Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

From the title, you probably think I’ve got some major beef with Codecademy. I don’t.

In many ways, I admire them. Since 2011, they’ve introduced countless millions to the noble craft of software development Codecademy - Hands Down The Easiest Way To Code Codecademy - Hands Down The Easiest Way To Code Codecademy is a new website slash interactive programming tutorial that walks you through the basics of JavaScript. While it hasn't been around very long, the site has already been generating a lot of buzz on... Read More , and have launched the careers of thousands of developers. That number looks set to soar with the release of their first Java course. But at the same time, their product – and to be more precise, their teaching methods – leave a lot to be desired, and are leaving thousands frustrated, and unsure of where to progress with their formative development skills.

So, what’s so terribly wrong with Codecademy?

And how can you, as a journeyman coder, circumvent these flaws to reach your programming potential?

Problem One: It Doesn’t Teach the Mindset

Being a programmer is more than simply being able to regurgitate syntax. It’s about having a particular mindset, where you are able to systematically breakdown a problem into individual and logical steps, and then recreate that in a language that the computer understands.

You need to be able to look at a problem at a grand scale, and understand how each step you take affects the rest of the program. Moreover, you need to be able to tolerate a high level of frustration, and be able to persevere when you hit a mental brick wall 5 Ways to Beat Programmer's Block Right Now 5 Ways to Beat Programmer's Block Right Now Every programmer encounters an array of negative emotions over the course of their journey, and if left unchecked, these emotions can have a profound impact on progress -- even causing some to give up entirely. Read More . You need to be able to be able to research bugs and error messages, and communicate your problem to others. Simply put, you need to be able to think like a coder.

Ads by Google

 Codecademy does not teach you to think like a coder.

Rather, it teaches you the basics of a number of programming languages, without any real instruction on how you’d apply them to real-life problems.

So, how can you get that invaluable experience?

Personally, I’m a big fan of Project Euler and Reddit’s Daily Programmer SubReddit, which features enough mind-bending programming puzzles to sink anyone’s teeth into. I’m a big fan of the latter, because you’re encouraged to share your code in order to receive feedback from other members of the community.

ProgrammingChallenge

The Daily Programmer subreddit, as the name suggests, comes with daily puzzles for all skill levels, from absolute beginners to hardened code jockeys.

Problem Two: Blink and You’ll Miss It

One of my biggest frustrations with Codecademy’s approach to teaching is that it feels so incredibly transient. You learn something, then you complete a challenge, and you scarcely revisit that topic again. Blink, and you’ll miss it.

CodeAcademy2

It’s unlike the approach taken by Duolingo Learn A Language And Translate For Practice With Duolingo (Now Open To All!) Learn A Language And Translate For Practice With Duolingo (Now Open To All!) The internet has given us some fantastic tools for language learning, and Duolingo is the latest site to give it a go. It's just come out of closed beta and is now available for everyone... Read More , for example, where you have to regularly revise and reinforce what you’ve learned in order to progress.

So, if you want to cement your progress, you’re going to have to do some deliberate practice outside of Codecademy. One of the best ways to do that is to simply write code. Many programmers – and I include myself in that cadre – also swear by deliberate notetaking and regular revision with flashcards.

Paper flash cards are cheap and effective. In fact, you can buy 1,000 on Amazon for less than thirteen dollars.

Oxford Blank Index Cards, 3" x 5", White, 10 Packs of 100 (30) Oxford Blank Index Cards, 3" x 5", White, 10 Packs of 100 (30) Blank on both sides Buy Now At Amazon $2.24

For those digitally inclined, there’s also a number of apps you can use. I’m a huge fan of Anki, simply because of how customizable it is. It boasts thousands of community-built flashcards, and is extensible through its powerful and well-documented application programming interface (API).

For mobile users, there are also lots of flashcard applications for Android 6 Flash Card Apps for Android, Compared: Which Is the Best? 6 Flash Card Apps for Android, Compared: Which Is the Best? Flashcards are an incredibly useful tool for studying, but they aren't always convenient to make and carry around; that's where your smartphone comes in. Read More , and for the iPhone Ace Your Next Exam Using Flashcard Apps for iPhone or iPad Ace Your Next Exam Using Flashcard Apps for iPhone or iPad If you want to start acing school exams, you're probably going to want to start using flashcards. Read More . You can also use Google Sheets How To Make Digital Flashcards With Google Docs Spreadsheets How To Make Digital Flashcards With Google Docs Spreadsheets Read More to make them!

I’m currently using CodeCode.Ninja – which, full disclosure, was built by my friend and former MakeUseOf writer Erez Zukerman. This subscription service is built with programmers in mind, and you can build a living, flash-card based knowledge base of everything you need to know.

CodeCodeNinja

What I like about the approach taken by CodeCode.Ninja is that to progress through your deck, you’re forced to deliberately type out the answer to each card. This, I’ve found, helps build up your muscle memory.

Problem Three: Syntax is Not Programming

Again, Codecademy will teach you the syntax of a programming language, but for the most part it won’t tell you how to apply it. Which is why you often see questions like this, which was posted on the aforementioned LearnProgramming subredddit.

WhereToStart

The introductory JavaScript What is JavaScript, And Can the Internet Exist Without It? What is JavaScript, And Can the Internet Exist Without It? JavaScript is one of those things many take for granted. Everybody uses it. Read More course doesn’t teach you how to embed a script in a webpage to add interactivity to otherwise flat, static HTML. The Java course doesn’t teach you how to compile your code in order to run it. Hey, it doesn’t even tell you that Java is a compiled language, or the difference between a compiled language and an interpreted language.

