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Free Software Engineering Bootcamps To Craft Future Tech
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Free Software Engineering Bootcamps To Craft Future Tech

6 minute read | February 8, 2024
Sakshi Gupta

Written by:
Sakshi Gupta & reviewed by Akita Emmanuel

Sakshi Gupta

Reviewed by:
Akita Emmanuel

Ready to launch your career?

The demand for software engineers in 2024 will be higher than ever, with a growth rate of 25% from 2022 to 2032, a pace much faster than the average for all occupations.  

Landing a job in this field, however, demands from you more than just a few years of college. Practical experience, a strong portfolio, and a few software engineering certifications under your belt are very valuable. Free bootcamps are a great place to start, as they are cost-free and accessible to everyone. 

In this article, we’ll look at the best free software engineering bootcamps and highlight some key factors to consider when determining which ones are worth your time.

Best Free Software Engineering Bootcamps

Here are our top picks for the best free software engineering bootcamps.

ProviderRatingDuration
freeCodeCampN/AFlexible and self-paced.
App Academy Open4.7/5Lasts for 24 weeks, mirroring the structure of the full-time online program.
#100 Devs and Leon Noel (on YouTube)N/A30 weeks, with a significant commitment of time expected from the participants, including 20+ hours per week outside of class for practice, homework, and networking.
42, The Network4/5 Self-paced, so you can take as much time as you need to complete it.
Per ScholasN/AVaries based on course and location.
Ada Developers Academy3/5Lasts for 11 months, split into two parts: a six-month in-class learning phase followed by a five-month internship.
Resilient CodersN/ATakes over 20 weeks to complete.
School of Code4.9/516 weeks
Code First GirlsN/A16 weeks for the intensive degree course, 8 weeks for the beginner courses, and 4 weeks for the extension courses.
Mississippi Coding AcademiesN/A11 months

freeCodeCamp

freeCodeCamp is the perfect learning platform for students who want to become software developers. It successfully prepared more than 40,000 graduates to secure jobs in the tech industry, as it offers a unique learning experience where students learn coding by building projects.

The curriculum includes but is not limited to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Python. Previous graduates from freeCodeCamp successfully landed jobs at industry giants such as ChatDesk, Amazon, and Spotify.

RATING

N/A

FEATURES

  • Earn a professional certification
  • Free access, no hidden fees
  • Learning based on real-life projects
  • Access to thousands of free books, courses, or programming tutorials
  • Guidance on preparing for technical job interviews and job searches.

DURATION

The duration of the freeCodeCamp bootcamp is flexible and self-paced.

LOCATION AND MODE OF STUDY

freeCodeCamp is entirely remote, allowing students to learn from anywhere in the world.

App Academy Open

If you’re passionate about software engineering, then App Academy Open might be the opportunity you’re looking for. This bootcamp offers access to the same 24-week online full-time bootcamp curriculum used in App Academy’s best programs.

It takes participants from basic knowledge of web development to full-stack web development proficiency with over 500 hours of material.

RATING

4.7/5 on Course Report

FEATURES

  • Over 500 hours of the same content as the paid bootcamp
  • Covers JavaScript, Python, SQL, HTML, CSS, ReactJS, Express, Flask, and SQL Alchemy
  • Step-by-step instructions for setting up a coding environment
  • Organized curriculum with progress tracking
  • No prerequisites needed

DURATION

App Academy Open Bootcamp lasts for 24 weeks, mirroring the structure of the full-time online program.

LOCATION AND MODE OF STUDY

The App Academy Open Bootcamp is remote, and it is designed as a full-time course.

#100 Devs and Leon Noel (on YouTube)

When it comes to YouTube courses, both Leon Noel’s 3-hour long course and his bootcamp stand out as one of the most thorough software engineering bootcamps.

It’s a 30-week, fully remote online coding bootcamp that helps you become job-ready without any extra cost (for example, the course helped 72 people land software engineering jobs with an average increase in salary of $53,000).

