CodeCademy Review (2017) – Is it Worth it?

How good is codecademy?

We felt since other websites didn't dive deep into CodeCademy offers, we decided to do a comprehensive review. To date, CodeCademy is one of the larger providers of online coding instruction. They provide what before the Internet could only be achieved through book study or a full University education.

They implement a mostly no-cost world of online instruction: real, fundamental instruction in the art of coding without the overhead of a class schedule, specific course times and exorbitant loans. In this article, we will be looking at CodeCademy in depth. If the platform doesn't offer quite, what you are looking for, we included a few comparable alternatives to look into as well.

CodeCademy.com provides instruction in coding in a variety of languages with a unique IDE-in-browser approach to allowing students to explore the language. Its intention is to

CodeCademy Summary and Stats

Code Cademy StatsCodeCademy.com was founded in 2011 and currently boasts over 25 million distinct current and former users of the service. A pair of Columbia University students developed the site to bring code instruction into the information age. Catering to the beginning learner, CodeCademy offers 12 distinct coding tracks:

  • Python
  • Java
  • PHP
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery (see our free Tutorial here)
  • AngularJS / React.js
  • Ruby
  • SQL
  • HTML / CSS

These offerings are free; however, CodeCademy offers a “pro” option that allows tailored lessons and tutorials for the user as well as live tutoring. To access the features on CodeCademy.com, you create a learner profile and then begin your track in one of the languages above.

Sign up at Codecademy for free here

Each track begins at the beginning, and users can expect to recreate the ubiquitous “Hello World” example before moving on to more strenuous concepts. For example, on the Python track, you are first greeted with standard input and output. Next, you work with mathematics, and add variables.

Lists and arrays as well as more complex data structures follow, continuing into flow control commands such as loops and case/switch style commands. All in all, the flow is appropriate and closely approximates a classroom approach to the material.Clicking a language begins each course track. An integrated development environment and standard output meet you as well as instructional material and assignments.

The creators put together a introductory video that shows the success of one of their own student that went through some of the training. He speaks to what it felt like writing and creating his first line of code, reading “hello world”

 

The box at left provides you with background in the lesson, explains the concept to be taught, and gives you a task to perform. You enter your answer in the given IDE, and submit your answer for review when you are done. Each step is lightly harder than the last, and each set of lessons works through a set of ideas such as variables, data types, formatting, and so on.

Deep Dive into a Free Account

Code Cademy when you first visit their website is completely free to sign up and start going through introductory courses. Upon logging in, they suggest you immediately start the free courses with html and css. As well discuss later, there is quite a bit lacking in the context they set you up into the lessons. If you are coming into this membership with the mentality that CodeCademy is a phase in which you can quickly learn a common code language, then it should be a great fit for you.

login Screen after signing up at Codecademy

If you aren't sure where you want to start, they give you the opportunity to view all the free courses they offer for free. You have the option to sort by what your objective is. The choices currently are web development, languages, tools, APIs, and Data analytics. To note thought, for database driven learning we only saw support for mysql. Advanced Caching methods like how to use redis or a in depth mongodb tutorial will not be found here.

One thing that is helpful is the estimated time they think it will take you to go through their course. If you enter one of the courses, you are given a text editor with instructions to start coding as they guide you along the way.

Overview of Codecademy courses

Benefits

In the benefits column, CodeCademy provides help and hints and caters to students who have a difficult time mastering the material, allowing you to get it right before you go on. The IDE interface will also provide helpful hints but only upon request of the user. In addition, CodeCademy.com offers their 12 tracks free of charge.

You are also free to quit at any time and pick back up at the lesson where you left off. Live help and tutoring as well as custom lesson plans are available for a fee. It is overall a good place to get your feet wet programming without taking the risk of spending a large amount of money.

Criticisms

On the down side, those who have a strong background in computer science may find the pacing of the lessons to be a little slow and tedious. The pace of the material is geared to the rank beginner, so modules on basic concepts like variables and data structures may seem pedantic. Also, the number of offerings may not include your language of choice.

The free offerings are one-size-fits-all, so if you don’t understand how a certain concept is approached in a module, the only way to get a different approach to the same concept is through the “pro” offering. Due to the free structure that is geared toward beginning coders, it lacks the depth of many other online instruction tools in language.

CodeCademy AlternativesCoding Resources other than Codecademy

Team Treehouse

Team Treehouse is specifically geared towards the coding community. Using over 1000 specially crafted video lessons, they are able to deliver classroom grade content to the desktop. Curricula include Web design, coding, game design, and hard programming. Treehouse is a great place for instructor interaction and actionable learning. Read everything they have to offer in our Team Treehouse Review.

Lynda

Offering an online library of over 3,000 courses, Lynda is an excellent choice for people wanting to pursue education in a coding or technology track. Courses are created and taught not just by anyone, but by industry leading instructors and people who are actively involved in business. We did a full review on lynda.com here.

Udemy

Udemy is a unique course marketplace. Instead of being taught in a directed fashion, instructors offer courses in a myriad of different subjects and set their own costs to attend. Subject matter is largely coding and information technology but ranges far further than just coding. Check out our full Udemy review here.

Summary

Overall, CodeCademy is a good entry-level coding website for the language modules it offers, even if the material seems tedious at times. For those on a budget looking to develop the basic skills of a language, it does shine.

CodeCademy does cover the basics and some more advanced features of the languages to a certain depth, although lack of depth in any one language is notable. CodeCademy appears to be a comprehensive tool for learning coding. In the sense that it provides the concepts inherent in the language, it is comprehensive.

There is just not enough material and the lessons don’t cover enough ground in their breadth to give you a rich understanding of the languages. However, there are alternatives out there that provide a more comprehensive resource. Some suggestions are listed below.

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