There’s other stuff that’s skimmed over. Codecademy doesn’t teach you how to write code that’s clean Arduino and Raspberry Pi Beginner? Here's How To Write Clean Code Arduino and Raspberry Pi Beginner? Here's How To Write Clean Code Read More , and stylized in order to be readable and easy to understand. It doesn’t teach you how to write code that’s self-documenting. It doesn’t teach you about package management, and how to use other people’s code in your own code.

This is something you can only overcome by leaving the safe harbors of Codecademy at the first possible opportunity. By writing code, and learning on your own steam.

Problem Four: Too Much Cake, Not Enough Vegetables

The reason why Codecademy is successful is because it takes coding, and transforms it into addictive bite-sized pieces that are easy to accomplish, and offer instantaneous feedback. It’s the candy of coding.

programmingboolean

The problem is, learning to be a developer often means that you have to learn about things that are important, but from the offset aren’t terribly exciting, or for that matter, easy. You don’t learn about the theory of programming. The stuff that Donald Knuth spent thousands of pages – and the best part of two decades – writing about in The Art of Computer Programming.

The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-4A Boxed Set The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-4A Boxed Set Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms Buy Now At Amazon $167.00

Codecademy essentially shields you from the sticky, complicated part of programming. There’s no way around this, other than by being disciplined, and doing your own research. If you don’t know what you should be looking at, consider asking more established developers for guidance.

 Codecademy Isn’t That Bad

There’s a lot to like about Codecademy. They’ve introduced thousands to the fundamentals of computer science. But there’s a lot of room for improvement, too.

Have you used Codecademy? Did it hurt or hinder you? Tell me about it in the comments below.

  1. D.Jackson
    December 8, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Codecademy is perfect for someone who has absolutely no coding experience at all. It goes over the very basics of learning programming languages. It should only be used as a starting point. Then the learner should move on to more advanced topics. I do agree that it doesn't teach you how to think like a programmer but after taking the course, it will be easier to understand reading a much detailed book on it.

  2. Grant Willison
    December 3, 2016 at 2:27 am

    I'm with you on part of the hand holding. But I really enjoy having someone help me out of the stupidest mistakes I make as a newbie on codecademy. If time is money - and i'd spend 20-40 min trying to figure out what dumb ass mistake I made every time I made one. I would have spent days trying to figure out things that instead I spent minutes on. Take good notes, start looking at documentation, and if you hit a wall or spend more than 10 min on it- just ask someone who knows whats up! its the best 20 a month i've spent /invested on myself in a while. As I get better, I see less and less need for the help. But I've saved 30+ hours with 60 bucks and that is worth it. My programmer friends making 80k-150k a year don't want to walk through all the bs for me every day. I ask 5 questions a day and am happy paying pennies for it.

  3. GHcoder
    December 2, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    One of the key words in this industry is PROCRASTINATION. Code academy is a starting point, period. Learn your trade and progress from there. If you want to subscribe to code ninja by all means subscribe but and this is the bull in the china shop: There is too much bullshit info out there leading to people giving up because one guy/gal says eh learn this or subscribe to this. Blah blah blah.

    1. Sit down open you laptop
    2. Subscribe to a channel or site (there is millions out there and free too)
    3. Code code code!!!!

    John from simple programmer must be sick to death of calling out the same questions from constant procrastinators asking what should i do?
    Whats the best programming language to start with?
    How can i concentrate and learn to code?

    Its hard work!!

  4. Seth
    December 2, 2016 at 6:16 am

    As an engineer, I have already learned some coding. So I feel like the problems of mindset and developing (problem solving) are not as critical. So I have confidence that if I had a goal, I could probably do it. Whether logic based, math based, or a combo of the two, I could apply myself and make the code. I think every engineer could find great value in this site.

    • Nasser Alsinan
      December 3, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      Seth, if you don't mind me asking, what kind of engineering did you study? I'm in 11th grade, and I'm trying to decide what to major in. My mind is on engineering, and I've read that electrical engineering includes coding( which is something that I'm very interested in), but I'm still not sure about what to do. Your feedback is appreciated!

      • Seth
        December 4, 2016 at 3:43 am

        Hey Nasser! I am a graduate student in Chemical Engineering. You certainly can make great use of coding in electrical and computer engineering. This is where coding leads to for the most part. If that is what you are really interested in, go for it. On that front, you will be looking at coding control systems and solving the issues of modern computing. Modern computing issues include creating better algorithms such that computations take less time. However, if you are interested in doing something different with coding, chemical and mechanical can lead to some unique problems. As a graduate student in chemical engineering, I code numerical methods to solve heat and mass transfer problems, thermodynamic models, fluid dynamic systems, etc.
        If you have any other questions let me know!

  5. Javier
    December 1, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    This was a nice article. By describing what codecademy doesn't teach you, at the same time you expose the abilities of a good software developer. However i would like to point out (at least from my perspective) a couple of concepts that would help us understand a bit better the overall scene.

    First of all, codecademy teaches you how to code, it doesn't teach you how to develop software, which are 2 separate things. Coding is about the writing activity, about explicitly telling the computer what to do, and i don't think it matters if it has the correct style, if the code it's readable, or even if the solution written is the best.

    Developing software is an umbrella term that covers many activities, being coding, one of them. I believe that the points on this article (what codecademy lacks) describes a classic software development scenario, and all the good practices the author describes are related to that, in part. Codecademy offers a great way to introduce anybody the software developing scene, by providing tools that are easy to grasp in order to explain abstract concepts.

    In conclusion, i don't think codecademy lacks on these points because it's out of their scope. I don't believe that codecademy is a software development school/academy, but a practical set of introductory lessons about what programming is all about.

