Friday, August 17, 2012

Codecademy Revisited

I recently received an email notice in my inbox "Announcing Python at Codecademy". Well, it's about time. I reviewed codecademy's learn to program tutorial about a year ago (featuring JavaScript), but the lessons ended and there was no place to go, so I stopped visiting their site.

A year passed and I pretty much forgot about Codecademy until I received their email. Curious, I decided to browse the site.

The home page looked the same as I remembered it. "Learn to code". "Get Started (it's free)". I clicked the big, green button and the page dimmed except for the field with the active cursor and the prompt to type in your name with "quotes" around it. I was taken through the beginning of the JavaScript module, the "teaser" for the course, by putting in my name, finding out its length, and doing some elementary math computations. Once I got through the intro, I was prompted to start the next section.

What I was trying to find out is if the JavaScript tutorial had gotten past "while loops". It was difficult to tell what the whole JavaScript course consisted of since each lesson forces you to go step-by-step rather than skipping ahead. As far as I could tell, the JavaScript tutorial had been significantly re-worked and ended on variables after about five sessions.

I wasn't interested in going through the JavaScript tutorial at that point and clicked the "Learn" button at the top of the page. What I found was that after a year, Codecademy has a lot more to offer:

  • JavaScript Fundamentals
  • Python
  • Web Fundamentals
  • JQuery
  • Code Year

It didn't look like the different offerings were necessarily interdependent, but you could go through the JavaScript Fundamentals course and then hit Web Fundamentals to learn HTML and CSS, progress through JQuery as your JavaScript library, and then conclude with Code Year to learn how to build websites with JavaScript. I know Python doesn't seem to fit the path, but it is (or seems to be) the newest module as it's "beta" tag discloses.

It will take a little time go to through a significant portion of the tutorials in order to learn enough to update my original review, but I did want to let anyone reading this know that Codecademy is back on my radar after a year.

I'll post subsequent blogs and let you know what I think about the details.


  1. Hi James,

    Glad you returned to the site, always happy to have old users find something new in Codecademy :) We've done a lot of revisions during the past year, let us know if you have any questions or remarks.

    Linda - Codecademy

  2. I've been going through the Javascript & Web Fundamentals sections. Granted, I already knew a bit of HTML & CSS.

    However, I really like the approach Codecademy takes - the simple, easy to use interface keeps you engaged and makes it easy to find specific topics for review if you get rusty or need to run through something more than once.

    Codecademy gets a double thumbs up from me!


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