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Learn How to Make Apps and Website with Codecademy

Updated on May 17, 2012

What is Codecademy?

The free interactive site that teaches interested self learners new skills was founded by Zack Sims and Ryan Bubinski. They became frustrated when teaching themselves how to code, finding a lack of interactive and easy to understand material.The two creators channeled their frustrations and created a new format to bring information to the masses.

The site has experienced explosive growth since it's start in 2011, signaling many were already searching for an easier way to learn basic computer programming. Twitter and Facebook users helped spread the word about this new free site.

Develop Websites, Apps and Games

If you'd like to develop websites, create useful apps, or make your own video game, codecademy gives you the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to make your goals a reality. Internet marketing, mobile phone apps and video games are some of the most lucrative and fastest growing markets. The skills taught at codecademy are highly sought out by those wanting to break into this fast paced field.

Others are simply interested in learning a new hobby. They visit websites, use mobile apps and play games and wonder what's going on behind the scenes. For them the fun and learn-at-your-own-pace style of codecademy provides an outlet for their natural curiosity.

Interactive Learning

What sets Codecademy apart is the interactive learning element used. Why is interactive learning better? It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but most people learn easier and faster when they are doing, instead of just observing. There are more books than one could read in a lifetime about programming and coding. No one can blame a lack of information for their inability to code. Go ahead and crack one of those books open and see how far you get. Most of the information is dry and boring. It's hard to visualize what exactly is happening.

In recent years educators from many fields have begun spouting the benefits of interactive learning. Reading is a passive activity, but when students are actively participating they are more alert, focused and ready to absorb knowledge. Students learn a small amount of information at a time, then immediately get the opportunity to test their understanding of what was just presented. If a fundamental step is not fully understood, students can use this immediate feedback to take a step back and reread information.

The Easiest Way to Learn How to Code

Beyond utilizing interactive learning techniques that engage the student, and make learning difficult subjects fun, CodeAcademy rewards students with "trophies" for completing a certain amount of lessons, or completing all the lessons in different subjects. The site offers a social element as well. Users can compete with friends to see who is progressing the fastest. There are also forums to get answers to common questions and places to request help if you are a stuck on a particular area.

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What skills can you Learn?

When the site first launched users were offered lessons in JavaScript, one of the basic programming languages of the internet. For students with no former programming knowledge it provides a introduction to basic programming principles. For web developers knowing JavaScript is a real advantage, because it makes sites interactive. In the highly competitive online world any tools a developer can add to their repertoire are advantageous and necessary to set them apart.

Codeacademy now also offers courses in HTML and CSS (cascading style sheets). Users can learn the very basic elements that go into making any web page, building on this knowledge with CSS for complete control over the look and format of any site they create.

There are plans to add more courses over time, with the site calling for all experienced developers and programmers to submit tutorials. So, experts who enjoy passing on their valuable skills and knowledge can contribute.

Naysayers will point out you can't become an expert in these subjects in a year, and they are absolutely right. As the site stands right now, users can expect to build a solid foundation in one of several areas, but must understand to master a subject takes determination, hard work and sometimes a huge time investment. Nothing hard comes easy, and users should not expect overnight success.

Look at all my trophies! Won't mom be proud
Look at all my trophies! Won't mom be proud

CodeYear: Make 2012 the Year You Learn to Code

What is CodeYear? It's a project began by the founders of codecademy that gives interested self learners a way to learn a new skill gradually over the course of one year. If you are late to the party you can still participate by completing lessons at your own pace at codecademy. There is no rule that says you can't do more than one lesson a week. In fact that is one of the sites best features. Students can work at a pace that is comfortable to them. Everyone learns in their own way. For some the interactive nature of the site makes learning easier and faster than traditional methods. Others may work at a slower pace.

Even though we are well past the new year, there is no reason not to give Codecademy a try. It is free after all. New users can jump right into learning, without having to register before the first few lessons.


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    • ASchwartz profile image

      ASchwartz 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Glad it worked for you! I've been having fun with it, but going at a snails pace. I have too many hobbies.

    • FalconSays profile image

      Karen S Falcon 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I've got an account now. Just with the combination of my natural lack of patience, my multi-tasking and the general truth that online officionados travel at lightening speed, I was erked.

    • ASchwartz profile image

      ASchwartz 5 years ago from Kentucky

      It's been a few months since I signed up. Hope you get it sorted out. Thanks for reading.

    • FalconSays profile image

      Karen S Falcon 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I went immediately to the site and was intrigued . . until I started to sign up. Oy vay, the process just to sign up for an account. :-)