  6. Rabten
    November 24, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    So what do you suggest is a good website to learn coding and programming. I'm just a beginner and has been doing it for less then a month. For starter it's great for amateur, as you said it really does set up the path for a newbie. But I wanna know a better site to really learn coding . So please can you suggest something. Thank you

    • Anon
      December 4, 2016 at 11:58 pm

      tl;dr Get a in depth textbook on a preferred programming language.

      I started on Codeacademy and it was a great start. You really skim the surface, although it doesn't feel like it at first. After you feel done with Codeacademy, I'd suggest getting a book on any language really. I started with Java Big Late Objects by Horstmann and it's a great book for Java and beginners.

      But really, any programming language will suffice, for a newbie I think a good textbook is ideal. Just search "good programming languages for beginner" to learn or if you already have one in mind, go with that. Look for TBs on that language that have good reviews or a style you like and finish it, especially work on writing your own code/ producing solutions to problems presented in the TB. For a newbie, I'd recommend getting a long say 1,000 or more page book and reading it completely. It could take a while but learning your first language relatively thoroughly is very important imho as it will be a great foundation as you move forward in your CS career.

  7. aria6shell
    November 21, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Adding a short comment, for fun (or, oh dear, grammatical correctness - which to these readers might be seen as good, proper syntex, no!?).
    Friends in IT - stop confusing nouns with prepositional verbs! SETUP and SET UP! BREAKDOWN and BREAK DOWN!
    Example from this article: (Breakdown)
    "It’s about having a particular mindset, where you are able to systematically **breakdown** a problem into individual and logical steps, and then recreate that in a language that the computer understands."
    What a Breakdown! I hope he will Break Down the problem correctly next time!
    And please Set Up the meeting, which will need the proper Setup for the number of attendees. Thanks!
    Happy coding, happy reading. : D

  8. Phil
    November 21, 2016 at 8:33 am

    You are spot on about code academy. I am a relatively inexperienced coder and agree that code academy does not stretch the student.

    The only thing I would say it was useful for (me personally) was introducing me to Ruby a language I had not had any experience with.

    Phil

  9. Jacob Carroll
    November 17, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    I am a teenager and I have started learning HTML on code academy. It's really fun and I have learned a lot, really fast. I would like to ask, where can I learn how to apply these skills? (Perferrably on a reddit post or something) I didn't even realize because I have no precursor to any programming language, but it is free so I use it. Any insight from a skilled programmer?

    • Daan
      November 21, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      I have the same question! Just started today, and it is really fun! And i am learning so much. But yeah, where can i learn to apply those things and where can i learn to get the programmer mindset? I really want to know.

  10. Ahsan Iqbal
    November 17, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    I am already experienced with C# & C++, since they teach a lot of it in universities here. However, when I had to learn Ruby and Java for some industrial projects, Codecademy helped me a lot to learn the syntax, because this is what I had to learn, 'SYNTAX'. Though I agree, Codecademy isn't too helpful for extreme starters, since it lacks fundamental problem-solving challanges, but for guys like me, it can be really helpful to grasp the differences between languages we are already familiar with and get on with it.

  11. Ashington
    November 16, 2016 at 11:43 am

    I have used codecademy, but only as a crash course option, since I already am a programmer. I think it'll be helpful for programmers who want to quickly pick up a new skill or language (keyword being quickly), but I certainly won't recommend it to people who have no programming background.

    • Daan
      November 21, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      What would you recommend to people who have no programming background (like me)

      • Ashington
        November 22, 2016 at 2:12 am

        oh wow, I'm sorry but I don't think I can recommend anything online for people who have no programming background. I myself picked it up in college. that said, programming is basically about solving problems. I would certainly recommend learning about algorithm and problem solving first and I am pretty sure there are online courses for these. Try Udemy.
        And good luck :)

  12. DonDroga
    November 14, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    How about you join the douchebag academy. Code Academy is free to a point and a great way for people to get their feet wet.

  13. Trakvh
    November 7, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    If web development it's what you're into then freecodecamp.com is honestly amazing.
    You have about 2200 hours (if I recall correctly) of courses which include a lot of projects and even the courses themselves are a little bit harsher than Codecademy.
    The best part honestly is that you will be given projects for various non-profits and it's a great way to practice (you only get tasks and maybe an example website but besides that you're on your own, they won't hold your hand like Codecademy). The community is also very active, there are a lot of chat rooms and the forum is also popping. You can also attend meetings but I can't speak on that because I live in pretty small European city so there aren't a lot of them here but I'm sure that you will find something if you want to.

    And it's 100% free, no premium memberships or anything like that, the only thing that you can buy is merchandise

  14. Ronald
    October 28, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Codecademy seems to be a scam. I started learning JavaScript on it and logged out and came back and when I click on resume or try to get back to where I left off they always redirect me to a page about Codecademy Pro for $19.99/month and no matter what I do that always pops up and will not go away. Then I did a much closer look at what the coursework was. Some of the coursework was titled "PRO tiral" but it didn't tell me anything about that when I was going over it. They have one or two lessens each chapter that is free and the rest is PRO and if you do one PRO trial you get shafted and have to instead of going from exercise to exercise bounce yourself around to different lessens. It's a classic bait and switch scheme.

    • Larry
      November 11, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      So, just don't click resume. I've had that problem, too. Instead, go to codecady.com/learn, which is the page it directs you to once you log in. Then go to "Courses" on the left. you should see the course Syllabus, then click on whatever lesson you re in the process of doing.

