Top 15 courses for developers in 2021

Oct 19, 2021 - 18 min read
Joshua Ahn
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2021 has been a big year for Educative, and we’re excited to share with you a few of our most popular courses! Lots of learning is happening across the globe, and to keep your learning moving forward, we’ve added hundreds of new courses ranging from basic to advanced topics while updating our interview prep courses. At the end of the day, we’re committed to bringing you up-to-date, high-quality, practical courses to help you land your dream job or level up your career. Now coupled with benchmark Assessments, SkillScores, and completion certificates, we’re constantly looking to improve your learning experience from start to finish and beyond. So without further ado, here are 15 of our top courses of 2021.


  1. Learn Python from Scratch

  2. Grokking the System Design Interview

  3. Grokking the Behavioral Interview

  4. Learn C++ from Scratch

  5. Learn Java from Scratch

  6. Learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript from Scratch

  7. Grokking the Coding Interview: Patterns for Coding Questions

  8. Learning Dart: First Step to Flutter

  9. Getting Started with Braintree API

  10. Learn C from Scratch

  11. Grokking the Object Oriented Design Interview

  12. Coderust: Hacking the Coding Interview

  13. Learn Rust from Scratch

  14. Learn Scala from Scratch

  15. Introduction to JavaScript: First Steps



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Learn Python from Scratch

Python has gained popularity over the years as a general-purpose programming language — giving programmers the ability to use Python for applications, AI, data science, image processing, and operating systems. Python’s popularity comes from its readability and more accessible entry point for beginner programmers, falling under the category of a high-level, interpreted language. The best part? You can get started for FREE.

Learn Python from Scratch is a FREE course that introduces you to the fundamental programming concepts in Python. You’ll start the course by writing a simple “Hello World” program, then proceed to cover common data types and variables. You’ll then move on to learning about writing conditional statements, functions, and loops before tackling your first Python exam. After learning the basics, the course covers data structures and importing python modules before a second Python exam.

This course is designed for beginners, so it’s packed with illustrations, hands-on practice, and early coding basics. If you’re looking for more of a challenge, we also recommend following our Python for Programmers learning path Advanced Concepts in Python.


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Grokking the System Design Interview

As one of our most popular courses, we’re proud to share that it has helped tens of thousands of learners tackle their system design interview! No matter which company you decide to interview at, system design questions make up a standard part of any software engineering interview process. Most senior engineers believe the discussion around system design is more important than solving a coding question. Following our vision to provide practical courses for developers by developers, this course has been created and designed by hiring managers who worked at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon.

Grokking the System Design Interview introduces you to a step-by-step guide on tackling system design problems. You’ll find multiple issues such as designing Twitter, Dropbox, Facebook Messenger, and other popular system design problems at leading tech companies. The course is also intended to remove tedious “googling” or bouncing between multiple resources by providing a glossary of system design basics and hassle-free coding environments.

Wondering where to go next after you finish this course? If you’re looking for a challenge or more advanced subject under system design, we also provide a course called Grokking the Advanced System Design Interview.


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Grokking the Behavioral Interview

Knowing how to code is only the first step to landing your next job, and for many, the behavioral interview can be more challenging than the technical part. Coupled with a change in interviewing etiquette with zoom interviews or phone interviews, you’ll feel prepared for the interview using updated tips and strategies from professional interviewers. Perhaps that’s why this course holds number three in our top 15 courses of 2021.

Grokking the Behavioral Interview lays out a step-by-step process in preparing for your interview, understanding patterns in behavioral questions, interview etiquette, and concluding thoughts from our authors. One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to have a mock interview with someone to assess your strengths and weaknesses — but not everyone has that resource. That’s why we included a built-in video recording widget to record yourself and evaluate your performance. By the end of this course, you’ll find yourself more confident in your behavioral interview skills and less stressed in your preparation for your following interview.

At Educative, we’re committed to bringing you quality in all our courses. That’s why this course was written by experienced professionals working in software engineering, technical recruiting, and consulting. No matter where your comfort zone lies with behavioral interviewing, you’ll find helpful tips and strategies to grok your next interview.


