8 free classes from Bill Gates' favorite websites that you can sign up for right now to teach yourself to code

  • If you find yourself at home with a lot of free time on your hands, consider learning the basics of coding.
  • Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates said he loves Khan Academy and Code.org.
  • Here are eight free online courses on everything from JavaScript to SQL, from the platforms recommended by Gates.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

To help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, which is again spiking across the country, millions of people  are practicing social distancing and staying indoors.

Others may have more time on their hands because of unemployment. Over 10 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits right now, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics most recent data. If you find yourself at home with hours of free time and no idea how to spend it, consider taking up an in-demand skill: coding.

The great news is that there are plenty of resources out there to learn. But which class should you choose?

Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, who taught himself how to code, has shared a few online learning platforms he loves. They include Khan Academy and Code.org, which each have hundreds of videos and classes in computer programming.

Khan Academy's "videos are a tremendous resource on topics ranging from basic arithmetic to complicated subjects like electrical engineering," Gates said.

Here are eight coding classes from some of his favorite platforms that are perfect for beginners.

Intro to Programming

Gates said that having a basic understanding of coding helps develop critical thinking.

"The questions it teaches you to ask — How do you accomplish a task? Can you find a pattern? What data do you need? — are useful no matter where you go in life," Gates wrote on his blog, GatesNotes.

This brief course gives viewers an introduction into what computer science is all about. 

Intro to JS: Drawing and animation

In this course, students create animations to understand the basics of JavaScript.

Intro to HTML/CSS: Making webpages

For the Microsoft cofounder, coding was more than a technical skill. "Computer science helped shape the way I think about the world," Gates wrote on his blog.

In this course, you'll learn how to make a webpage with text and images.

Hour of Code

"I think it's fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we've ever created," Gates said in a 2004 speech at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. "They're tools of communication, they're tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user."

This Code.org one-hour introduction to computer science is a perfect starter course.

Intro to SQL: Querying and managing data

"Learning to write programs stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains," Gates said.

This class walks you through creating tables and selecting data in different ways.

Advanced JS: Games and visualizations

Gates is a lifelong learner, he told Bloomberg News in 2016, adding that he takes college courses just for fun.

This more advanced JavaScript class will teach you to create scored games and menus.

Advanced JS: Natural simulations

This course teaches you mathematical concepts so you can learn more advanced programming.

HTML/JS: Making webpages interactive

Using HTML and JavaScript basics, you'll learn how to make an interactive webpage in this course.

"I think everyone can benefit from learning the basics of computer science," Gates wrote on his blog.

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