  15. Sebastian
    October 27, 2016 at 2:17 am

    Codeacademy is deffinately a supplement program. This experience would have gone a complete opposite way had I not learned Visual Basic and Java from Highschool and College. Yes you won't truly learn the art of software engineering or computer science, but it's definitely a great tool for someone who already knows a few languages, can translate that skill well, and wants to pick up a few others without too much fuss. After picking up Java and Python in school and on my own, being able to understand other languages comes really easy to me. So picking up HTML+CSS+JS+PHP, its almost second nature now and it would have been if I just got a book, but codeacademy makes this process just that much easier. Basically, don't expect to complete all the courses and expect to get a super high paying job without the principals of syntax, theory, and engineering of code.

  16. Milon Hossain
    October 23, 2016 at 9:27 am

    i think code academy is best option when u already have a basic programming knowledge like you are familiar with programming syntax,branching,loop , also basic concepts of data structure and algorithm and want to learn about or explore about new language's.
    and yes i totally agree with you about the first three problems you mentioned about codeacademy.
    about the fourth problem "Too Much Cake, Not Enough Vegetables"
    i dont totally agree with you cause i kind of think this method inspires the beginners or newbies in a kind of way :)
    yet thanks for pointing out the limits of codeacademy in such a gentle way .

  17. Mathew
    October 13, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    As a programmer, I find Codecademy great for learning the syntax of different languages. But as this article says, it does not do much in training a coder way of thinking

    • CS
      October 15, 2016 at 3:59 am

      I concur.

      Perhaps this wasn't their original intention, but as someone already familiar with coding, I find codeacademy useful as a primer to a language I'm not familiar with.

      It's not going to make you a better or more competent programmer of course, but it'll get the basics and fundamentals across in a more tactile way than bullet points on a Wiki.

      You only really learn languages, in my opinion, by thinking of an arbitrary task and working through the solution - with only the official language documentation as a reference.

  18. Dave R
    October 10, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Some good points and I think the new code academy pro address most if not all of them, I have only just started with it and it seems to work well.

    We will see how it goes

    • Abdelhaq
      November 1, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Hi Dave,

      Could you please keep me updated on your experience??

      I'm a complete beginner and, to be honest, don't know were to begin... I finished all the free courses and am hesitant about entering the PRO courses...

  19. Aditya shiddapur
    September 30, 2016 at 8:55 am

    I am an Indian and in India we aren't even taught basic programming or coding.So if we want to learn coding we have to pay a lot of money to private institutes for the courses.So compared to that Codecademy is really a better alternative.

  20. Carolyn
    September 29, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Seems to me Code Academy is simply a starting place not unlike learning to cook. You can learn to boil water but are you making pasta, eggs, vegetables? Gotta start somewhere and if this is fun when you're a kid, you'll probably revisit or expand as your needs and skills increase. Ever wonder how many chefs started with an Easy Bake oven?

  21. Lisa Kopitzke
    September 22, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    codeacademy is a fantastic forum to engage and inspire kids to start coding. It's a wonderful way to encourage exposure to coding and prepare them for formal training in the classroom setting. They'll have a headstart.

  22. Adam
    September 12, 2016 at 2:02 am

    Ok

  23. adangi
    September 1, 2016 at 9:07 am

    codecademy is good platform. i learned pyton from it...... and complain about codecademy...

    stop barking on codecademy to promote ur stupid friend site... feeling like a "Dog barking on Elephant" lol stupid man

    • Na
      October 6, 2016 at 2:44 am

      @Adangi...You must behave a miserable life to insult someone out of no where...Don't know where you are from but here people are fee to express what they like and don't. Try to stay positive when someone express something than what you like...:)

  24. Esther Stepansky
    August 31, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    With all due respect the title of this article is simply clickbait to give you a forum to tell about your friend's program. You don't make yourself (or your friend's program) better by bad mouthing Codecademy.

    You can't write an essay until you can write in a language. Likewise with coding. There are many good resources online, each with its own style and ideal student in mind. Many assume the student already has SOME digital fluency. Codecademy is one of the few that does not & despite having a degree in CS, I continue to use it when I want to learn or teach a topic to beginners.

    Whether or not they become professional programmers will depend a lot on their first programming experience. If you make people feel stupid in lesson one they are not likely to even come back to lesson 2.

    The time & place for learning & doing the hard stuff is AFTER mastering the basics, which codecademy does an excellent job of providing.

  25. joana
    August 24, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Code academy its a free source of learning for newbies , why so many complaints?
    Smarter people I guess go somewhere else and do something about it, don`t sit around complaining. These people tried to create a good idea in offering free education. Takes time to perfect it. Jesus you people!!!

    • HWANG
      October 17, 2016 at 1:45 am

      I think you are carried away by the title. You are just complaining about what-seems-like complaints.
      The author is warning the simplicity of the codeacademy that may harm the potentials of the code learners.
      I too loathe complaints the 3rd parties make without an intention of looking into the content but I think the author is making good points by analysing in his perspective in which I did not perceive otherwise personally.
      I found the sites the author suggested very useful too.

  26. Dan
    August 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Aren't those things that are gained by experience? What I think is that any place that teaches coding, is not gonna be able to teach you everything. Just enough so you can identify a problem and ask the right question, get the solution so you can continue your work. Read the doc, look in google ( countless coders do this daily, don't think they are have mounds of hardrives knowing every single piece of code on any given language) and by the time you have done that a few times, you'll have gained a wealth of knowledge.

    One thing is for certain, you can't just sit around and pretend FFC, or any other site is gonna teach you everything about something. Heck, even college barely gets you trough the door sometimes. You have to keep looking and learning for a multiple stream of knowledge. Books, videos, documentation, ect.

    Don't get me wrong, I get the post, I really do. In my case I have decided to stick with them because I find it more risky starting to go around jumping from site to site ,looking for one that fulfills all my expectations, and then just giving up completely.

