The Best Sites To Learn Java Online for Free

Learn to code with this popular language

A screenshot of some Java code.

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One of the world's most popular programming languages, Java is run on over 15 billion devices and has an unparalleled developer community in terms of both size and influence. Although attempting to learn Java can seem a bit overwhelming at first, these free online courses and tutorials can help you master the language through multiple training methods. Each of the options below can be accessed in all major web browsers.

Codecademy

A screenshot of a Codecademy Java training lesson.

Codecademy's Java training is aimed at beginner to intermediate-level coders, starting with the basic fundamentals and working up to building a fairly basic program. Easy-to-follow lessons make it a worthwhile starting point for those interested in learning Java, although a lot of the practice materials are only accessible via the Pro version.

What We Like

  • When you first sign up you're given full access to Codecademy Pro for seven days, which includes real-world projects and structured learning paths. At the end of this trial period you have the option to pay for Pro or switch to a free membership tier.

What We Don't Like

  • Advanced Java courses are not offered.

Coursera

An introductory graphic for Coursera's Java Programming and Software Engineering course

Coursera features a large library of interactive courses, structured in a way that it feels like you're learning from a multimedia-rich online book. Each course is presented by well-known universities such as Duke and Princeton, and are all available free of charge for the first seven days. The signup process takes less than a minute, allowing you to use your email address or Facebook account to register.

Their Java offerings are plenty, ranging from beginner courses to those aimed at seasoned programmers looking to sharpen their skills. You will be charged a monthly fee if you don't cancel before the trial period expires, but if you're motivated enough you can learn quite a bit during that free week. 

What We Like

  • Many of the Java courses, in particular, are taught by esteemed schools.

What We Don't Like

  • Coursera's mobile app interface isn't as intuitive as the browser-based courses, leaving much to be desired with the on-the-go experience.

edX

A screenshot from edX's Java training

The brainchild of Harvard and MIT, edX offers Java courses from several reputable global institutions, many of which are self-paced and do not cost a dime. Built upon an open source platform, edX is somewhat unique in that new tools and features are often developed and deployed by individual coders and instructors in an effort to enhance the overall learning experience.

What We Like

  • Several Java courses are ably taught by Microsoft and UC3M.

What We Don't Like

  • While the majority of their free Java courses are geared towards beginners, some advanced offerings such as Java and Android Foundation cost well over $100. 

Oracle: The Java Tutorials

A screenshot from Oracle's Java tutorials

What better way to learn Java than directly from the source? Oracle offers dozens of free lessons, broken out into specific subject trails including custom networking, JavaBeans, security and more. 

What We Like

  • Clear, concise learning paths make it easy to go step-by-step en route to your individual goals.

What We Don't Like

  • Oracle's tutorials have not been updated since mid-2016.

Skillshare

An introductory graphic for Skillshare Java courses

Skillshare's video-based Java classes range from introductory topics to Android game development, all presented in a somewhat linear fashion that allows for gradual but noticeable progress. Only the starter clips are free for unauthenticated users, however, but you can sign up for a full month of Skillshare Premium at no charge. 

What We Like

  • Teachers are available to answer your questions within the site's Community section.

What We Don't Like

  • You'll be charged $99 for a full year's membership if you don't cancel in time, and many students have complained that no prior warning was sent beforehand. If you sign up for the free trial, be sure to keep an eye on the calendar. 

Tutorials Point

A screenshot from Tutorials Point Java courses

The Tutorials Point interface may not be as visually appealing as some of the others on our list, but its step-by-step walkthroughs take you from setting up your development environment and learning basic Java syntax all the way through advanced topics like serialization and multithreading. 

What We Like

  • In addition to its tutorials, the site also offers a library of Java programming examples and other helpful resources.

What We Don't Like

  • Ad-heavy display can be distracting at times.

Udemy

A screenshot from Udemy Java training lessons

One of the web's most popular online learning portals when it comes to programming and other technical topics, Udemy has over a thousand Java courses presented in all shapes and sizes. While a large number of these come with a price tag attached, some of the best in the bunch are actually available free of charge. 

What We Like

  • With almost a million enrollments since its inception, John Purcell's 'Java Tutorial for Complete Beginners' is an excellent primer that offers over a dozen hours of video and 70-plus lectures, all for free.

What We Don't Like

  • Many of the free courses are not updated to reflect the most recent Java technologies.