Codecademy is an education company devoted to creating the best environment for the online education experience of the future. Rejecting the efforts of some companies to improve education by “disrupting” it and bringing everything online, Codecademy claims to be rethinking education from the bottom up, taking cues from the real world. Codecademy is free and is open to anyone, even someone with no coding skills at all.
Codecademy was created in 2011 by Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski, two students at Columbia University. Current financial backers include Thrive Capital, Index Ventures, the Founder Collective and Union Square Ventures.
Partnerships with Schools
Codecademy has partnered with schools and colleges in England to provide resources for classroom teachers to take Codecademy’s education experience to their students. Codecademy provides training for teachers in learning how to build a website and how to make it interactive, learning to build web apps with Ruby on Rails 4 and AngularJS.
Codecademy has also designed more than 100 lessons in eight units from web fundamentals to making interactive websites that classroom teachers can use with their own students on their own schedule at their own pace. The lessons provide an opportunity for students to engage in real-time online coding while they learn the fundamentals. The lessons also provide quizzes and other feedback mechanisms to assess students’ progress. Codecademy also allows teachers to create online accounts for their students to track individual performance.
Hour of Code
Codecademy participates in the Hour of Code, an initiative to teach coding basics in one hour. The curriculum is available in Spanish and English and can be downloaded as a free app to mobile devices.
Codecademy offers twelve-week in-person web development labs in New York City and Miami. The lab involves six hours per week of in-person instruction in a group of 25 learners. In addition, ten more hours of online learning content is covered each week at home. No prior coding experience is required to participate in the Codecademy lab.
The Codecademy lab curriculum is a sequential process, beginning with two weeks covering the basics of HTML and CSS. By the end of the twelve weeks, participants are able to build and launch apps from scratch, creating a final project based on the entire twelve weeks of skills.
The Codecademy curriculum provides training on the following coding languages:
The Codecademy labs combine the content of their online courses with interactive collaboration and immediate assistance from instructors available only in a classroom.
Free On-Line Courses
As with the school resources and the Codecademy labs, the online courses for these languages allow for online, real-time coding while you learn. Explanations are given for each step of the course, enabling you to go back and repeat parts of lessons at a later time. You are not required to run the actual coding languages on your computer; Codecademy takes care of that within the built-in console. Each course finishes up with a Projects section where the user has the opportunity to apply and replicate the concepts learned in the lesson and attempt to create a real-world application of the concepts.
Codecademy also provides Codecademy Communities for each coding language. The communities provide an opportunity to interact with other coders from around the world. Each lesson also provides a Q & A section that functions much like the communities, allowing you to get help from others familiar with the topic you are covering.
Codecademy participants each receive their own profile. As they progress through the lessons and exercises, they receive feedback and can earn badges as well as keep track of their total score and streak of participating days.
Like any service, Codecademy has its limitations. Its greatest asset—the fact that it is free—also contributes to its shortcomings. Codecademies does not offer tutorial videos like some coding skill sites do. Also, Codecademy cannot take you to the point of becoming a professional coder. And the flip side of the ability to use your own computer and browser is that you don’t get experience in a live web framework.
Some of Codecademy’s earlier limitations have been addressed with the inclusion of API and Web Project sections. But for a free service available 24/7 at no cost, Codecademy has established a well-known in the world of coding skill development. As an introduction to coding and a means to generate an interest in coding technology, Codecademy succeeds as evidenced by the success stories of its learners throughout the site.