Web development is one of the hottest 🔥 careers in tech right now. Promising a great salary, innovative projects, and a future-proof career — it’s no wonder an increasing number of people are considering the dev life.
That said, there’s (understandably) a lot of anxiety around switching careers right now.
As inflation skyrockets, political systems change, and we continue to grapple with the aftermath of the pandemic — quitting a stable job to facilitate a career change is seen as risky business.
Whether or not you actually need to quit your job to learn web development has been a subject of hot debate in recent years. We’re here to set the record straight: You don’t.
More and more tech-hopefuls are realizing that learning web development part time won’t make you any less credible on the job market. Even some of the industry’s most highly-regarded web developers made the switch while continuing to work full time jobs.
Between short courses and bootcamps, coding games and YouTube tutorials: It’s truly never been easier to learn in-demand web development skills part time.
How, you ask? Read on to find out!
Can you learn web development while working full time?
First off, let’s clarify what we actually mean by ‘learning web development.’ Web development is a discipline that requires proficiency in multiple skills; including testing, debugging, and responsive web design. Most importantly, though, web developers need to know how to code.
Web developers use web programming languages to build websites and applications — so naturally, that’s the best place to start.
Coding languages you’ll need to learn include:
- 🛠 HTML
- 🛠 CSS
…as well as React, APIs, and web architecture. You’ll also want to learn the practical applications of these coding languages, so you can start to build up a professional portfolio filled with web-based projects.
Right — back to the question at hand. Yes, you can absolutely learn web development part time. What’s more, most people do.
In the face of mounting economic uncertainty, quitting a stable job to facilitate a career change just isn’t a viable option for everyone. Learning to code part time allows for a more graduate, planned segue into web development. This way, you can get to know the field without worrying that you don’t have a financial backup plan if things change.
There’s even more good news: To meet the increasing demand of people wanting to learn to code without quitting their jobs, a growing number of coding bootcamps are offering options for part time, flexibly-paced learning. Today, there’s an abundance of part time coding courses and programs to help you make the switch (we’ll look at these a little further on).
You might be wondering, do I really need to enroll in a school or bootcamp? Or can I learn web development on my own? 🤔
You certainly don’t need to enroll in a bootcamp program to learn web development. Not to be all ‘how long is a piece of string,’ but there is truly no right or wrong way to learn web development skills. Some people prefer to learn web development on their own using short courses or YouTube tutorials, while others prefer the structured curriculum and accountability that bootcamps provide.
The TL;DR? It all depends on your goals, budget, and learning style.
How to learn to code part time
Before we dive into some of the ways you can start learning to code around your current schedule, it’s important to note that not all coding languages are made equally. Some coding languages are harder to get to grips with than others, and might take longer to really nail. Having said that, we’ve rounded up some tips and tricks to get the most out of learning to code part time — no matter the language.
Prioritize key skills 📚
Another great way to prioritize the skills and languages you learn is by browsing junior web development job descriptions. You’ll get a sense of what employers might expect you to know, and use that as a basis for which skills you should learn first (and by when). Remember: You don't need to know everything about web development to secure your first role. Web developers are constantly learning and developing — so focus on mastering the fundamentals, and the rest will come!
Create a schedule 🗓
Learning to code part time shouldn’t feel like a chore. At the same time, it’s not easy to muster up the motivation to learn a new skill after a day’s hard work. To keep yourself on track, it’s worth creating a realistic schedule you can stick to each week.
The key word here is ‘realistic.’ It’s better to create a lighter, more manageable schedule that you can actually stick to, than pushing yourself so hard that you become overwhelmed and fall off the bandwagon altogether. Even if it’s as little as 20 minutes a day, or one ‘study day’ a week, a schedule is a great way to avoid unintentionally de-prioritizing your studies.
Set goals and milestones 📍
Behind every decision to learn to code is a ‘big picture’ driver. Maybe you’re looking to forge a new career as a web developer. Maybe you’re already in an IT role, but keen to upskill. Whatever your motivation for learning to code, make sure it’s translated into actionable goals and milestones you can stick to!
Because learning to code part time takes longer than learning to code full time, it can be easy to lose sight of your north star. In addition to having clear goals, make sure to attach timelines and dates to those goals. ‘I want to be able to do x, by x month.’ Having set milestones in your calendar will help you stick to your schedule, and give you opportunities to stop and reflect on your journey so far.
Lean on your community 🤝
When it comes to learning to code, never underestimate the power of developer communities. Not only will you feel less isolated, you’ll also be connected to other like minded part time learners at a similar stage in their coding journeys to you. You can even find ‘coding buddies’ to keep you accountable, and learn to code in tandem.
Most courses and bootcamps have their own coding communities who support and uplift each other. If you’re learning to code independently, you can find fellow coders on YouTube, Quora, and Reddit. At Scrimba, we have a growing Discord community to help beginners connect with more experienced developers. Before you know it, coding will feel more of a social activity than a solitary one (and who doesn’t love socializing after work?).
Choose the right course ✏️
Why ‘the right’ course? Because everyone learns differently. Going for a course that doesn’t suit your learning style will see you struggle to absorb the material, and eventually lose motivation.
When learning to code part time, it’s vital you choose a course that best suits your learning needs — whether that’s coding games, videos, or written tutorials. It’s also worth reflecting on whether the courses you’re considering tie into your goals. Will this get you where you need to be on your timeline? Will you need to supplement this course with other material?
