Whether you want to design your own website or learn computer coding to enhance your chances for employment, Codecademy (codecademy.com) is the place to head. Founded in 2011, the website was conceived by Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski, who decided while attending Columbia University that education happened best when people learned by doing it with their peers. Codecademy has more than 24 million students from 190 countries, including former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Why? Because it's fun and free.

After registering, you can select to concentrate on job skills or specific computer languages (including HTML and CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, Python and Ruby), or just explore on your own. The beginner HTML and CSS course, for example, takes about seven hours to complete.

Perhaps the best part is that you immediately apply what you learn. After reading a short description of the topic, you follow the instructions to write its code. Your results appear in a small box within the lesson area. If your coding doesn't appear as it should, you can retry until you correct your mistakes.

If you get stuck, you can press the Hint icon, or go to the Q&A Forum, where you can request help from other students -- more than 4.5 million students are enrolled in the HTML and CSS course alone.

There are also a few whimsical projects on the site, such as coloring and animating your name and creating a model of the solar system with code.

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SITE codecademy.com

DESCRIPTION Free, hands-on lessons in coding and website creation.

TARGET AUDIENCE Everyone

BOTTOM LINE Go from zero to hero in computer skills.