RATING

N/A

FEATURES

  • Scheduled live sessions every week
  • Covers HTML, CSS, Javascript, Node, React, Express, MongoDB, and computer science theory
  • Opportunities to work on real projects, with clients, and even contribute to open source
  • Access to a Discord community with over 31,000 members
  • Coding challenges

DURATION

The duration of the bootcamp is 30 weeks, with a significant commitment of time expected from the participants, including 20+ hours per week outside of class for practice, homework, and networking.

LOCATION AND MODE OF STUDY

The course is remote, part-time, with office hours scheduled outside standard working hours.

42, The Network

42 is an innovative, tuition-free computer programming school with a unique approach to software development education.

It has a peer-learning methodology, with no teachers and no traditional lectures. Instead, students learn from hands-on projects and collaboration.

RATING

4/5 on Course Report

FEATURES

  • No traditional teachers or lectures; learning through collaboration
  • Focus on practical projects
  • Accessible with no tuition fee
  • 52 campuses in 31 countries

DURATION

42 is self-paced, so you can take as much time as you need to complete it.

LOCATION AND MODE OF STUDY

The bootcamp is full-time and takes place in various global locations, such as France, Spain, Germany, and the US.

Per Scholas

As one of the most sought-after bootcamps, Per Scholas is a nationally recognized non-profit organization that provides tuition-free training for a career in tech.

The curriculum covers technical skills, professional development, and a certification on completion.

RATING

N/A

FEATURES

  • No cost thanks to donors and partnerships
  • Certifications are included and paid for by the program
  • Assistance with financial planning, personal goals, and wellness
  • Access to a network of over 20,000alumsi and 850 employer partners
  • 20% of the curriculum is dedicated to developing professional skills

DURATION

The duration of this bootcamp varies based on course and location.

LOCATION AND MODE OF STUDY

Per Scholas takes place in various locations across the US, full-time (Monday to Friday, usually 9 am-5 pm), but it can also be remote.

Ada Developers Academy

With the Ada Developers Academy, students join a cohort of passionate software developers focused on women and gender-expansive adults.

This non-profit, cost-free coding school targets underrepresented groups in tech, such as Black, Latine, Indigenous Americans, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+, and low-income individuals.

RATING

3/5 on Course Report

FEATURES

  • Intensive in-class instruction in coding and software development
  • Emphasizes community building and collaborative learning
  • Incorporates social justice values into the learning process
  • Graduates see an average income increase of 160% post-graduation
  • Access to a supportive network for mentorship and career coaching

DURATION

The bootcamp lasts for 11 months, split into two parts: a six-month in-class learning phase followed by a five-month internship.

LOCATION AND MODE OF STUDY

The bootcamp takes place in the United States, full-time and part-time, including the internship.

Resilient Coders

Resilient Coders is the perfect choice for people of color, as it seeks equitable access to the tech economy through a career in software engineering.

This bootcamp is committed to social justice and economic empowerment and is focused on long-term training, connecting alums with over 80 companies.

RATING

N/A

FEATURES

  • A bi-weekly stipend of $500 given to students during the bootcamp
  • Covers essential software development skills and technologies
  • Focused on making the Boston tech community more inclusive
  • Focus on full-stack javascript

DURATION

Resilient Coders takes over 20 weeks to complete.

LOCATION AND MODE OF STUDY

The bootcamp is full-time and takes place in specific locations, including Boston.

School of Code

School of Code delivers state-of-the-art coding education through the UK and is catered towards complete beginners, focusing on turning them into skilled programmers ready for tech careers.

The program has proven successful, with a 75-95% employment rate for all its graduates.

RATING

4.9/5 on Course Report

FEATURES

  • No previous experience is required
  • Covers both technical and soft skills
  • Includes practical learning with direct industry relevance
  • Each participant is paired with a professional software expert for guidance
  • Weekly events talks from professionals
  • Dedicated recruitment advisors and partnerships for career opportunities

DURATION

The bootcamp lasts for 16 weeks.

LOCATION AND MODE OF STUDY

This is a remote, full-time program.

Code First Girls

A bootcamp specially designed for women and non-binary individuals, Code First Girls closes the gender gap in technology by offering free education and employment opportunities. The program has helped over 150,000 women learn to code and has partnered with over 130 companies to help them land better jobs.

It offers a wide range of courses, from beginner to advanced.

