Best Software Engineering Courses

Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Team College Learners

Learning to code is one thing, but learning to code is another. In this article, I’ll be giving you some pointers on what are the best software engineering courses to take, and where to find them. If you want to learn software engineering online, there are a ton of great resources available. In this article we will review the best software engineering courses available to help you learn how to code and become an awesome programmer!

Software Engineering is a broad field, in fact, developers have always thought of the course as one of the broadest field in the industry. The term Software Engineering means that the course and everything related to it simply implies making use of engineering concepts for the development of quality software and also putting all these concepts into structured use. In this course, you will create 7 real-world apps from scratch. You will even publish your own app on Google Play!

Reading about the most important skills for a software engineer is not enough. You must take action and get hands-on experience. How do you gain this experience? The easiest way is to enroll in an online course. The courses we have selected will teach you the core software engineering skills you need to advance your career. Some courses are entirely free, and some require fees for more comprehensive training. We consider these to be the next best thing to a four-year degree in software engineering, and you can complete any of them in only a few months.

Software Engineering Course Online Free

1. Software Development Fundamentals

Offered by University of Pennsylvania via edX

If you are ready to dive straight into learning all about software development, this free online course hosted on the edX platform is an excellent place to start. It’s a four-week course that is designed to take between six to eight hours each week, and it’s offered through one of the top colleges in the country: The University of Pennsylvania.

Students who enroll will take a quick look at best practices in software development and then get straight to work learning Java, one of the top programming languages in the world. You won’t spend a lot of time on theory in this course. It’s intended to provide you with a marketable skill you can use immediately. Upon completion, you will be able to design, develop, and test large applications in Java. 

Students should have a basic knowledge of programming, including functions, variables, and control flow, so you will want to brush up on this terminology before you begin the first class. The start date is flexible, so you can begin learning as soon as you sign up. This free online software development course is part of a professional certificate in Computer Science Essentials for Software Development.

Cost: Free

Certificate: Yes, with a fee

Time to Complete: Four weeks

Curriculum: Intermediate

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

•Self-paced

•Taken by over 50,000 students

•Optional certification with a fee

Cons:

•Transcript is only available in English

 2. Web Development

If Web Development interests you, the best place to start may be at The Odin Project. This free and open-source platform was founded in 2013 and is maintained by a group of volunteers. The platform provides excellent instruction in programming and development and over a quarter of a million students have taken advantage of this no-cost website for learning web development. 

There are three featured educational paths to explore at Oden: Full Stack Ruby on Rails, Full Stack JavaScript, and Front End Only. Each path covers dozens of lessons, including several that teach students the basics of getting hired.

While certification is not offered on the platform, the project is industry recognized, so be sure you mention to potential employers where you picked up your impressive skills.

Cost: Free

Certificate: No

Time to Complete: Varies

Curriculum: Introductory to Advanced

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

• Engaging and fun interface

• A helpful community forum

• No commitments or sign-ups—jump in wherever you want

 Cons:

• No way of demonstrating your competencies to a potential employer

3. Software Development Processes and Methodologies

Offered by University of Minnesota via Coursera

This is a terrific first contact course or refresher for those who are interested in understanding the whole software development process from start to finish. You will explore some of the standard methods in the industry and the pros and cons of each, as well as how teams work together to solve common software development issues. There are four modules in all:

Software development processes: Part 1

Covers a variety of software development processes at a high level. You will gain the understanding of what is involved in each process as well as architecture and requirements.

Software Development Processes: Part 2

learn about the various processes used to implement, verify, validate, deploy, and maintain the software.

Software Development Models: Traditional Models

Look at several traditional models including RUP, Spiral, waterfall, and Incremental.

Software Development Models: Agile and Lean

Learn all about agile and techniques to help you discover more about your users, your market, and your product. 

The free software development online course takes about 22 hours to complete, but like all Coursera offerings, you can go at your own pace. Students will find that the platform is easy to navigate and the content is rich with information. Auditing the class is free, and those who want to obtain a certificate or take a graded exam will need to pay for an upgrade, however, this is not a requirement. 

Cost: Free

Certificate: Yes

Time to Complete: 22 hours

Curriculum: Introductory

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

•Outstanding reviews from former students

•Taught by two University of Minnesota faculty members

•Engaging and interesting

Cons:

•Focuses primarily on theory rather than practical application

 4. Agile Software Development

Offered by University of Minnesota via Coursera

Agile is quickly becoming the most popular choice for software developers who need a way to keep their product flexible. This 12-hour course hosted on Coursera will teach students all about Agile and the situations where this technology is most applicable. You will also learn about frameworks and XP in this helpful free online software development course.

There are four modules in all, filled with videos, readings, and quizzes to assess your progress. The modules cover the fundamentals of agile, requirements and planning, scrum, and XP. Reviews from students who have taken the course are impressive, with many describing it as the best agile course they’ve ever participated in.