    I do agree with the points to a certain extent. But like I said, that's for the dev to optimize himself, semantics, clean coding not just hacking it, are things that have to come from the student, the intention to be the best at what he's doing. And that means taking bits of information from the right places.

  27. Julie Stahlhut
    August 19, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Codecademy is, at least in concept, a good fit for someone like me. I have some programming background (not expert, but have taken university-level classes in the past). So, when I want to explore a new language, I just want to learn the commands and syntax without sitting through Programming 101 all over again. I've recently been using (or trying to use) Codecademy to learn the basics of SQL.

    However, I really dislike their user interface. The lesson pages are ugly, poorly designed, and difficult to navigate. Reviewing previous lessons is counterintuitive. If you get stuck on an exercise (which can happen simply because some of their instructions are more vague than they realize), there's no easy way to get hints unless you want to use their chat feature. I'm ready to give up because I'm spending more time Googling answers to my questions than I am using the actual Codecademy site.

    I understand that it's a free service, so I'm willing to overlook some of its faults, but given the amount of work that must have gone into developing the content, I'd think that they could spare a bit of effort on a better interface.

  28. manish
    August 17, 2016 at 3:52 am

    i think codeacademy is best platform to start

  29. Jeremiah
    August 12, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Hi Matthew,

    So how would you recommend learning to program if not from codecademy?

  30. Jone
    August 9, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    For me codecademy was the very first resource where I had started to learn coding. It was very helpful, 'cause I don't even know what html is and it stands for. Now, ttanks to them, I can create sites with html, css, javascript, and I learn ruby and sql. Very helpful. And, by the way, basic stuff for free

  31. dd
    August 7, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    ddd

  32. heuss
    August 6, 2016 at 8:02 am

    I REkt it for the cake and for the pleasure , how many other hot grillsr on the internwt now? u gotta meetem thu stuff like thus bruh

  33. MrLeorine
    August 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    the room of improvement is , they need to add a flow-chart courses . hahaha

  34. LOU
    July 27, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    I agree but only to some extent.
    Its a GREAT place to START but thats about it... the rest is personal interest and development

    • heuss
      August 6, 2016 at 8:03 am

      u think ur so smart lou

  35. Dex
    July 25, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    I wrote a piece of information and my experience with Codecademy and then this login page came in. I signed in and all the data I had written has gone. You don't even have this basic system. Have this 1st then criticize or point fingers to others.

    • heuss
      August 6, 2016 at 8:01 am

      npooo

  36. Oye
    July 25, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    LOL

  37. Charlie
    July 22, 2016 at 12:44 am

    I personally think codeacademy is very useful but only as a starting point. Everyone wants to be able to code but it can be a daunting prospect and can seem un-rewarding in the early stages but codeacademy helps with that. However there is only so much it can do and lile many others after completing a few courses I was left wondering what next? I ended up using codewars which is great for challenging and reinforcing knowlege and gettimg the 'programmer mindset' as mentioned. I've come a long way in quite a short time and I can say sincerely that codeacamy played a crucial role in that.

  38. Alma
    July 22, 2016 at 12:20 am

    I disagreer with you. Codecademy is where I learned to code!

  39. Marcelo
    July 16, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    I'm just starting in programming world and I was learning with Codecademy, but even I couldn't tell what I felt that was something wrong. Then I searched "Codecademy bad" and found your article.

  40. SandraF
    July 4, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Even though this was a helpful post for future reference, I have to disagree on some fundamental points. Coming from a completely non-technical background in marketing I have no idea about programming, coding, whatever you wanna call it. Zero idea. Not a clue. For me Codeacademy is heaven, because of many reasons you have stated in you post. For an absolute beginner who might not even aspire to become a developer but rather wants to understands the basic principles underlying things like web development, I haven't seen anything else out there that helps me with that like Codeacademy does. Not to say that at some point I might switch to a different platform to work on 'developing a programmers mindset', but for now that is not even something I think about. So I agree, that Codeacademy may not be the greatest solution of all time, but for the audience it is designed for, people like me, it is an amazing way to get started and not become frustrated right away.

  41. Mohamed Thasleem
    July 3, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Code academy is just a start. Exploration doesn't have a end!

  42. James Boelter
    July 2, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Excellent article. I'm currently pursuing a CCNA certification via 3rd party books, videos and simulators, and the same thing applies - completing these (and the cert) won't make me a network engineer - it will just give me a vocabulary and a look at the concepts the field is based in. It's a foothold, but it's up to me to start climbing. Same with Codeacademy - all they can do is give you a foothold, but it'll still be more than you had before.

  43. Aidan
    June 30, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    I have just started the Codecademy Angular JS course, and I am finding that that teaches about how JS is used in relation to HTML.

  44. ehsan
    June 26, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    What about learnjava-online? Does that also suck? Please don't tell me that, I love it. :)

  45. JonSnow
    June 26, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Thanks for your useful post, another question : Are video tutorials constructive like udemy.com or not?

  46. payu
    June 21, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    codecademy for me is like a place where I can get in touch with some very basic knowledge of a new language. Then decide if I will learn deep about that language. It doesn't matter if its teaching pace matches me or not.

    The key principle of being a smart coder is "continue study," which no platform or others can teach you. If one thinks he/she can learn coding online or in school then become a qualified code monkey, he.she must misunderstand this career.

  47. Fukuo
    May 20, 2016 at 7:43 am

    I came across this blog after trying out the beginners courses in Code Academy and felt I wasnt learning well. You alternative refers to more advance options. Any alternative for complete beginners?

