5 Free Certifications to Land Your First Developer Job

So you want to become a software developer? Start coding your way through these free certifications today.

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Skills are much more valuable than certificates any day. So why is getting certified still helpful?

Well, if you have a degree in computer science or a closely related field, you probably don't need a certification when you start looking for software developer roles. But today, many we know are looking to switch to software roles—from non-tech or tech-adjacent roles. And that’s where certifications can help.

Working through a specific track—a certification or course—helps you identify your interest and makes learning the essential skills for the role you’re targeting much easier. Also, there are several high-quality certifications that have a carefully designed curriculum covering tens of hours of coding exercises and projects. So if you are looking to become a developer, the following certificates will help you learn the most relevant and essential skills you need to make the cut!


1. Responsive Web Design – freeCodeCamp


If you’re new to software development, the Responsive Web Design Certification by freeCodeCamp is a great place to start. Working through this certification will help you learn HTML, CSS, CSS grid, and Flexbox.

From the basic HTML tags to CSS animations and transforms, the entire certification is structured as a series of mini-projects. So you’ll learn the concepts by actively applying them to build projects.

Besides the series of mini-projects, there are five projects which you must complete to receive the certification. Once you’re comfortable with HTML and CSS, you can proceed to learn JavaScript.

Link: Responsive Web Design Certification


2. JavaScript Data Structures and Algorithms – freeCodeCamp


If you want to get into front-end development, it’s essential to learn JavaScript and become proficient in front-end libraries. Now that you’ve learned HTML and CSS, it’s good to learn programming with JavaScript.

freeCodeCamp’s JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures Certification will help you learn programming fundamentals with JavaScript, regular expressions, data structures and algorithms with JavaScript.

You’ll also get to learn about the Object-oriented programming (OOP) and functional programming paradigms. Like the responsive web design certification, this also requires you to complete several coding challenges with JavaScript and five projects to earn the certificate.

Link: JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures Certification


3. Front End Development Libraries – freeCodeCamp


After you become comfortable with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you should learn to work with popular JavaScript front-end libraries like React and Redux. And freeCodeCamp’s Front End Development Libraries Certification will help you learn everything you need.

With a detailed curriculum, this certification will help you learn the following:

  • Bootstrap
  • jQuery
  • SASS
  • React
  • Redux

With all the HTML and CSS basics, JavaScript, and JavaScript libraries that you’ve learned, you should be able to build out interesting projects for your developer portfolio.

Link: Front End Development Libraries Certification


4. CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science – Harvard


CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science taught by Prof. David J. Malan and team at Harvard is a super popular first course in computer science. If you’re new to programming, this course will help you learn computer science and programming fundamentals, computational thinking, data structures and more.

Over the course of 11 weeks, this course will help you gain a good grasp of CS and programming fundamentals. You’ll learn low-level programming languages like C and then switch to Python. You’ll also learn the basics of SQL to query databases. Further, you’ll also get to learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

There are problem sets to work through and a final project to apply what you’ve learned. The breadth of topics explored in this course should also give you an idea of what you would like to pursue next: such as specializing in web programming, data analytics, and more.

Link: CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science


5. CS50’s Web Programming with Python and JavaScript


CS50's Web Programming with Python and JavaScript focuses on the development of web apps with Python, JavaScript, and SQL while using frameworks like React and Django. You’ll also learn how to design API and UIs, work with cloud services, and more.

As with all CS50 courses, you get to work on multiple projects during the course. The CS50 web programming track has nine weeks of curriculum covering the following:

  • Git
  • Python
  • SQL, Models, and Migration
  • JavaScript
  • User interfaces
  • Testing, CI/CD
  • Scalability and security

Link: CS50's Web Programming with Python and JavaScript


Wrapping Up


I hope you found these free certifications helpful. The best part about these certifications is that they emphasize actively applying what you learn—through coding challenges, problem sets, and projects—instead of passively consuming the content.

With skills learned from these courses, you should be able to build an impressive project portfolio and also prepare well for technical interviews. Happy learning and coding!



Bala Priya C is a developer and technical writer from India. She likes working at the intersection of math, programming, data science, and content creation. Her areas of interest and expertise include DevOps, data science, and natural language processing. She enjoys reading, writing, coding, and coffee! Currently, she's working on learning and sharing her knowledge with the developer community by authoring tutorials, how-to guides, opinion pieces, and more. Bala also creates engaging resource overviews and coding tutorials.