Looking to learn a coding language? Thinking about changing your career or simply interested learning a new skill? Here are 5 great places that feature free coding classes, workshops, and meetups – letting you meet others with the same interest and helping introduce you to the world of code.

Washington D.C., like a few other major cities across the country, has seen its tech industry grow steadily over the past few years. And with it comes a demand for programmers and coders and for places to learn to code in DC.

Fortunately — unlike many markets where people are confined to online courses — Washington D.C. is the home to worthwhile and reputable bootcamps. Along with places like New York and California, D.C. is a great place to learn to code, whether you’re trying to begin an entire career as a programmer or if you’re simply trying to enhance your skill set and make yourself more marketable. There are in-person classes, online courses, half online/half in-person classes. Books. Videos. You name it.

Lots of it is great, and lots of it is not.

Fortunately, you’ve already started to do your research on what’s right for you. If you’re looking to dip your toe into the world of coding, and feel more inspired by an in-person learning environment and community, it might be useful to try a few free coding classes or meetups to start with.

Here are the best free coding classes in Washington D.C.

1. Hear Me Code

Hear Me Code, which was launched in 2013 by Shannon Turner, is a coding class and all-female network that prides itself in its accessibility for beginners. According to its website, 85% of the women who join their community are totally new to coding.

Classes are held monthly and focus on the practical uses of coding.

Read some of Hear Me Code’s top testimonials here, and view their class schedule here

2. Women Who Code

Women Who Code is a worldwide coding network that has a branch based in D.C. They hold events about learning to code but also hold a wide variety of events. Leadership, machine learning, networking, mentorship, resume-building, and speaker series happen across the world constantly. All of their events are hosted on Meetup — like Flatiron School’s — so definitely check them out.

3. DC Ruby Users Group

This group, unsurprisingly, exclusively focus on Ruby. They consistently host host their tentpole DCRug Hack Nights, where programmers can share their work with their peers, get feedback, exchange ideas, and network with other Ruby enthusiasts. On top of that, they have more focused meetups, including talks about data science, maximizing productivity, and more.

DC Ruby Users Group is for both beginners and experts, according to their Meetup pages.

4. DC PyLadies

Similar to DC Ruby Users Group, DC PyLadies focuses on meeting casually with fellow coders, but instead of talks about Ruby, talks about the programming language Python. According to their Meetup page, meetings are for career developers and aspiring career developers only.

A few of their past meetups include data science and how it pertains to Python and analyzing cyrptocurrencies with Python.

They also hold meetings virtually for those who can’t make it in person.

5. Flatiron School’s DC Coding Community

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include ourselves, of course. At our Washington D.C. campus in WeWork’s White House location — which is home to our flagship Software Engineering Immersive and Data Science Fellowship — Flatiron School hosts a number of different meetups and groups that serve to introduce aspiring or curious programmers to code.

We offer two types of free learn to code workshops on-campus, both on the weekend:

  • Coding Day for Beginners – A Free One Day Weekend Workshop:

    This workshop is for coding beginners! It doesn’t matter if you’ve never written a line of code in your life. Our amazing instructors will guide you through the 3 key building blocks of the modern web: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You’ll be amazed at the amount of progress that you make in just 1 day, just bring your laptop and energy, and we’ll bring the rest!Important Details:
    When: Sunday from 10am-4pm. Space is limited.
    Where: WeWork Metropolitan Square 1440 G Street NW (coffee and lunch provided).

    View Upcoming Dates & RSVP: May 19th 2019

  • Coding Fast Track – A Free Two Day Weekend Workshop:

    A more intensive dive into code. Join our lead instructor, Ann Duong, for a fun and fascinating dive into the basics of programming in Ruby. Over the course of two days, we’ll build up a Command Line Tic-Tac-Toe game, focusing on programming fundamentals: variables, operators, methods, conditionals, and loops. You will need to bring your own laptop. (Note: We have a limited number of laptops available to loan if you need one. Please email: molly.bryant@flatironschool.com).With successful completion of the Fast Track weekend, you automatically pass the technical interview for the Flatiron Software Engineering Immersive.Important Details:
    When: Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm each day. Space is limited, and attendance both days is required.
    Where: WeWork Metropolitan Square 1440 G Street NW (coffee and lunch provided).Please Note: To qualify for attendance, you must complete the first 12 lessons of the free online Bootcamp Prep course.

    View Upcoming Dates & RSVP: June 8th-9th 2019

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