  48. PersephoneK
    April 18, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    I just finished their JS course (having taken the HTML and CSS course before that) and agree with everything you said. Perhaps it was because I already had a foundation in HTML/CSS that those were easier to me, but it seemed also that they had more practical applications included in the courses, whereas JS basically never explained to me why learning whatever I was learning might be useful in real programming. And knowing that JS is one of the 3 key pieces of web programming, it was shocking that there wasn't one module devoted to using JS with HTML. Overall, it was very frustrating and I found myself just copying/pasting answers from the forums towards to end just to get through it. It was just too dense for a newbie.

    • Aidan
      June 30, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      As I was reading your comment, it struck me just how similar my experience was. I did their HTML and CSS course, and there I learned how the work together. However, I felt like their JS course was leading people to the thought that it can operate well alone. However, this is very false. I also found myself taking answers from the forum on the last 3 levels.

  49. Jacques Soulé
    April 14, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    The fifth reason that could be added is their policy when using their free subscription.
    On the free subscription when you are stuck because you are blocked and you don't find the right solution, or because they have bugs on their exercice like on the Javascript N°23 exercice, you are not able to access the right solution or to find the way to be unstuck. In addition their forum is limited to a daily number of messages which prevents you to continue discussions and to be helped. For that you have to upgrade to the PRO version. It is not fair.

  50. Maxence
    April 12, 2016 at 2:25 am

    What the article says would be absolutely right ONLY if yes base assumption was also right.

    To sum up, this article is built around the assumption that codecademy's purpose is to make of you a developer. But it is NOT.

    Codecademy is an introductory class to some of the most popular web design and programming languages syntax.

    It is simply the equivalent of the first courses of any module you'd find in university when about to learn and new language.

    Now, if it was self declared a tool to make you a developer, this article would be spot on. ( I myself thought of it when using codecademy)

    Now that being said, one thing for sure being missing (but keep in mind that there is now paid projects which I don't know the content of and might actually do what I'll suggest) would be to LINK every languages and that every time you enter a new language, it tells you how to make it function through another one you learn previously. Hence helping you understand how thy articulate and then be able to make real world projects.

  51. Ryan
    April 4, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    I personally think that codecademy is excellent when paired with code.org, since code.org teaches mindset, while codecademy teaches syntax. Any questions I have are answered online at stackoverflow.com. These 3 sources make coding as easy as pi.

    • JonSnow
      June 26, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Damn code.org with its inspirational videos >:-(

  52. JD
    March 7, 2016 at 7:42 am

    So, we shouldn't learn to code from Codecademy, instead we should learn from...? Where?? Please complete the sentence. Will that subreddit be a better starting point? Just trying to tackle challenges without knowing anything about syntax?

    Come on.. you're holding it to an unrealistic standard. You're not wrong about it lacking all of those things, but tell me a place that has everything Codecademy does and none of it's shortcomings.

    If you were to see it as what it is: a tool to get you off the ground, teach you fundamentals, get you excited about coding, then you'll realize how great it is at it. If you then complement that with other resources and put it to practical use, then you'll be well on your way to become a decent programmer.

    • Ryan
      April 4, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      The best thing to do would be do code.org courses to get the mindset down, then use codecademy to learn syntax. Stack overflow can answer any questions.

      • JonSnow
        June 26, 2016 at 12:54 pm

        I don't agree about this : stackoverflow.com can answer all of our questions, sometimes you yourself should answer you questions!

      • BizzFuzz
        August 30, 2016 at 2:51 am

        Code.org is very high level since it's aimed at young students. There are quite a few free college CS and related courses online now via coursera and edx (Harvard's CS50) as well as on Youtube and that's what an adult who wants to learn seriously should use. Also agree with JonSnow in that if you have to constantly search for answers and copy someone else's work, you are likely lacking some core knowledge that you'd get in the courses I mentioned before. Of course a lot of learning how to handle problems comes as you encounter it, you can't prepare for everything, but if you don't want to look and feel like an imposter assuming you are hired, you're going to need to know the common algorithms, sorts, data structures and how to create them, etc. Copying and pasting code won't teach you those things.

  53. 1TB Cloud storage
    February 20, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    There is no good place to learn . The best place is in your heart.
    No one is suppose to teach you how to think. Many are thinking in this direction because the world has abandoned the sixth sense which is vital in developing any good idea or thought

  54. james scott
    February 14, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    So, what are the best alternatives to CodeAcademy, for someone just starting out?

    I would love to know. I have been using CodeAcademy for the last few weeks, and it has proven to be useful. But, I am left feeling as if I am on unstable ground. It does feel as though the exercises, and projects, could be constructed in a more thorough manner. And, as someone who is NOT a programmer, and barely beyond beginner, it feels as though the thought process is grossly overlooked.

    I'm a professional musician, 26 years of experience, and I've taught guitar for the last 23 years as well. I can say, without a doubt, that the "how to think musically" is the biggest issue in learning music, and it can be taught. But, it cannot be taught by doing simple exercises one time.

    • Sean
      May 26, 2016 at 6:17 am

      try to write some scripts in a text editor and run it through command line, google it if you get stuck. Also recommended beginner books are a great start if you are ok with paying a small amount of money.

  55. allan jay monteclaro
    December 31, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Although I agree with some of the points in the article, we seem to forget that codecademy is just a tool to get non-programmers excited about programming. It's not a one-stop shop to learn everything about programming. It focuses on one goal: build interest. It doesn't promise to be the only tool you'll need. So, asking it to teach things taught in a four-year Computer Science program is like asking your dad to be pregnant.