Luckily, there are plenty of free short courses that will help you figure out how you learn best, sinking thousands of dollars (or hours) into something that isn’t the right fit. Which brings us to the next section…
The 5 best free courses to learn to code part time
If you’re looking for a shorter, more manageable, and more affordable introduction to web development, these five self-paced coding courses will get you up to speed with the basics — and serve as a great jumping off point for learning more advanced concepts.
Scrimba (HTML/ CSS)
We offer a wide selection of free, beginner-friendly coding courses — with our HTML and CSS course among the most popular. Created by industry-leading instructor Per Harald Borgen, you’ll learn two of web development’s core coding languages in tandem over 31 interactive screencasts. You’ll be kept on your toes with interactive challenges, and you’ll really feel like you’re coding along with Per in real time.
💰 Price: Free
With over 9,000 coding tutorials, FreeCodeCamp is a great platform for beginner coders — as is their Youtube channel. In this brand new five-hour video course, you’ll learn HTML and CSS with our very own Scrimba CEO. What’s more, you’ll find plenty of inspiring and motivating conversations in the comment section.
💰 Price: Free
Codecademy’s Learn HTML course will see you building web pages with HTML in just 9 hours. Built-in quizzes after each lesson to keep your knowledge fresh makes it a great option for part time learners. The course is free, but if you upgrade to the pro subscription, you can get a certificate of completion to stick on your resumé or LinkedIn profile.
💰 Price: Free
Boasting interactive demos, self-assessments, and podcast episodes, this Learn CSS course breaks down the fundamentals of CSS into digestible tutorials. You'll learn CSS fundamentals like the box model, cascade and specificity, as well as functions like color types, gradients, logical properties, and inheritance.
💰 Price: Free
102 lessons, 131 playgrounds, 159 illustrations — all this and more in Educative’s Complete Advanced Guide to CSS course. Aimed at complete beginners, this course covers all the essential concepts and lets you practice code in your browser with text-based exercises. If video isn’t quite your jam, this course might be right for you.
💰 Price: Free
The 5 best part time coding bootcamps
Coding bootcamps are designed to transform complete beginners into job-ready web developers. Unlike individual short courses, coding bootcamps offer longer, more in-depth programs with comprehensive curriculums. This often means you’re looking at a longer timeline of anything from a month to over a year.
Many popular coding bootcamps can come at a pretty penny — but there are a few affordable options that still provide the mentorship and career support you need to land your first job. So let’s look at which part time bootcamps are worth the price tag.
We’ve truly ‘cracked the code’ of how to teach motivated devs-to-be all the skills, tools, and processes they need to get hired with their Front-End Career Path. At a fraction of the cost of competitors, we offer tailored support through talented instructors, and peer-to-peer learning with their growing Discord community. If you want a comprehensive curriculum built to make you a confident, job-ready developer, but can’t justify the cost of a more expensive bootcamp, this is the course for you.
💰 Price: $30/month
CareerFoundry’s Full-Stack Web Development Program is one of the most comprehensive options on the market. You’ll learn both basic and advanced web development skills, and build a job-ready portfolio as you progress through the course. They also boast a full career services team to help you land your first web development role.
💰 Price: £6,500
Wilde Coding School
Wilde Coding School’s Web Development Course offers part time, remote learning for complete beginners — created to help you become a web developer in under five months. You’ll benefit from a dedicated career support team and the company’s growing network of employers to help you land a job upon completion.
💰 Price: €6,500
The Jump’s 24-week part time web developer bootcamp was created for individuals looking to make ‘the jump’ into web development without quitting their job. The course is taught through live Zoom calls led by industry expert instructors, rather than self-paced on-demand tutorials — making it a great option for learners who prefer live interaction.
💰 Price: £6,750
Udemy’s Web Developer Bootcamp is one of the cheapest and most accessible web development courses on the scene. You’ll learn everything you need to know about web development over 63.5 hours of on-demand video, and graduate with a certificate of completion. If you like video-based autonomous learning, this is the course to consider.
💰 Price: £59.99
Honorable mention: Apprenticeships ✨
Fancy getting paid to learn to code part time? You might want to consider a coding apprenticeship.
While apprenticeships have been around since ancient times, coding apprenticeships (also known as software apprenticeships) are relatively new to the tech industry. Rather than waiting to graduate from a bootcamp course or program and finding a job as a web developer, becoming a coding apprentice means joining a company at the very beginning of your coding journey — and learning as you go.
Companies hire coding apprentices as an investment. Apprentices get to:
- 🙇 Learn how web development is done at that specific company
- 💰 Seamlessly transition into a web development role without having to be onboarded.
- 💻 Apply their new-found skills to practical, real-world projects
- 🧠 Learn to code in the best possible way: Surrounded by industry experts
In turn, company’s get to develop specialist skills directly within their teams — and plug any specific skills gap they might be missing.
Just ask Theo, who recently made the switch into web development as a coding apprentice with Makers Academy. In this podcast episode, Theo talks all a bout his first-hand experience of coding apprenticeships (and why they’re so great):
“[Apprenticeships] give you a very quick look at how it is to work as a team, how it is to work as a software developer. But at the same time, it gives you an idea of what stuff is out there.”
If you’re curious about how apprenticeships stack up, the episode is well worth a listen!
The verdict 🤔
Hopefully, this blog post has put your mind at ease about committing to learning to code part time. Between coding bootcamps, apprenticeships, and free short courses, there’s no reason you can’t become a fully qualified job-ready web developer without quitting your job.
Get started with a free Scrimba course today, and let’s get your web development journey underway!