Looking to learn coding languages? Here are great places to meet others with the same interest and to introduce yourself 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 with that comes a demand for places to go and learn to code in the D.C. area.

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 how 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 classes, 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. Unless you’re here by accident. But anyway. If you’re looking to dip your toe into the world of coding, it might be useful to try a few free introduction courses or meetups to understand why you want to learn code and what your goal is.

Here are the best free places to learn to code 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. In support of our recently launched Washington D.C. campus in WeWork’s White House location — which is home to our flagship Software Engineering Immersive and our new Intro to Front End Web Development courses — Flatiron School holds myriad meetings and groups that serve to introduce aspiring or curious programmers to code.

Meetings include free workshops, beginner study sessions, and Women in Tech panels.

The tech industry is growing everywhere, and especially in the Washington D.C. area, and fortunately there’s plenty of supports for those who simply want to know more about code, but also those looking to make a career switch.

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