  56. Ralph
    December 11, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    I agree with you on many points of the article, but I think you missed one important point.
    Codeacademy doesn't actually teach the programmer mindset and the thought pattern, since it only scratches the surface of the languages, and it doesn't teach you the basic concepts deeply enough (its lack of well written code is clear and there are obvious clues on almost every 'challenge'), but it does pretty well the task of making people feel interested in coding, just by showing them a few examples and what they can make on a basic level.
    Overall, I think it's a good tool to try programming and get excited about it, maybe searching for more complete offers (books, webs, Youtube tutorials..) later on if you really liked it.
    Good article, though :)

  57. Vinny
    December 11, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    If you can't think of how syntax and coding basics can help solve problems, then you are not cut out for programming

  58. sigshane
    December 10, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I just read through all of the article, and while it was rich on the codecademy bashing, it offered very little in the way of viable ALTERNATIVES.

    And sorry dude, suggesting the Euler and Reddit 'mind-bending puzzles' to learn programming would be like me telling you that figuring out how to treat gunshot wounds or drug overdoses can be accomplished by heading down to the local ER and pulling some rubber gloves on and jumping into the fray... you gotta have some fundamental base as a starting point, and CA goes a long way toward providing that.

  59. Ben
    December 5, 2015 at 8:59 am

    I agree that Codecademy is not a great primary learning source. That being said, it has its uses.

    first: Everyone needs to start somewhere. Codecademy is great for just touching "what is this programming thing?" Of course you won't become a developer doing it, but you're also not really a developer after taking Programming 101 in college, and you sure as heck aren't a developer after reading the K & R, but it's considered one of the best references on C around.

    second: maybe you're already a beginning or intermediate programmer - it's a really quick way to get into a new language. No, you won't be a pro when you're done, but you'll probably be able to read the language, and maybe poke and prod an existing script as needed. You already have the developer mindset - why learn it again?

  60. Codenext
    December 4, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Whoever wrote this article I want to give 10/10. I Just want to add my real experience here.

    1. I wanted to develop the website which I started from zero, starting from zero means I was not even knowing what is variable and what is constant, I mean I know the dictionary definition but not in context of programming.

    2. So, I started learning HTML then CSS, Ruby and Ruby on rail from codecademy then I finished the course of Java, JavaScript then PHP, so if the person know all these then he should be able to develop the website completely. But I was not able to do anything. because I learned from the codecademy is just the syntax, write array, object etc. But no where I learned how to use all of this when shall i put all this files how shall I attache all this files? It is like I just learned x, y, z but that does not mean you learned X^2 + Y^2 = Z^2 equation and their use in real life. So I wasted 3 months in all this.

    3. Then I took 15 days break of frustration of what to do and after searching & searching I came across Drupal, then I came to know learning each language separately does not make a website, THERE IS SOME FRAMEWORK REQUIRED, so you can apply your learned languages through this frame. So, WHILE LEARNING DRUPAL I CAME TO KNOW HOW ALL THIS FILES ARE COMBINES AND MAKE ONE ENTIRE MACHINE....and in reverse way then I started actually learning those languages......Now I am able to combine HTML, CSS, Jquery, JAVA and PHP and now I am able to get output what needed in real world.

    4. learning from the codecademy, which just do all thing on one black screen. But real world does not work like that. You need to make file, you need to know how to use editor, you need to know how to use Terminal. These all basic, very Important you are not learning from the codecademy, which is like A, B, C, D of the language.

    5. What I learned: I learned from the codecademy all the syntax, But there are some important real life syntax and HTML and CSS element are not there in codecademy, if you compare with w3school, they have lots of example of real world stuff.

  61. Ash
    December 4, 2015 at 5:22 am

    This is crap.

    I agree with your thoughts but your missing one main point. Code-academy is only the very beginning. It teaches the very basics and then they need to be applied.

    The way I learnt was to do codecademy whilst having a side project to apply it to. Thus I'm learning the syntax whilst trying to solve a real-world problem.

    Agree codecademy won't teach you to be the finished project of a real-world programmer. That being said it's a great way to start. You just need to combine it with real-world problems and projects. I personally think doing a project at the same time is perfect.

    Thinking how will I solve this problem X. Write out in English how you think it might be solved. Then do codecademy and use it where you can in your project.

  62. Lorenzo
    December 3, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Code academy is like school it tells you everything but it doesn't learn you what to do with it next

  63. Rene Baron
    December 3, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    There is a good chance that your next job interview will come up with the same low level of stupid questions you will be able to answer from CodeCademy.
    Has happend to me :-(
    Ok, fine for a student, but it will not qualify for real life projects. It will not qualify for team. And it will definitivly not prove that you are able to deliver something really useful after a month of working.
    CodeCademy is an entry point. But not efficient nor effectiv. CodeCademy ALONE is not the way your brain works! Your synapses will be underfired nor will they spread out to link with the things that really matter.
    CodeCademy will prove that you have followed something. That's it. But being a follower does not make a doer.
    So, nothing bad about CodeCademy - as long as you understand its niche.
    Me pesonally, I do some lessons just for repetition. Just to check whether all is still there in my brain or whether something got lost that might be important.
    CodeCademy gives you some structured guidance and tracks your progress and gaps. Off course there are other ways as well - but sometimes listening to people is just more fun than reading (e-)books.

  64. Chris
    December 3, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I *like* the narrow focus of CodeCademy. I've been a self-taught developer for 20 years, and the most efficient, effective, and pain-free language tutorial I had ever used was an old book/floppy combo - 'Mastering C' by Waite Group, which used a similar approach.