RATING

N/A

FEATURES

  • Both beginner and advanced-level courses, including MOOCs and specialized courses
  • Covers software, full-stack, and data specializations
  • Collaboration with over 90 universities
  • Offers support in job placement and career advancement

DURATION

The duration of the bootcamp is 16 weeks for the intensive degree course, 8 weeks for the beginner courses, and 4 weeks for the extension courses.

LOCATION AND MODE OF STUDY

You can participate in the bootcamp remotely, part-time, or full-time.

Mississippi Coding Academies

The Mississippi Coding Academies is an ideal path for those seeking a career in technology, offering an 11-month junior developer training program at no cost.

It’s recognized by several companies who’ve hired their graduates, and it has proven its effectiveness in teaching students the necessary practical skills to succeed.

RATING

N/A

FEATURES

  • Intensive training offered to become a junior developer
  • New campuses opened to reach more students
  • Specific programs like the Veterans Code Program are supported
  • Opportunities for corporate or institutional partnerships

DURATION

The duration of the Mississippi Coding Academies is 11 months.

LOCATION AND MODE OF STUDY

The bootcamp takes place in Mississippi with multiple campuses, and it is a full-time course.

What Makes a Good Free Software Engineering Bootcamp?

While the excitement of a free course is undeniable (especially towards those targeting underrepresented groups in technology), the value of a software engineering bootcamp extends beyond its cost-free access.

Considering that many of these programming bootcamps last over six months, you must vet them before committing. Our panel of software engineering experts at Springboards came up with several critical criteria to consider before deciding if a bootcamp is worth your time and effort.

Course Content

As a first step, evaluate and examine the course content. It should include all facets of software engineering, including both technical skills like coding and software design and soft skills such as teamwork and problem-solving.

It’s paramount that the curriculum is up-to-date with the current industry trends and technologies.

Instructor’s Expertise

Prospective students should research the instructors’ backgrounds, including their academic achievements and practical experience in software engineering.

If these instructors don’t have public appearances, such as talks on YouTube or live on Instagram, you can use LinkedIn to see if they’ve received positive feedback in the past. Make sure you’re also comfortable with the instructor’s teaching style — different styles resonate with different learners.

Ideally, instructors should have a balanced blend of academic knowledge and hands-on industry experience.

Skills Developed

Look closely at the skills the bootcamp promises to teach you and determine if these align with your current proficiency and goals.

The aim is to find a bootcamp that fills your skill gaps and hones your existing talents. The list of skills should include a mix of technical capabilities (programming languages, system architecture) and soft skills.

Practical Projects

Make sure the bootcamp has a practical aspect to it. It’s important that these practical projects go beyond merely replicating what an instructor does. They should challenge you to apply your learnings in practical – often complex – scenarios.

Good Reviews and Ratings

Always read the reviews, both good and bad.

If a bootcamp lacks reviews, connect with alumni through networking platforms or groups to hear first-hand about their experiences and outcomes.

Job Support

Finally, look at the level of job support offered by the bootcamp. 

The ideal scenario is a program that provides both education and assistance in securing employment post-completion. This can range from software engineering resume workshops to job guarantees. 

Research alumni’s career paths to understand the bootcamp’s effectiveness and whether it has a strong track record of helping bootcamp grads launch successful careers in software engineering.

Get To Know Other Software Engineering Students

Bryce Dunn

Bryce Dunn

Associate Software Engineer at Egen

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Moshood Adeyemo

Moshood Adeyemo

Software Engineer at LinkedIn

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Pritisha Kumar

Pritisha Kumar

Software Engineer at Dialpad

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Are Free Software Engineering Bootcamps Worth It?

Yes, they are. In software engineering, having the right blend of skills can make all the difference, and bootcamps offer a focused, intensive learning experience that teaches you the latest skills desired by employers.

Free software engineering bootcamps are particularly useful and valuable if you want to start out or want to shift your career path. Think about it: you’re getting high-quality education without the hefty price tag, which is a huge advantage.

Making the Most out of a Free Software Engineering Bootcamp

Here are a few tips on making the most of your free software engineering bootcamp.

How Does a Free Software Engineering Bootcamp Work?

