Where to learn to code for free in New York

gilt tech class
Students learn how to use GitHub at a Gilt Tech class.
Credit: Gilt Tech

Do you want to learn how to code but can’t afford to pay for a pricey class? Luckily for you, New York City has a few different places where students, from absolute beginners to advanced engineers, can take coding classes for free. Here are our picks.

1. Gilt Tech: You may know Gilt for its discount designer goods, but the online retail giant makes it a priority to give back to the community. Gilt Tech, the brand’s technology organization, offers free classes and daylong workshops for experienced web engineers in programs like Scala and AngularJS. Classes are taught by experts like Gilt engineers or guest speakers; Gilt recently had a Facebook data scientist and a Columbia adjunct professor teach classes at its Midtown headquarters.

Still a beginner? Lauri Apple of Gilt Tech says she expects her organization will offer front-end web development and product development workshops in the near future. You can find out more at Gilt Tech’s blog; the next class is on AngularJS on May 22.

2. New York Public Library: The New York Public Library offers an eight-week coding class at a few locations. Project Code is free and perfect for beginners who want to take an introductory course. Contact the New York Public Library for more details.

3. Workforce 1 at the Flatiron School: New Yorkers who want to get serious about coding should apply for the NYC Web Development Fellowship. The highly competitive program selected just 28 students for the five-month, full-time program. These students get to take the course for free, though it would normally cost $12,000. Applications are closed this year, but sign up on the fellowship’s website to receive news on future opportunities.

4. Fractured Atlas: Are you an artist looking for a steady gig? Fractured Atlas offers a fellowship for artists who want to learn how to code. Founder Adam Huttler says learning how to code gives artists the opportunity to land stable, well-paid jobs on top of creating art. The fellowship even includes a $5,000 stipend. Applications are closed now, but follow Fractured Atlas’ blog to find out about the next opportunity.

5. Access Code: This free program, through the Coalition for Queens, is an 18-week course that teaches students how to code iOS apps. Graduates of the program saw their salaries jump from $15,000 to more than $72,000. Stay updated on the next course by signing up for Access Code’s e-mail newsletter.

Learn to code online for free

Codecademy: Don’t have time to go to in-person classes? Codecademy offers free online courses in Javascript, HTML/CSS, PHP, Python, Ruby and API.


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