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Learn C++ from Scratch

C++ notoriously has a steep learning curve, but taking the time to learn this language will do wonders for your career and set you apart from other developers. You’ll have an easier time picking up new languages, forming fundamental problem-solving skills, and building a solid foundation on programming fundamentals.

As our fourth most popular language, Learn C++ from Scratch introduces the fundamental programming concepts in C++. You’ll begin the course with a simple “Hello World” program and proceed to cover common concepts such as conditional statements, loop statements, and functions in C++. Finally, it dives deeper to teach advanced concepts such as classes, inheritance, and templates in C++ through interactive challenges and exercises.

This course was designed for beginners, and while there is a substantial learning curve, this course condenses what you need to know to get started, and it’s all in one place. There is also a dedicated learning path that will guide you on what to learn next, so you’re not left with the question, “Where do I go from here?”.



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Learn Java from Scratch

Java stands as the most popular programming language globally, and the need for Java developers grows every day. Due to being platform independent, programs written in Java can run on several different types of computers. Java has shown rapid growth in usage over the years, and it’s certainly not showing any signs of slowing down. Due to its versatility, you’ll be sure to use Java in multiple environments.

Learn Java from Scratch starts with learning basic coding principles to write your first “Hello World!” statement. From there, you’ll learn about variables, simple math and logic principles, strings, conditional statements, loops, and more. Your course will then tie it all together with a Java exam and allow you to claim your course certificate.

Even for people working in a different work field, learning Java from scratch helps develop a different way of thinking, which can help approach other problems that arise in your workplace. While this course is specifically designed for beginners, learners looking for more advanced practice and interview preparation can continue to Ace the Java Coding Interview. You’ll find a comprehensive path to nail technical interviews in Java.


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Learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript from Scratch

Learning and mastering HTML, CSS, and Javascript is a crucial step to starting your journey as a frontend developer. Whether you want to become a professional web developer to get a new job or develop your side projects, learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is essential for your journey. We provided the first step to your journey, and we’re excited for you to join the tens of thousands other developers who chose to start here.

Learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript from Scratch walks through the first steps of coding and creating your web pages using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Throughout this course, you’ll learn how to successfully implement a To-Do list application in your browser while learning how to use HTML, Javascript, and CSS to build web pages. Practice makes perfect, so this course is jampacked with hands-on coding environments and illustrations to supplement your learning experience.

Since this course is designed for beginners, advanced programmers, or developers looking to continue the journey should check out our learning path: Become a Front End Developer. You’ll learn to write and style websites while making your site interactive using JavaScript.


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Grokking the Coding Interview: Patterns for Coding Questions

Over the years, this course has helped over 30 thousand developers interview for top companies. Due to everyone having access to massive sets of coding questions and online interview problems, coding interviews are becoming more complex. During their coding interviews, the one skill helping most engineers is “the ability to map a new problem to an already known problem.”

Grokking the Coding Interview: Patterns for Coding Questions brings together 16 patterns for coding questions based on similar techniques needed to solve them. By taking this course, you’ll be able to solve dozens of problems by recognizing patterns during your next interview. Each of the 16 patterns is inundated with easy to challenging problems where you’ll get hands-on experience and practice for grokking your next coding interview.

For more advanced practice and learning on pattern-based problem solving, our authors recommend taking a look at Grokking Dynamic Programming Patterns for coding Interviews.


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Learn Dart: First Step to Flutter

Dart is an object oriented programming language similar to C# and Java. If you have a background in either of these languages, Dart is the language for you. Developed by Google, Dart is great for developers interested in having a structure in their programming language so that they can easily do refactoring and build large web applications. Of course, you can’t talk about Dart without mentioning Flutter.

Flutter is Google’s mobile UI framework used for crafting high-quality native interfaces on iOS and Android. Flutter is uses the Dart language, and while the Flutter community is still growing, Dart has grown to become a beloved language to learn within the developer community. People find Dart’s way of writing code to be more simple to understand and straightforward.

