded beyond traditional academics and now offers lifestyle and skill-based courses, including a whole litany of lessons on computer programming.

There are resources available for learning product development for things like online games and animation, as well as webpage design and standard HTML & CSS. The Khan Academy's programs are easy to use and fun to explore.

6. Android Development
Another useful tool for the latest business trends, Google's Android developer resources are designed specifically for creating mobile applications for android phones and devices. The site offers broad classes as well as specific lessons.

There are also a number of resources available for making development as easy as possible. For example, code samples are offered that can be re-used in your own app for certain universal functions.

7. MIT Opencourse
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers free online courses in multiple languages in everything from computer science to world history, and MIT's introductory courses in Java or computer programming are great places for business professionals with minimal background to begin to learn the fundamentals of coding. 

The course requires some previous experience in computer programming, and MIT offers an even more basic free resource for anyone starting from ground zero.

8. Scratch
One thing that is interesting about the explosion of computer technology and access in the last few decades has been how quickly young people seem to master the latest technology. Initiatives like the Hour of Code are designed to give young people a means of learning coding in a fun and inviting way. Games and familiar characters from Angry Birds or Frozen are used to teach kids across the country to code.

Adults can benefit from that same simple, breezy approach to learning to code, and Scratch is another great resource MIT offers for free. The program is perfect for anyone without background experience in computer language. It may feel childish to play games as a way of learning something useful for your business, but Scratch's model is one of the best at making an otherwise very difficult skill simple and easy to understand.

9. Code Studio
Another site that is great for beginners is Code.org's Code Studio. This is another platform designed to be accessible for all ages, and although it might not be appropriate for the office, it is another tool that is perfect for anyone attempting to learn to code with no previous experience.

Managers could use platforms like Scratch of Code Studio as a way of introducing a team of employees to coding and as a way of easing into what can be a complicated new skill.

10. Edx
Coursera and Edx are both great platforms that pool a number of web-based resources, including tools for learning to code online.

Tools that offer certifications or credit are marked, and there are an endless supply of pages on anything from standard HTML to advanced analytics. Resources from industry leaders like Microsoft and Harvard are featured, and Edx also provides it's own series of web-based tools.

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