  65. Sirko
    December 3, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    I would like to point out that neither does the Scholl teach you how to think...but this is up to the individual....a lot of jobs today ppl take for granted and think they can learn online...coding is one od them

  66. Rui Lourenço
    December 3, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I found codecademy very useful when, out of curiosity, i wanted to learn about css and javascript. However after taking the time to finish the courses i felt like i wasn't prepared to do anything with it... regardless of that i still think that projects like codecademy should still presist and are very helpful for someone who wants to give it a try. I just hope that what they have now is not a finished product and they keep improving and maybe dig a little deeper in every course and also having an extended exercise section tailored to what you've learned so far (Bonus Level :p).

  67. Ionut Virtaci
    December 3, 2015 at 8:26 am

    I learned a lot from CodeAcademy. Mostly, I agree with your post. I tried applying what I learned in real life and the results were shaky at best. But through perseverence and a lot of googling, I eventually got my sea legs. That said, I think platforms like it are great because they introduce people into the basics. The takeaway is that whatever you learn, you should try to apply it outside of your learning environment as soon as possible. As with anything, don't learn to x, learn to think.

  68. Zhong Jiang
    December 3, 2015 at 4:50 am

    So what aspects of programming do employers look for? That way, people can jump into learning the basics then develop these skills.

  69. Vijay Pal
    December 3, 2015 at 4:38 am

    I think when you are starting the syntax of any programming matter a lot than programming which is subset of logic and mathematics, this is the are which you must lesrn and develope in school while solving any readoning question or maths problem, snd codecadely is not for that, essentiallly it teaches you the concept of any programming language so if you have your own idea or concept you dont have to struggle with converting it into reality, most of the people like me have idea about lot of things but it can not be converted to reality untill or unless you are familiar with any programming, like creating a beatiful interface is the process of visualization in your mind then if you know the html and css you can convert it into reality, and thats what the sole purpose of codecademy is, they are not promissing you to make hardcore programmmer,computer software engineer or scientist but giving you a start of your journey.

  70. Chris
    December 3, 2015 at 2:59 am

    I found when I came out of the HTML and CSS courses that I did not really understand how to link my files to get them to reference each other properly. That said, I am going through the Odin Project which supplements this with the outside bash your head on the keyboard exercises that really frustrate you. I googled a lot and I am sure I will do the same with the JavaScript. I am learning syntax, but so far have no clue what I am going to use it on when I am done. I assume I will learn that after I complete the code academy portion. Overall I like it a lot. I know I am no where near what a developer is capable of but like a chef you cannot expect a guy off the street, who learns to cook in a 12 week course to execute a menu that has been perfected over years of practice.

  71. fcd76218
    December 3, 2015 at 12:02 am

    "Problem One: It Doesn’t Teach the Mindset"
    Does CA require flowcharting as a prerequisite to all programming courses? Does it even offer a flowcharting course?

    Flowcharting is a prosaic part of programming. Some would even say that it is archaic and/or unnecessary in today's software development world. However, flowcharting teaches how to break down a problem or a process into logical steps. It forces you to think logically like programmer.

  72. RDF
    December 2, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    I won't blame CodeAcademy. What would you expect. Some if not all courses are free. For me it still ok to learn the basics and then supplement your learning with more coding.

  73. Phil Spitler
    December 2, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    I would like to start by saying I have no affiliation with CA. I'm just extremely passionate about providing anyone and everyone with the best opportunity possible at starting a career in the tech industry.

    So on to this post.

    Problem #1:

    "Codecademy does not teach you to think like a coder."

    Do you expect them to? For your brain to make the neuroconnections necessary so that in some milliseconds worth of time, you can be immediately fired up about your first go at a solution because you know if you're off on your hypothesis of what it is, you know it's not by much. That takes years of experience. Other than experience, what would you propose Codeacademy change in their offering to teach you to "think like a coder"?

    Somehow you managed to follow the negative comment about CA "it teaches you the basics of a number of programming languages, without any real instruction on how you’d apply them to real-life problems." almost immediately with the statement "which features enough mind-bending programming puzzles to sink anyone’s teeth into" as a positive about 2 other online learning aids. How are theoretical mind-bending puzzles better than showing how you LITERALLY loop through an array for a beginner?

    Problem #2:

    "Blink and You’ll Miss It"

    If your ambition was to reach as many potential developers as possible for them to have the opportunity to to see if it sparks something within them, how would you go about doing it? Would you teach someone brand new to construction how to hammer a nail or how air compressors work so they can contemplate how much energy may be wasted if they used a nail gun vs a hammer?

    Quite frankly, I blinked and missed your argument. All I saw was a bunch of marketing after your first sentence.

    Problem #3:

    "Syntax is not programming."

    I agree with you on your point there. Anyone can reference an API. That said, While the issues you bring up would effect you if someone hired you based on the fact that you just took a Code Academy course. I'm fairly likely someone who just took the Java course on Code Academy would not find themselves in that situation after an interview.

    Saying you'll have to go elsewhere to obtain more knowledge is like saying humans need water to survive. This isn't a CA thing. It's a thing you do when you are always challenging yourself and understand and are OK with the fact that none of us will know everything. The hunger for knowledge and desire to seek out more compelling answers is one of the key components of "thinking like a coder".

    Problem #4:

    Too much cake, not enough vegetables

    Learning to be a developer is challenging. Overcoming a problem you've spent the better part of 72 hours working on is euphoric even. I've pushed myself a lot. And I'd have to think really really really really hard for a time when I've put myself in a position where programming and the things I needed/wanted to learn were not exciting.

    If you love being challenged and have a growth mindset (it's a lifelong journey), I believe the fairly light, and still technically accurate Code Academy courses can be a great test to see if it excites you.

    • heuss
      August 6, 2016 at 8:05 am

      phil ur so smart
      if every1 did a phill
      theres no war
      #nevertrump

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *