Udacity Free Courses

I have to admit that I’ve been unfairly biased against Udacity since they changed from a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) site to a paid site. Of course, they do generate their own material, and everybody’s gotta eat.I was recently referred to one of their free courses and was pleasantly surprised to find that they had several to offer. I opted to start with a free HTML/CSS course. It included a nice combination of video and text based lessons as well as quizzes and exercises. The Udacity course recommended great text editors and browser tools to used with some exercises to help you practice. While this meant there was some extra set up, these are the real tools that developers use and won’t be something you want to delete any time soon. I would recommend the course just for the lessons on these developer resources.

While the course was shorter than others I’ve tried, the material was presented well and was free of frustration. Working straight through the material, this one course can be completed in an afternoon. The upside of course is that there are several courses to try. I’m going to continue learning on Udacity with their free courses for Networking for Web Developers and Javascript (which was recommended by Hack Reactor’s bootcamp prep).

This course has a slower pace that most of the other material I’ve seen. If you’re in a rush or already have some experience with the topic, these intro course are not going to be of much interest to you. That being said, there are loads of free classes to explore including advanced and specific training. To see their free classes, navigate to their catalog and use the filters on the side menu to check the free courses.

You’re definitely not going to get far with just these beginner courses, but they are great for seeing if you have an interest in or aptitude for a subject. They are perfect for beginners and ease you into the topics. Ultimately, these courses are designed to entice you into signing up for one of Udacity’s nanodegrees. I would definitely recommend trying the free course out first to see if they are a good match for you before investing in a nanodegree. Some of these programs have ties to Google or may really be a fit for your personal situation, but in most cases, I would argue for a MOOC without a certificate from a site like http://mooc.org. You can find any number of these free alternatives available through a simple web search.