Are you looking to transition to a software development career? Until quite recently, software firms required that their developers have a computer science or similar degrees, severely limiting their candidate pool.  

However, there has been an increase in the number of developers from non-traditional backgrounds, including high-school dropouts with no prior tech experience or liberal arts graduates. A large proportion of these “new collar” workers started learning how to code through free online courses. Here are three free online resources where you can learn the basics of software development.  

  1. edXPowered by Harvard and MIT, edX makes college-level online courses available to everyone at no cost. You can find courses on edX that run for one or two weeks or could be finished at your own pace. While edX offers a wide variety of courses on almost all fields that Harvard and MIT teach, a large majority of these courses lean towards tech, business, and engineering. You may choose from among introductory, intermediate, and advanced programs. You can also take certificate programs in areas such as data science or web development. 
  2. MIT OpenCourseWareYour SAT scores might not have been good enough to get you into MIT, but that doesn’t mean you cannot experience how they teach programming there. MIT has been offering both undergraduate and graduate courses to the public through its OpenCourseWare initiative since 2002, making it a pioneer in the field of free open tech education. Resources for aspiring software developers include its programming courses, which are divided into introductions, language-specific courses, and follow-ups.   
  3. CourseraEast Coast schools are not the only ones offering free online courses; Coursera, backed by a consortium led by Stanford, provides courses from various universities, including many universities outside the U.S. Coursera offers “specializations”, which are courses bundled together to help you build your skills in a specific field. Courses are self-paced but have limited availability, so if you’ve signed up for an introduction to Python class, you need to finish it within a specific time frame. Not all courses are free, but the paid ones are worth the fee.