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A famous investor once said that "software is eating the world."
Every year that goes past emphasises that quote.
Luckily learning how to program or adding to your existing skills has never been so easy.
But, having too much choice can be a pain.
So, we’ve picked out our favourite YouTube channels for learning and refining your programming skills.
Whether you are a newcomer just starting to learn to code, or a seasoned software developer looking to refine your skills, there's something here for everyone.
It’s hard to believe FreeCodeCamp (FCC) only started in 2014.
The premise is simple. Learn to code for free always.
In fact, if you are committed enough to finishing their programme, they will even help you build a portfolio and find a job.
FCC really stood out from the crowd of other companies that made a land grab, purporting to be a “free coding school” because Quincy Larson the founder was genuinely passionate about free learning.
FCC is hands down the most amazing charity contributing to developing coders in the world and should come at the top of anyone’s list if they are learning to code.
Now supported by thousands of volunteers, they have videos on almost all languages from Python to Unity and React.
The community itself is fantastic and can be found on Slack.
Our personal favourite is the 24/7 Code Radio they pump out, which has some great tunes for getting into the zone.
Meet Mosh Abadani, who commiserates the years that he spent learning computer science at University.
Instead, he has gone on to create videos which teach people to code in a shorter format.
But YouTube is littered with thousands of teachers who will promise that you can learn Python in minutes or get an AI job at Google last Wednesday.
What we love about Mosh’s videos is that they are LONG.
Take his Python introduction course, which is six hours long: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uQrJ0TkZlc
Absolutely amazing, and all for free.
He even comes endorsed by FreeCodeCamp which says a lot for us about the quality of teaching.
On top of that, Mosh’s smile and easy-going teaching style is infectious and someone you want to keep coming back to and learning from.
Chris Hawkes is highly recommended by other programmers that we know – A programmer’s programmer.
What we like about his channel, is that he is a developer with his own thoughts and opinions on a wide variety of subjects.
For example, Chris discuses whether you should use .net core or .net 5.
He is a strong supporter of Python and makes a lot of videos not just teaching Python, but talking about the state of the industry and which websites are using Python.
Plus, he discusses new developments and libraries that we can use.
Besides that, he just has loads of interesting videos, some for beginners like learning MongoDB and other videos cover different programming languages.
Some of the videos are much more technical in nature, which are preferred by established programmers.
Overall, we like Chris’ videos because he is logical and to the point.
Simply put, it's a good channel for noobs and professionals alike.
Traversy Media’s YouTube Channel is specialised for those who want to learn front-end programming or Web development.
His videos are excellent, and he has spent a tonne of time developing lots of great programs that you can follow over the past 4 years.
There are also some opinion pieces on there, where you can see an expert in his craft debating the finer points of different front-end technologies.
We like the fact that Traversy sticks to what he knows and really takes a deep dive into a few select technologies.
He’s got some great crash courses which last for about 2 hours, and then deep dive channels for HTML, CSS, Full Stack React and Django, Mern, Laravel, WordPress Themes and Python Flask.
The videos are in-depth, painstakingly designed and well laid out for any student.
A great place to start for any budding front-end developer or an established programmer who wants to start learning a new tech stack.
Udemy is one of the biggest names in online learning.
Their main website has over 40,000 instructors and 40M+ students.
It’s no surprise that Udemy has decided to create a series of channels which are dedicated to teaching for free, and of course pushing traffic to Udemy.
Specifically targeted at those with little knowledge of programming, there are some great crash courses on a wide range of languages from the ever-popular Python to building an Android application or an Unreal Engine in C++.
This is a great channel to get started as Udemy are experts in online education and content curation.
A popular online learning platform from Indiam, Edureka is a programming channel for beginners and experienced programmers alike.
All the courses have been designed by a team with an eye for detail and beautiful production.
The videos are easy to understand, clear and highly instructional.
The team is a bit like Udemy and are constantly pumping out content which means you can keep up to date with the latest technology and trends.
Edureka is a good channel to subscribe to if only to follow and learn about technologies that are reaching the commercial tipping point. At which point, it becomes worthwhile for a programmer to invest time in learning a new tech stack.
Unlike the other channels, we even have specific DevOps and Cloud Certification courses.
You can also learn about Docker containers or Amazon Web Services all in the same place.
A channel for programmers, software engineers and development professionals with a sprinkling of beginner videos for good measure.
Hitesh is a former FANG (Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google) Software Engineer who has created a great following on the side, following his coding exploits.
This isn’t a channel for those who are looking for an all in one boot camp style video on say Python. These are easy enough to find on other channels.
Instead, Hitesh looks at hot issues like Machine Learning and gives his take on the industry and new programming languages that he finds interesting.
He covers a wide range of topics from Flutter to Adobe XD, showing a strong leaning towards front end technology.
A great channel to subscribe to keep up to date with what is going on in the industry.
We’ve covered channels which either concentrate on full stack or front-end technologies.
DevTips for Designers really concentrates on mobile application design, user interface and front-end technologies.
The DevTips team are fun, quirky and make easy to watch videos, which as you can imagine coming from professional designers, are slick and well put together.
Also, the guys at DevTips provide varying content on other topics too. For example, they go down tangents like building an online business or they might look at the current best web development content.
Importantly for any serious content or learning channel on YouTube, their videos are long, minimum 12 minutes and up, which we personally like.
Because it’s not just clickbait that you are going to waste your time watching, this is good solid content.
Great for new programmers and experienced alike
This channel is straight up hilarious.
Started by a former software engineer at Google, The TechLead is a straight-talking guy who will slay you with his dead pan humour.
But behind each video are real nuggets of wisdom coming from a guy who states he earns 7 figures working for himself.
The TechLead is also a former digital nomad and shares his experience of travelling and coding round the world.
We love this channel because it has a depth and richness which is interwoven with this guy’s personality, making each video unique.
But also there is a seriousness and directness which we enjoy – often videos can make grand claims about learning or being able to code in a short space of time.
For example, in one of The Tech Lead’s videos, he says the only skill any good programmer needs is the ability to sit at the computer for long stretches of time and think.
So true for coding, writing or anything that requires focus and commitment to get something done.
So that’s our round up of the best channels on YouTube to learn to program, but it’s safe to say we barely scratched the surface.
There are hundreds if not thousands of great free teachers out there, so if you’re thinking about learning programming get started today for free!