I have been interested in learning how to program for years now. It is just one of those things I have always wanted to know how to do but have somehow refused to take the time to teach myself. It’s not that it doesn’t interest me. In fact, whenever I come across a good article, video, or torrent on how to code I will usually download or bookmark it, but following through on the teachings is what has been hurting me. Perhaps if the process was more fun I would be able to get into it.
What Is Codecademy?
Codecademy was started by two gentlemen, Ryan Bubinski & Zach Sims, who realized what people like me were going through and sought out a way to remedy the situation. They describe their motivation on Codecademy’s About page. See if this describes you:
Codecademy was created when Zach got frustrated with learning how to program. For years, Ryan taught Zach the basics of HTML and CSS, but books and videos didn’t help. Ryan and Zach teamed up to create Codecademy, a better, more interactive way to learn how to program.
One of the things that really sets Codecademy apart (and makes it fun), is the gaming aspect that it has in place. As you progress through the lessons within the site, you will accumulate points and badges, which are displayed on your profile page.
Friends will be able to check out your profile to see the progress you’ve made, and we can expect to see other features – like leader boards – on the horizon.
Getting Started With Codecademy
The first thing you’ll notice when you go to sign up on Codecademy is that you are encouraged to take your first lesson right then and there. The interactive website will prompt you for simple information to teach you how to print out your name, find the length of it (in letters), and do simple math.
After you’ve made it through a few lessons, the site will prompt you to create an account, which you can do so by entering an email address and password, or by simply connecting with Facebook. Registering is the only way to save your progress, so I suggest you do it.
Once you officially get into Codecademy you can begin taking more lessons at your leisure. A sidebar on the lefthand side of the screen will instruct you to complete a task, and it will walk you through editing/creating code to execute that task. It really is easy.
Learning with Codecademy will put you on the path to building things like websites, games, apps, etc.
Codecademy is just getting started at this point, but I hope to see many more lessons get added in the coming weeks. According to TechCrunch, Ryan and Zach were not ready for the site to receive so much attention (I’m sure this article will help their cause) and they posted it to Hacker News looking for feedback, only to receive 1,000 signups in just a few hours.
Furthermore, it looks like Codecademy will be utilizing their user base to help develop new lessons for users, so if you have any expertise you’d like to lend to a good cause I suggest you check it out.
What do you think of Codecademy? Will you be signing up?