Agile Software Development is the second course in the Software Development Lifecycle Specialization, so there are more courses to choose from if you want to complete the specialization. All of the classes can be taken in audit mode at no charge. Additional fees apply if you want certification. No prior programming knowledge is required, although it may be helpful to have some understanding of the processes involved in traditional software development.

Cost: Free

Certificate: Yes, with a fee

Time to Complete: 12 hours

Curriculum: Intermediate

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

•Taught by an adjunct professor at the College of Science and Engineering

•Highly reviewed by those who have taken the course

•Comprehensive

Cons:

•Certification is an additional fee

5. Diploma in Software Testing

Offered by Alison

One of the most vital components of software development is testing, and this free software development course from Alison has you covered. It takes 10 to 15 hours to complete and covers the most important topics when it comes to software testing, starting with a comprehensive overview of the process and progressing into deeper subjects that include:

The differences between verification and validation processes

The various strengths, weaknesses, and faults in a program in the V-model and the fault model

Functional testing types such as unit, integration, black box, system, regression, and white box

Value testing, combination testing, decision table-based testing, pair-wise and all pairs testing

MC/DC and path testing

When to use testing and how to identify which test to use

Over 12,000 students have taken this free online software development course. Please note that although the description indicates that this is a diploma program, it is not accredited by any school of higher education. This is a description used on the Alison platform for in-depth coursework. Learner achievement records are available at no cost, or you can purchase a certificate upon successful completion of the course with an 80 percent or higher passing grade.

• Cost: Free

• Certificate: Yes

• Time to Complete: Varies

• Curriculum: Introductory to Intermediate

• User Experience: Good

• Quality of Instruction: Good

Pros:

• Interface is well-organized and easy to use

• Ideal for those who need to provide a record of their learning

• Nine modules plus quizzes and a final exam are included at no charge

 Cons:

• None

6. Software Development Coding Languages

Offered by Codecademy

Whether you are just starting to explore a career in software development, or you are already a seasoned professional, you already know that learning coding languages is vital to success in the field. At Codecademy, you can learn all the major coding languages a developer needs at no cost. Codecademy began as a Columbia University programming club and has now become one of the top platforms in the world for learning to code. 

Although there are some paid courses at Codecademy, students can access 180 basic courses at no charge. They offer classes in 12 basic programming languages including Java, Python, JavaScript, Go, SQL, Ruby, C++, Sass, Swift, HTML, and CSS. The idea here is to learn by doing, so you won’t be sitting around listening to what coding is all about. Instead, you will be working with it right away with lessons, quizzes, products, and assignments.

Cost: Free

Certificate: No

Time to Complete: Varies

Curriculum: Introductory to Advanced

User Experience: Good

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

•Explore coding from one of the most comprehensive resources available

•Hands-on approach

•Industry-recognized

Cons:

•Student support community is only available at the paid level

7. Open Source Software Development Methods

Offered by The Linux Foundation via Coursera

Hosted on the Coursera platform and taught by a director of training at Linux, This free course on open source software development methods teaches students the history and benefits of open source software. It’s a short offering at just six hours, but students will learn:

How to work in open source projects productively

Collaboration best practices

How to encourage diversity in open source projects

Licensing models

Commonly used methods like continuous integration

GitHub and other hosting providers

This is course one in the Open Source Software Development, Linux and Git Specialization. Students can go on to complete the remaining courses if they choose to do so. There is no fee to complete the classes in audit mode, although a fee will be incurred for certification. If you need certification and you can’t afford it, financial aid may be available.

Cost: Free

Certificate: Yes, with a fee

Time to Complete: Six hours

Curriculum: Introductory

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

• 95 percent positive rating by previous students

• Flexible start and stop times

•Part of a larger specialization in open source development

Cons:

 •Certificate only offered at the paid level of Coursera

8. Become a Software Developer

Offered by LinkedIn Learning

If you already have a LinkedIn premium account, you might not know that the platform offers a catalog of thousands of courses that users can absolutely free. If you don’t have a premium account, you can take advantage of a free one month trial that will give you enough time to complete this course. It’s 29 hours long and one of the best introductions to software development that we’ve seen.

Topics covered include:

• Fundamental concepts, terminology, and practices of programming

• Databases, relationships, and queries

• Full-stack and front-end developing

• HTML

• CSS

• JavaScript

• Python

• Java

• C#

• SQL

• Web Security

Upon successful completion of this free online software development course, students will earn a certification that can be displayed on a LinkedIn profile or other social media page.

Cost: Free Try a free trial for Linkedin Learning.

Certificate: Yes

Time to Complete: 29 hours

Curriculum: Introductory

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

 Pros:

•Taught by 10 industry pros

•One of the most comprehensive offerings for beginners

•Completion badge at no charge

 Cons:

•Students who opt for the trial need to remember to cancel before the month is up to avoid being charged.