Learn Dart: First Step to Flutter starts by teaching the fundamentals of Dart before getting you started with Flutter. This course is designed for programmers who have never programmed in Dart before and assumes you have no prior knowledge of this language. The course starts by covering concepts that you might find familiar from other languages. Topics include data types and variables, operators, collections, control flow statements, functions, and classes. By the end of this course, you’ll be ready to use Flutter to create stunning UIs.

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Getting Started with Braintree API

Braintree is a payment service provider owned by PayPal — allowing you to accept payments from customers in your applications. Braintree provides access to payments for over 375 million customers without separately setting up payment gateways and merchant accounts. Whether you’re a beginner who wants to start learning about payment gateways or a professional looking to explore Braintree to integrate into your next project, learning about Braintree is a valuable tool for any business involved in global commerce.

Getting started with Braintree API explains Braintree APIs to create a transaction in roughly 2 hours or less. You will learn both the client-side and server-side implementations in detail, then be provided hands-on experience for creating a transaction using Braintree APIs. While this course is suited for beginners and experienced programmers, you may find it helpful to be familiar with client-server architecture and any application development framework.

The course starts off with having you create an account with Braintree sandbox and obtain three API keys. From there, you’ll learn how to set up Braintree for the client-side and service-side, before creating a transaction with Braintree. The course then sums it up by integrating Braintree payment functionality in a demo Fruit Buying application written in React.


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Learn C from Scratch

For many, the programming journey starts with learning C. As an efficient and powerful language, C forms the basis for many other languages like C++ and Java. Originally developed in the 1970s, C was designed to provide low-level access to memory and language constructs. Due to its ability to handle large amounts of data and small runtime with optimal performance, many of the world’s most popular databases, like Oracle, MySQL, MS SQL Server, and PostgreSQL, are coded in C.

Learn C from Scratch starts with a brief introduction highlighting its virtues, challenges, and use cases. From there, the course provides a detailed breakdown of programming fundamentals and also covers a short tour of advanced topics in C. Mainly created for beginners, this course can also be used for mid-level developers looking to brush up on their C language skills. Regardless of where you’re coming from, learning C will allow you to pick up other languages easily.

For young developers looking for their next step, several courses help to cover software design patterns in C and object-oriented languages such as C++ that are not included in this course.

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Grokking the Object Oriented Design Interview

Originally developed to improve code accuracy while reducing development time, object-oriented design (OOD) will always be a critical part of the software engineering interview process. For many engineers, object-oriented design interviews (OODI) are challenging to navigate partly due to lack of experience in designing complex systems and partly because of the unstructured nature of OODI.

Grokking the Object Oriented Design Interview was designed by hiring managers from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon. The course covers a handpicked set of case studies and thoroughly explains different OOD scenarios. This course will teach you how to design a library management system, a parking lot, an ATM, LinkedIn, a social network, and more. Each OOD case study covers system requirements, a use case diagram, class diagram, activity diagram, and skeleton code in Java and Python.

Whether you’re looking to apply for top tech companies or brush up on OOD, this course is a must. While OOD has its limitations, it helps to solve complex real-world problems using software as a tool.

Looking for the next step? If you’re looking for more advanced courses, you’ll find Grokking the Advanced System Design Interview to be another helpful course to take. Other useful courses for interviews include:


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Coderust: Hacking the Coding Interview

Looking for a one-stop-shop crash course to land your software engineering job in the tech industry? With solutions in Python, C++, Java, JavaScript, and Ruby, Coderust was created by former hiring managers from top tech companies. You’ll find dozens of example problems with step-by-step visualizations for more active learning and less passive listening.

Coderust: Hacking the Coding Interview covers topics such as:

  • Arrays
  • Linked List
  • Math & Stats
  • Strings
  • Trees
  • Stacks and Queues
  • Graphs
  • Back Tracking
  • Dynamic Programming

To top it off, the course provides other recommended resources to give you a well-rounded interview prep experience.