A free software engineering bootcamp operates without tuition fees, making all its curriculum accessible as soon as you enroll. 

The format can vary – some require attendance on a physical campus, while others offer the flexibility of remote learning. 

Instructors then deliver content through various methods, including live lectures, interactive Zoom calls, and downloadable resources for after-class study. Many of these bootcamps enhance the student’s learning experience by offering mentorship programs, where industry professionals provide guidance and insights.

What Should You Expect To Learn in a Free Software Engineering Bootcamp?

The curriculum usually covers various topics, from coding basics to more complex software development principles. A significant emphasis is generally placed on hands-on, real-life software engineering projects that reinforce your learning and help build a solid portfolio and resume. 

Are There Any Prerequisites for a Free Software Engineering Bootcamp?

Generally, free software engineering bootcamps are inclusive and designed for all skill levels, meaning they often don’t require prior experience or knowledge in programming. This makes them an excellent option for beginners who want to learn from scratch. 

There are a few bootcamp programs that might have prerequisites, such as basic familiarity with specific programming languages, so it’s worth checking the specific requirements of the bootcamp you’re interested in.

How Can You Implement the Learnings?

Free software engineering bootcamps are great for building that knowledge. They are intensive and immersive, allowing you to absorb a huge amount of information and skills relatively quickly.

They emphasize hands-on learning and are often curated by industry professionals who help you build indispensable knowledge in software engineering. But beyond that, it’s up to you to apply these lessons in real-world scenarios.

Developing your own projects or contributing to open-source initiatives are great ways to practice and showcase your skills.

One of the best things you could do as a fresh graduate is build personal projects. Experiment, make mistakes, and refine your coding abilities. It could be as simple as creating a personal website or as complex as developing a mobile app that solves a problem you care about.

There are a couple of platforms you can explore where you can add your projects and also check out what others are doing:

  1. GitHub is a repository hosting service that emphasizes collaboration and where you can either contribute to open-source projects or start your own.
  2. Open Source Friday encourages your participation in open-source projects. You can contribute to projects recommended for you based on your interest, or even submit your projects to get help from others.
  3. Stack Overflow is very well known for its Q&A sections on programming, but it also has a jobs section where companies post their dev projects and developers can contribute to those or find project-based work.

Once you pick a platform you want to use, make sure you don’t build in silence. You should network and collaborate with other students or even those who are a few levels above you. These interactions put your skills to the test in a collaborative environment.

FAQs About Free Software Engineering Bootcamps

We answer your most frequently asked questions.

Can I Self Learn Software Engineering?

Yes, self-learning software engineering is entirely feasible.

Many resources are available online, including free courses, bootcamps, and educational content on platforms like YouTube. You need to actively apply what you learn by working on your own projects

Which Coding Language Should I Learn First?

When starting out in software engineering, it’s generally recommended to begin with foundational languages like HTML and CSS, followed by JavaScript. These three form the core of web development and are essential for building a solid base.

After mastering these, you can explore other languages like Python or Ruby. Python is also sometimes a popular choice as a first language for many beginners

What Are the Best Free Software Engineering Bootcamps With a Certificate?

There are a variety of reputable, free software engineering bootcamps. For example, Codecademy offers a very powerful curriculum that covers various aspects of software engineering, and FreeCodeCamp is known for its extensive community support and learning modules.

Can You Get a Job With a Free Software Engineering Bootcamp?

While a free software engineering bootcamp is valuable, it’s probably not enough by itself to land an entry-level job in the tech industry.

Is AI Going To Replace Software Engineers?

This is unlikely, especially so soon. AI is and will remain a tool that assists and improves the work of a software engineer. For example, AI can automate routine tasks, optimize code, and help in debugging while engineers focus on more complex and creative aspects of the field.

Since you’re here…
Interested in a career in software engineering? Join our mentor-led Software Engineering Bootcamp or our foundational Software Engineering Course if you’re just starting out. We help people make the switch every day (just peep our reviews). You can do it, too!

About Sakshi Gupta

Sakshi is a Managing Editor at Springboard. She is a technology enthusiast who loves to read and write about emerging tech. She is a content marketer with experience in the Indian and US markets.