If you’ve done any research about ways to learn how to code, you’ve probably come across Codecademy.
Codecademy is one of the largest and most well known online coding platforms.
It offers numerous advantages over other conventional ways that teach how to code.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean Codecademy is the ultimate way to learn everything about programming.
Like every learning method, Codecademy has a number of pros and cons.
Whether Codecademy will work for you or not depends on several factors, including how much you want to learn and your dedication level.
If you're thinking about giving it a try, read on to learn more about this unique platform.
Codecademy Review - Does it Live up to Expectations?
Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of using Codecademy to learn how to code.
Codecademy provides you with access to a huge community of students who are willing to help you with all your issues.
Moreover, you can quit at any time you want and continue learning later. Live help and tutoring, in addition to custom lesson plans, are available for a small fee.
Overall, it's a good place to start with programming without having to spend a big chunk of your time and money on expensive courses.
Codecademy offers interactive courses and a variety of subscription plans.
Different Approaches to Learn
Codecademy gives you three different ways to learn on their website: free courses, Codecademy Pro and Codecademy Intensive.
Until recently, most of the courses on the platform were free. You just had to create a new account and you're good to go.
After the introduction of the two new paid plans, the number of free courses has decreased dramatically. Nevertheless, there is still a decent amount of courses on the website that are free of charge.
If you're wondering whether Codecademy Pro is worth it, the plan gives you access to a variety of quizzes, personal projects, and learning paths.
If you want to take your coding skills to the next level, you may want to give this plan a try.
As for Codecademy Pro Intensive, it'll provide you with extra curriculums, slack channels, deadlines, and exams. Obviously, you'll have to be more dedicated to learning how to code if you choose this plan.
It Takes Care of the Setup Process
One of the biggest obstacles to new learners trying to step into coding is that many languages require you to go through long hours to install the language on your computer.
This is especially true in the case of backend languages like PHP and Ruby. From having to make sure all the packages are right, to reconfiguring folder permissions and getting your server to run.
The setup process can get boring that many people just give up on learning that specific language without even getting a chance to try.
Codecademy has brilliantly solved this problem. You can start learning the syntax of any programming language right through your web browser using an interactive web interface.
Codecademy Covers a Wide Array of Languages & Topics
Whatever the programming language you want to learn, there's a high chance you'll find a tutorial for it on Codecademy. The full list includes:
- Command Line
While it lacks core programming languages like C and C++, the list is still impressive. C and C++ are by no means meant for beginners anyway.
While Codecademy is great for beginners, it doesn't teach you the fundamental concepts of programming.
Programming Isn’t just Syntax
Being a programmer is more than just learning the syntax of a programming language. It's about developing a specific mindset.
You should be able to disaggregate a problem into smaller blocks, and then rebuild it in a way that a computer understands by writing a program.
CodeCademy doesn't really teach you that. It'll teach you a programming language's syntax without touching on ways to apply it.
For example, the Java course doesn’t teach you how to compile your code for you to be able to run it. In fact, it doesn’t even teach you that Java is a compiled language, or what's a compiled language in the first place.
You need to be able to view the big picture of a problem and develop an understanding of how each step you take has a direct impact on the rest of the program.
Moreover, you need to accept a high level of frustration and be able to cope with failure and mistakes. Every programmer experiences a set of negative emotions more commonly than you think.
If you don't learn how to deal with these emotions, they'll severely affect your progress, or even lead you to give up.
You must know how to research bugs and error messages, and explain your problem to other people. In short, you need to have the ability to think like a coder.
Unfortunately, Codecademy doesn't really allow you to think like a coder. Rather, it teaches you the ABC of a number of programming languages, without teaching you how to apply them in real-life applications.
Too Much Cake, Not Enough Vegetables
One of the main reasons why Codecademy is successful is because it teaches coding in a rewarding way. It gives you addictive tasks that are easy to accomplish and gives you instant feedback.
The problem with that is, learning to be a programmer often requires you to develop a good understanding of essential things that aren't necessarily exciting or easy. Codecademy doesn't teach you the theory of programming, which is the harder part.
Codecademy is a great learning platform for beginners to kick-start their programming career. However, it won’t give you everything. You’re going to need more, much more.
It's a good idea to use Codecademy next to some other means of learning. For example, you can try reading a programming book and using Codecademy to apply some of what you've learned.
Even if you're a computer science student, Codecademy can help you in many different ways.