Codecademy -The Coding Education Everyone Deserves

About Codecademy

Codecademy is an education company that has constructed a well-structured program to help users learn coding. Their purpose is to provide a proper coding education, claiming that education is broken. The learning is divided into multiple courses, which are further divided into two: web developer skills and language skills. The web developer skills category has a set of courses that are geared towards building a website. These courses help build a basic foundation for beginner coders. The language skills category emphasizes learning coding languages. These courses help the user learn the basics of coding languages such as JavaScript, HTML, Ruby, Python, etc.

The courses are divided into units, which create a step by step learning experience. The units build successively; unit 2 will be built on top of unit 1. Each unit contains a small lesson, where the user is given some information about a certain topic, and then instructed to do a small task relating to the topic. Hints are available to users if they are stuck at any point. Upon reaching certain milestones, the user receives badges depending on what they have accomplished.

My Experience

I have some coding experience from the past, where I was involved in coding some small projects for class. I think Codecademy is a good way for beginners to start coding. The basics are explained very well and the repetitive practice helps retain the information better. I found it interesting how I was presented a website at the beginning. I like how the website was broken down into small, do-able tasks. I built that website throughout the unit, one step at a time. By the end, it is nice to see a fully constructed website. As the courses progressed, the exercises became more interesting. The tasks became more and more personalized, allowing me to play around with the code rather than simply asking me to a task. I personally felt that the JavaScript course allowed me to get away with errors, which was not the case in the HTML and the CSS courses. I was instructed to use a series of Boolean symbols to make an IF statement true. I simply erased all the code in the IF statement, and added the number that is needed to make the statement true, and then I submitted that code. The program allowed me to move on. Upon completion of the courses, think that HTML and CSS are designed extremely well; they are definitely very helpful for learning the basics of coding. I was able to retain what I learned from those courses. JavaScript was also designed well; however, it was not as engaging as the other two courses. This is perhaps due to the lack of objective in the course. There was so “final goal” so to speak. In the HTML course, there was a website that I was working towards for the entire course. The JavaScript course personalized everything and allowed the user to fill in the variables. I think that this style was good in its own way; however, having a bigger goal to accomplish would make the course more engaging. The projects are also very well designed. The instructions are very basic and vague; instructing the user to create something using what they have just learned in the module.

I like the way Codecademy structured the courses. I think that people may find coding slightly overwhelming because of the all words and numbers written in such a different manner. However, this program breaks big chunks of information into small steps, which creates a great learning experience. Furthermore, I like the idea of badges that are awarded to users as they complete certain courses and projects. I think this is a key motivating factor for users to continue to learn. The streak counter is another motivating factor. It counters the number of days the user has logged onto Codecademy. This will certainly encourage users to practice code daily and make it a habit.

Screenshots

badges

Above is a screenshot of some of the badges I have earned while practicing code. It is highly motivating to receive these from time to time.

screenshot1screenshot2
These two screenshots are from the project I completed. I was instructed to create a button using HTML and CSS. I used a lot of what I learned from the course to complete this project.

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