Codecademy Review

An Introduction to Codecademy

Is Codecademy a good place to learn coding? Keep reading for information about the platform and my Codecademy review.

Codecademy is a New York-based online-course company, specializing in coding courses.

Codecademy offers online courses on 14 different programming languages currently dominating the programming industry, including Python and Java.

Two friends launched Codecademy in 2011, wanting to create higher-quality resources for coding online. They developed a platform that teaches programming to both coders with some experience and absolute beginners. Courses start with easy exercises and then slowly the complexity increases.

Pricing of Codecademy

Did you know that Codecademy offers basic courses for free? For learners on a tight budget, this could be the deciding factor. All you have to do is sign up for a free course and start to learn the basics of programming languages.

However, if you want access to pro courses and members-only content, choose a Pro Lite or Pro plan. These plans offer real-world projects and step-by-step guidance, and the Pro plan even includes resources for interview prep and career guidance.

The Pro Lite and Pro plans have two payment options: monthly or yearly billing. You’ll get the best deal if you can pay yearly, as it’s half the price. Pro Lite is $14.99/month when paid yearly or $29.99/month when paid monthly. Pro is $19.99/month on the yearly plan or $39.99/month on the monthly plan.

Still not sure if you should opt for a free Codecademy membership plan or a paid one? Don’t worry. As a first-time subscriber, you can try out Codecademy on a 7-day free trial before being charged. You can my Codecademy review below.

Pros and Cons of Codecademy

Pros

  • It’s an easy way to start learning to code.
  • You can sign up for the Basic plan and access beginners courses for free.
  • There are reasonably priced subscription plans.
  • Both subscription levels offer step-by-step guidance.
  • The Pro plan also offers resources for interview prep and careers.
  • There’s no need to install all the complex developer tools.
  • A large variety of programming languages are offered.
  • You can test out the Pro Lite and Pro subscription plans with a 7-day free trial.
  • Each course has active community forums and groups.

Cons

  • The platform doesn’t teach the fundamentals of computer science like problem-solving skills or logical thinking. It also doesn’t cover the basics of how to work with data structures or algorithms.
  • Video content isn’t a central part of the teaching.
  • The step-by-step guidance doesn’t always help students learn to come up with solutions themselves.

What Courses are Offered on Codecademy?

There are 14 different programming languages taught on Codecademy, including Java, Python, JavaScript, Go, SQL, Ruby, Swift, Sass, and C++, along with markup languages such as CSS and HTML.

Codecademy also offers groups of courses organized by career path. You can select a role of a particular kind of web developer or data scientist, for example, and be given a curated set of courses.

If you’re stuck on what to choose, Codecademy even has a quiz that generates suggestions of the courses which might suit you.

Each course has an estimated duration, so you can plan for how long it will probably take to complete.

What Do You Need to Become a Professional Programming Expert?

In order to find a job as a professional developer, you need the following things:

  • A portfolio of your projects
  • The ability to deal with algorithmic challenges in a technical interview
  • A high standard of problem-solving skills
  • Knowledge of programming tools and languages
  • The ability to pick up new tools and languages
  • The ability to identify and correct your own mistakes
  • The ability to work on projects alone AND within a team

What is learning on Codecademy like?

A review of Codecademy and the learning experience it offers:

1. It’s extremely easy to get started

If you’re feeling intimidated or don’t know where to start, you can relax. Although programming isn’t straightforward, Codecademy begins with the basics and makes coding an approachable subject. Even if you’ve got no past experience or knowledge, Codecademy will help you start writing code early on.

2. You can learn without installing the developer tools

Installation of a programming environment is complicated. Codecademy allows you to begin coding in a browser, which makes everything a lot easier. 

However, this does have some trade-offs. Although it’s easier to start coding this way, it’s not what actual programming looks like. Because you’re not using the programs real developers use, you’re coding in a different way, too.

3. Codecademy offers step-by-step guidance

When you’re learning programming for the first time, it’s useful to learn through step-by-step instructions. This makes the experience less intimidating and more achievable for new learners.

4. There are courses on a wide range of programming languages and tools

Codecademy teaches a wide range of programming tools, web frameworks and programming languages, including PHP, JavaScript and Ruby. 

5. Your Codecademy work won’t directly contribute to your portfolio or Github account

You can prove your skills as a developer by pushing your code live on Github or elsewhere online. However, your work on Codecademy doesn’t easily pull through to outside platforms. Codecademy is great for learning new tools and languages, but it can’t be used as a resource to directly build up your portfolio of work.

6. The fundamentals of computer science aren’t taught on Codecademy 

If your aim is to become a developer, you need to learn to write code that solves problems in the real world. Developers are frequently tasked with breaking down bigger concepts into smaller problems through code. In order to do this, developers need to know the fundamentals of computer science, such as working with data structures and algorithms. There are a lot of problems you can’t solve without knowing the basic concepts of computer science. Unfortunately, these skills aren’t covered on Codecademy.

7. You work on projects by yourself

The best projects are developed by a team of developers. Collaboration, using code which wasn’t written by you, and introducing advanced features into small projects leads to better software development. For this reason, team work is considered a highly desirable skill in a developer.

At Codecademy, you work on your own. This means you can focus on your own goals and interests, but it doesn’t help you gain experience working with others. However, Codecademy does have community forums and groups, so your learning doesn’t have to be totally isolated.

8. Making errors in Codecademy

If you make an error in the coding environment of Codecademy, it will simply stop you from moving on to the next stage. The error could be due to a skipped step, a typo, or another mistake. Although this function helps you to stay on track, it doesn’t produce error messages like a real coding environment.

A major part of being an effective and professional developer is to learn how to understand and fix errors in response to error messages. This isn’t part of the learning process of Codecademy. 

Conclusion

Codecademy is a great e-learning platform for taking your first step into coding and programming. Its lessons can create a good level of knowledge and build momentum towards more advanced learning.

It’s also a great resource for those wanting to access basic courses for free.

However, if your aim is to become a professional developer, you’ll need to find other more advanced resources once you’ve mastered the courses on Codecademy. You will also need to learn computer-science fundamentals elsewhere in order to build the full skillset of a programmer.

If you’re interested in developing skills outside of programming, such as design, there are other learning platforms offering courses on a variety of subjects.