Learning to code in the digital age is a skill that will serve you well throughout your career and life in general. However, we’ve found that many get overwhelmed trying to find the right platform, the perfect first language, the best framework, or the best online communities. There are many options out there, and where you’re at in your educational journey will determine where you should start. Let’s dive into the top 6 best code academy alternatives and what their strong suits are.
Why Learn to Code?
Learning to code can help you in many aspects of life and for many provides a stable career with a bright outlook. In addition to a great salary, becoming a developer can provide some of the following benefits:
- Remote work, depending on the company
- Flexible schedule, no one needs to cover your shift
- Casual dress, very few tech companies have a strict dress code
- Practice with left-brain analytical thinking
6 Code Academy Alternatives
Choosing a coding program online may seem like a daunting task. When my wife started to learn to code, she was overwhelmed and felt that since she knew nothing about programming, she was unequipped to even be able to choose a good program. Don’t think that, there are solutions!
Time for a shameless plug, Qvault is a great place to start. While coding can be complicated, Qvault is a browser-based web app that makes it simple. With several different courses and difficulties to choose from, Qvault is perfect for anyone from an absolute-beginner that doesn’t know where to start, to a senior developer that’s just looking to learn a new language or concept.
- Qvault makes its courses feel like videogames.
- Qvault focuses on quality over quantity. All their content is created and curated by Qvault, no scammy third party courses.
- All-in-one feel. All code is written and executed right in the browser.
- Tutorials are text-based, interactive, and easy to follow.
- Qvault focuses on computer science, not just programming.
- Qvault is a new platform and doesn’t have an abundance of courses yet, but new ones are added frequently
- Qvault hosts developer profiles and certificates that are free forever
Qvault is a particularly good choice for beginner to mid-level students that want to learn computer science, not just coding.
Free Code Camp is another good option and is completely free. Free code camp is focused less on computer science and more on web development. Free code camp is an open-source community, which means that many users online contribute to the content. This means that the content is well-vetted for high accuracy, but there is also less of a central vision for the curriculum.
- Web-development focused
- Most assignments online, some offline
Great for students who already have some experience with technology and are willing to sacrifice some simplicity for a completely free curriculum.
Exercism is a good alternative for beginners who want a personalized learning experience with a human mentor. Exercism also free and open-source like Free Code Camp. Exercism relies on unpaid volunteers who are willing to spend time mentoring students and doing code reviews.
- Human interaction with a mentor
- Can be more time consuming due to waiting on mentors and real-time communication
A good choice for someone who wants to learn from a real person.
Tutorials Point doesn’t have courses so much as it has, well, tutorials. It’s known for free tutorials and documentation that can be accessed without needing to log in. The use-case for Tutorials Point is more like technical documentation than a learning curriculum. It’s a great place to find an answer to a specific question.
- Free and doesn’t require login
- Not really a structured curriculum, more like one-off tutorials
- Great for finding answers to specific questions and queries
TreeHouse is a paid option, but it does a good job of teaching people, especially people that prefer videos. Like many platforms, Treehouse has a focus on web design, development, and IOS. I’m personally a fan of learning by coding, but I understand that some prefer videos.
- Paid SaaS model with a free trial
- Focus on web development
- Mostly video courses
Udemy is a behemoth platform with an insane amount of content. Users are able to create their own courses which is a blessing and a curse. Udemy is great because you can find a course for anything. That said, it can sometimes be hard to know if the course you are buying is the best one on a given subject.
- Some paid courses, some free
- Tons of content
- Quantity over quality
- You can probably find that niche course about underwater basket weaving