Here’s a short testimonial from an engineer at Facebook:

“Coderust offered distilled and to-the-point practice questions with very well-written explanations. I really found the interactive nature of explanations very unique. This is something which is NOT available anywhere else. By mapping the code and description to visually interactive material, Coderust is the fastest way to understand complex algorithms. Their code was bug-free and very nicely written; it’s a great example of how industry professionals write the code. I would highly recommend Coderust for anyone preparing for interviews or just looking to brush up their skills.”


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Learn Rust from Scratch

It’s not too surprising that Learn Rust from Scratch makes our list of Top 15. Since 2016, Rust has been voted the “most loved programming language” in the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, yet only used by 7% of the respondents. If you’re looking for a new language to learn, Rust is a great place to look next. After its first stable release in May 2015, Rust has slowly gained popularity due to its design for performance and safety. Other notable reasons to learn Rust include speed, a cargo manager, and more detailed error messages.

Learn Rust from Scratch is designed for beginners with prior coding experience. With a syntax similar to C++, the course starts with some basic programming and formatting. From there, it covers basic topics such as variables, data types, operators, vectors before moving into more topics such as structs, enums, and traits. The course then provides lessons on more advanced topics such as memory management, ownership, and borrowing.

By the time you finish Learn Rust from Scratch, you’ll feel more comfortable applying for Rust prospects as an embedded system programmer or web application developer. Take our Rust Exam to see how proficient you are and obtain a course certificate to display your new skill.


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Learn Scala from Scratch

Learn Scala from Scratch sits as our 14th most popular course of 2021. Considering that Scala made the top 10 highest paid languages according to Stack Overflow’s 2021 developer survey, it’s no surprise we’re seeing a growing interest amongst developers to learn Scala. Released to the public in early 2004, Scala was designed and created by Martin Odersky to be a “better language”.

Learn Scala from Scratch starts by giving you some background information about Scala’s history and how companies have begun to adopt it. Amongst some top companies, if you’re looking for a job at LinkedIn, Twitter, or Sony, Scala might be an excellent language to add to your toolkit. The course then discusses variables and types alongside an introduction to a scala feature: type inference. From there introductory topics such as strings, Scala’s collection library, control structures, and objects and classes set the foundation for more advanced topics fit for another course.

Stay tuned for an upcoming Scala track if you’re looking for more advanced topics such as closures, compositions and inheritance, traits, case classes, concurrency, modular programming, and more. Until then, we hope that this course meets your expectations and that you have fun learning how to code in Scala.


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Introduction to JavaScript: First Steps

Last but certainly not least, Introduction to JavaScript: First Steps sits as the 15th most popular course of 2021. Looking to become a frontend developer, but not sure where to start? This course provides a low barrier of entry for anyone interested in learning JavaScript for web development or taking their first steps in learning a coding language.

Most interactions you have with websites are implemented with JavaScript. From buttons to forms to emails, JavaScript is the language of web development. The course is designed for beginners and covers variables, operators & if-statements, functions, arrays, objects, and loops. After finishing the course, you’ll have a basic understanding of JavaScript and get to try your hand at three challenge problems.

If you’re looking to continue your learning, check out Step Up Your JS: A Comprehensive Guide to Intermediate JavaScript. Those looking to advance their JavaScript knowledge can find intermediate topics to better understand the language. Coupled with our learning path to Become a Front End Developer, you’ll learn how to successfully launch a website available to anyone on the web.


Wrapping up

Technology evolves rapidly, so we’re committed to keeping your technical skills sharp and up to date. We always go the extra mile to create the best courses, so you can spend more time doing and less time surfing the web. Take some time to cruise through our expansive library of 320+ courses or get starting on a guided learning path. If you’re not seeing what you’re looking for, don’t worry, we’re not done with 2021 just yet! Stay tuned for more exciting courses to launch by subscribing to our weekly emails.

Happy learning!


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WRITTEN BYJoshua Ahn

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