11 Top YouTube Channels That Teach You How to Code

Learn to code back-end web apps with these 11 YouTube channels
John Loeffler

With Amazon’s recent announcement that they’re choosing to locate their new second headquarters in New York and Virginia, everyone is talking about these in-demand jobs and how maybe it’s time to finally learn to code so they can land some of these back-end programming jobs.

The good news is there’s never been a more opportune time than now. With the rise of the video streaming giant YouTube, thousands of educational and instructional videos are emerging every day from experts in their fields, and software development tutorials are some of the most well establish YouTube channels you’re going to find.

That’s why in anticipation of Amazon’s big move, we’ve pulled together 11 of the best back-end development channels on YouTube to get you started down the path to learning how to code.


PHP Logo
Source: PHP.net

When you navigate to a website today, what you are almost certainly seeing is HTML generated by back-end PHP code. PHP is a powerful, interpreted scripting language that will run just about anywhere and is robust enough to plug into everything from dedicated SQL databases to the cloud. Anyone’s journey learning to code back-end apps should almost certainly start with PHP.


Codecourse is probably one of the best places on YouTube to begin learning to code back-end software, or even just to learn how to code generally. Their introduction to PHP playlist is as long as the most channels' entire offering, and it’s just one of the dozens of series on PHP.


JREAM doesn’t cover as much territory as Codecourse, but JREAM has a 54 episode playlist on Object Oriented PHP that you are not going to want to miss.


Microsoft SQL Server
Source: ITPro Today

SQL is the most popular and widely used database management language in the world. It’s been around for decades and as more and more of our physical records migrate to computers, all of this data must be managed quickly, safely, and reliably.

It was this task that drove the creation of SQL in the first place, and no matter the size of the data you need to manage, SQL is the language to get the job done. And it's not all that hard to learn, as these videos demonstrate.


RebellionRider has over 100 essential videos that you’ll want to watch as you begin to learn to code SQL. His beginners series alone is 89 videos and covers all the essential ground of SQL, so once you’re done with that, you can dig into his other videos to learn more advancing coding topics.


PASStv is a channel built around the SQL Server community, so many of the videos aren’t strictly instructional, but there are helpful advice and material to learn here, especially because it's coming from working professionals in the SQL Server ecosystem.


Ruby Logo
Source: Ruby

If you’re just beginning to learn to code back-end software, you may not be familiar with Ruby. But you almost certainly use a web app built with it, including such services as Twitter, Hulu, and Groupon.

Many find Ruby, the underlying language for the popular development framework RubyOnRails is built on, to be a very accessible first language for learning how to code, and it is powerful enough to build some of the biggest sites on the internet. Here are a couple of channels to get you started with Ruby.

MacKenzie Child

MacKenzie Child is a designer and illustrator who put out a 12 video series covering some of the basics of Ruby, but more than that, his video playlist “12 Web Apps in 12 Weeks” puts the focus of learning how to code on the practical side, something a lot of playlists don’t even bother to attempt.


WildAcademy is run by Jake Day Williams, a programmer dedicated to spreading the gospel of Ruby and PHP. His Ruby for beginners series covers a lot of ground and is an excellent place to dig into the language.


Python Logo
Source: Tango! Project / Wikimedia Commons

Python, like Ruby, is a robust programming language that has an incredible amount of utility, and not just for web apps. Python can do almost anything a dedicated programming language can do and it can often do it better in a much less complicated way.

And since it can easily interface with PHP and SQL, if you’re planning on learning to code back-end software, then you owe it to yourself to learn Python. These channels are a good way to start.

Corey Schafer

Corey Schafer is a Python developer who is very active in the online Python universe. His beginners series on Python is highly regarded online and even though it’s only 22 episodes long, it's more than enough to get you working with Python.

Programming Knowledge

Programming Knowledge isn’t solely focused on teaching Python, but they have over 160 Python videos to go through, covering all of the fundamentals and more advanced material. Make sure you bookmark this channels series on ASP.Net, another back-end development essential.


Java Logo
Source: Linux Screenshots / Flickr

If you are seriously interested in making a major career change and jumping into back-end development, learning to code in Java will put you in the running for some of the most lucrative jobs out there. Java is at the heart of many major businesses' operations in a way that other languages can never be, so knowing Java narrows down your competition considerably.

That said, learning Java takes real work to get right, but if you’re committed, then these channels have extensive Java material that will give you a good foundation to work from.

Cave of Programming

Cave of Programming has a great playlist on basic, intermediate, and even some advanced topics that are crucial to what makes Java the powerhouse that it is today.


This isn’t so much an instructional series on Java as it is a course on Java. The topics that Telusko covers in 186 videos include nearly all, but the most advanced Java topics, and those you’d learn on the job.

The Hub Where You Can Learn To Code Just About Anything

While many of the channels on this list are dedicated to a specific language or aspect of back-end development, there are channels that honestly try to do it all, some more successfully than others. Our final entrant on this list should be your one stop shop for back-end development tutorials.

The New Boston

The New Boston is the go-to hub for finding new videos in the languages you’re working in. With over 2 million subscribers and almost half a billion views, don’t take our word for it. If you want to learn to code back-end software apps, this is the place to do it.

Also Read: 11 of the Best YouTube Channels for Understanding Mathematics

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