Every day, thousands of us take a leap into the web development industry, while those who are established are constantly migrating to or learning new web technologies. The web is full of technical, in-depth tutorials, but a recent move toward offering visually-based, highly interactive training materials has widened the possibilities considerably. For this article, we’ve looked at the most popular sites today that offer online courses in topics related to web development to provide you with details of some current choices. Some are free and some are paid, but all will allow you to tackle a new challenge and expand your horizons, whether you are a beginner or an old hand at the coding game.
Here are an even dozen learning sites that will get you started with a variety of different types of languages and development environments.
- Cost — Free
- Special Features — Interactive code console, progress tracker, awards/badges with a point system. Also includes a Q&A forum with questions from users looking for assistance.
- Other — Get A Hint button helps if you are stuck.
- Cost — $30 per course, with discounts for purchases of more than 1 course.
- Special Features — Interactive code console uses Google Drive media connection. Points, badges, and games, including code challenges. Courses contain feedback, hints, glossary, and code references.
- Other — Code Avengers also offers professional development workshops for teachers and Code Camps in a variety of locations for middle and high school students.
- Cost — Free trial of basic computing course. Paid memberships $25 (access to all materials) or $75/month (also includes debugging help, feedback, and grades).
- Special Features — Interactive code console. Progress tracker in the Teacher accounts.
- Cost — $29/month. A free 2-day trial.
- Special Features — Interactive code console. Progress tracker. Awards and badges upon completion of levels and courses. Community forum where students help each other.
- Other — Code School is always looking for people to add new teaching videos to expand their course offerings.
- Cost — $29/month, with discounts and perks to sign up for 6 or 12 months. Memberships can be paused. Free 14-day trial.
- Special Features — Question and answer community forum.
- Other — Membership includes free downloads of additional books, etc., each month.
Closely tied to the Treehouse school offerings, Team Treehouse is a well-organized, professional setup. Courses are organized into tracks that are separated into bite-sized chunks with a guided path. Courses are comprised of videos, quizzes, and code challenges. Topics range from the expected HTML, Ruby, etc. to business concepts and WordPress. Both iOS and Android courses are available.
- Cost — Basic subscription is $25/month; Pro is $49/month (everything in Basic plus access to industry professionals and workshops/interviews). Free 14-day trial.
- Special Features — Interactive code console is called “Workspaces” Progress is tracked via bite-sized chunks on a progress scale. Earn points and reward videos, as well as badges and extra points by answering forum questions. Live workshops are held each Tuesday (archived as well).
- Other — Available as an iPad app, as well as access on mobile devices. Bonus lessons periodically available on trending topics. Free access to GitHub hosting, stock photos, ebooks, and special pricing for access to tools like Moz.
Skillfeed is a more traditional style of learning site, with the focus on a curated collection of online classes and videos dealing with a wide variety of web development and design topics. They boast 28,870 video tutorials, 3,263 hours of learning, and 290 teachers.
Subjects range from web development to software such as Dreamweaver and Illustrator. Courses can be accessed from any device at any time, and range from short tips (Skill Snacks are less than 20 minutes long) to longer, comprehensive how-to videos (more than 20 minutes in length).
- Cost — $19 per month. 7-day free trial.
- Other — Skillfeed is always looking for new video material from aspiring instructors.
Focusing on “real world” skills, Udemy courses range from web and mobile development and design to arts and crafts topic (yoga anyone?). Enrollment has exceeded 3 million students with more than 16,000 courses available that can be accessed via any device.
Each course is different in terms of what it offers – some are just a simple video while others provide access to extensive content/lectures, student forums, etc. Course descriptions include any prerequisites, results you can expect, and target audience. As well, reviews from students who have taken them, make it easy to judge if a course will work for you.
- Cost — Some courses are free, but others range in price from about $20 to hundreds of dollars. For example, a course in Android 4.0 for Java is $39, while a course on becoming a professional web developer is $299.
- Special Features — Certificates of completion. An Udemy app for iPhone, iPad and Android on Google Play and Apple App Store is available.
- Other — Free previews and money-back guarantees for many courses.
- Cost — Free
- Special Features — Interactive code console in the browser and lessons can be restarted if needed.
- Other — Version for teachers lets them coordinate course for their students via due dates for lesson and project completion and monitoring of performance.
From beginner classes (e.g., Intro to Point-and-Click App Development) to advanced (e.g., Artificial Intelligence for Robotics via Programming a Robotic Car), the courses cover topics in data science, web development, and assorted math and graphics courses.
Self-paced courses with industry experts involved in course development, ensuring cutting-edge techniques and focused on today’s challenges for software developers. Udacity has partnered with Georgia Tech’s online accredited Master’s Degree in Computer Science.
- Cost — Free access to info, lectures and auto-graded exercises. Paid courses add project planning and access to a Personal Coach for project help. 14-day free trial with a paid course (e.g., $200/month for Data Wrangling with MongoDB with estimate of 2 months to complete at 6 hours/week).
- Special Features — Interactive code console and course completion certificates are recognized by industry leaders such as Google, AT&T, and Salesforce. Each course has its own course discussion forum.
- Other — Personalized coaching with on-demand chat.
What sets this one apart is its format – the training is provided via videos of live workshops where students have asked questions during the lessons. Courses are 3-1/2 to 6 hours in length, and served in 5-15 minute long modules. Focus is less on beginner level, so not for those looking for the basics.
One downside – the content is only available via streaming video, so you cannot watch the videos offline.
- Cost — $39/month for access to 550+ video lessons. Discount for yearly signup. Some free lessons are available via email program weekly. Sample lesson on site to preview before buying.
- Other — Experts featured in some videos include the creator of AngularJS, founder of JSON, and jQuery team members.
Offers a wide variety of online videos on a broad range of topics from computer languages and programming to software and social media.
- Cost — Basic plan at $29/month includes all courses (including mobile app access) and progress tracking, but need to have Plus plan (starting at $49/month) to receive exercise files, certificates and offline viewing. Offers a 10-day free trial.
- Other — Some courses do not have tests and therefore, no certificates of completion.