Codecademy Review

In this review, I’ll discuss if its worth learning to code at Codecademy.

Introduction to Codecademy

Codecademy is a New York-based MOOC company, specialized in offering courses related to the language of Coding.

Codecademy offers online courses on 14 different programming languages currently dominating the IT industry, such as Python or Java.

Two friends launched Codecademy in 2011, who wished to learn coding but couldn’t learn due to the low quality of the existing materials. Hence, the main purpose of Codecademy is to teach programming, anticipating no prior knowledge at all. The courses at Codecademy starts through small exercises, then slowly increases the complexity of the tasks.

After the above Intro, I will tell you about the pricing of courses at Codecademy!

Pricing of Codecademy

Do you know that Codecademy offers its basic course for free with limited mobile practice. 

Yes, you aren’t asked to sign up for one month free subscription or pay for each class. For learners with 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 basics of programming languages.

But, if you want access to live support and more advanced learning resources you can choose its paid plans, the Codecademy Pro and the Codecademy Pro Intensive.

The subscription of Codecademy Pro costs $15.99 a month (billed yearly) or $19.99 a month (billed every month) which includes everything offered in the Basic Codecademy course, Step-by-step Guidance, Unlimited Mobile Practice, Peer Support, Members-only Content, Real-world Projects and Certificate of Completion.

Whereas, the Codecademy Intensive plan costs $199 USD per course.

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 even avail a 14-day money-back guarantee offered by the Codecademy.

I’m sure you would find the above discussion very informative and useful for making your decision about Codecademy membership.

Pros:
• Makes it easy to start Programming.
• Reasonably priced subscription.
• Step-By-Step Instructions.
• No need to install all the complex developer tools.
• Large variety of programming languages.
• Free 7-day trial
Cons:
• Don’t offer help in building portfolio or Github account.
• No collaboration with other developers or a team.
• No video content.
• No teaching of Computer Science fundamentals.

Courses offered at Codecademy

There are 12 different programming languages taught at the Codecademy; including Java, Python, JavaScript, Go, SQL, Ruby, Swift, Sass, and C++, along with markup languages such as CSS and HTML.

Codecademy also provides structured road maps of curriculum like Career Paths that instruct the Web Development, Data Science, basic Computer Science skills and Skills Paths focusing on shorter-term and more advanced goals.

The duration of each course offered at this platform is estimated by the Codecademy itself, so it is easy to see how long it will take to complete the course. 

So, now you know what courses are offered at Codecademy. Let’s discuss some of the most significant things you need to have to become a professional Programming Language and Coding expert. 

What You Need To Become A Professional Programming Expert

  • In order to find a job as a professional developer, you need to have a few things, including:
  • A portfolio with real projects, which others, in the real world can see,
  • The ability to deal with algorithmic challenges in case of a technical interview,
  • A specific standard of problem-solving skills,
  • The skill of using the same tools used by the other professional developers, 
  • The ability of going through experiences on your own and to identify and correct the mistakes with/ without any external help.

After discussing what exactly you need to become a professional Programming and Coding Expert, let’s talk about what exactly it is like to learn programming at Codecademy

Learning Experience at Codecademy

After having subscribed at Codecademy for about one year, I would like to share some important information about this e-learning platform.

1. It becomes extremely easy to get started

If you’re one of those feeling intimidated, afraid to even try, and unsure of yourself, relax yourself. Although, Programming isn’t straightforward, but like other things…it begins with the basics too.

Codecademy provides a great platform to learn about programming. Even if you have no past experience or have no knowledge about a line of code, Codecademy will help you to start writing code.

2. You can learn without installing the developer tools

Installation of the programming environment is complicated to do in itself. However, Codecademy allows the learners to begin coding in a browser, which makes everything a lot easier. 

However, there are some trade-offs of coding in a browser. Although, it’s easy to start coding with Codecademy’s browser, but this is not what actual programming looks like. Because, at Codecademy you’re not using the actual programs which real developers use and you’re using codes in a way different different from an actual developer.

3. Codecademy offers Stepwise Instructions

When you’re learning programming for the first time, it is always useful to learn through step-by-step instructions. Codecademy gives you the opportunity to learn programming by doing, and you actually end up in writing codes. By helping you in quickly writing codes, Codecademy can actually keep you in the right direction of learning.

4. Exposure to a large number of programming languages

This is great that Codecademy supports a large number of programming tools, web frameworks and programming languages such as PHP, JavaScript and Ruby etc. 

5. Your work wouldn’t help build portfolio or Github account. 

You can prove your skills as a developer by pushing your code live on Github or on the internet. But, your Codecademy work doesn’t help to build your Github profile or portfolio. If you have a Codecademy Pro subscription, they do have some projects that are built at other platforms, but they have no support or structure for them.

Therefore, Codecademy helps you to learn, but it can’t be used as a resource for you to create a Github account or online portfolio.

6. Computer Science Fundamentals are not taught at Codecademy 

If your aim is to become a developer, you must learn to write codes that can solve the problems existing in the real world. 

Developers are frequently tasked to change bigger concepts into smaller problems through codes. For handling such type of tasks, they need to be able to write algorithms.

In the real world, developers need to know fundamentals of Computer Science, they must know how to work with data structures and it is essential to have knowledge to write algorithms.

There are a lot of problems, you can’t solve without knowing some basic concepts of Computer Science. 

7. Working on projects by yourself.

The best projects are developed by a team of developers in the real world. Collaboration with other developers, using codes which weren’t written by you, and introducing advanced features into small projects, leads to better software development. For this reason, team working is considered as the most desirable skill to get hired as a developer.

At Codecademy, you work on your own. It is a great experience, but if you intend to become a professional developer you need the experience of working with other developers as a team. 

 8.  Making Errors in Codecademy

Some find it a blessing and for some it’s a curse that if you make an error in the coding environment of Codecademy, it will simply stop you from approaching the next step. The error could be due to a skipped step, a typo, or some other mistake. Although, this function helps you to remain on track, but in some ways it has a disadvantage, too. These kinds of errors show error messages in real coding environment.

A major part of being an effective and professional developer is to learn how to understand, read and fix errors in response to error messages; which is not possible while learning programming at Codecademy. 

9. Building the mindset of programming

Learning the skill of programming is quite different from the traditional classroom learning. When you are learning to code, it usually also build your ability to think like a programmer. No doubt, Codecademy is a great resource for getting yourself started as a programmer, but you will possibly need to take help from other resources too in order to build your mindset like a professional programmer who is aware of how to distribute bigger issues into small ones to be easily solved using codes. 

Hence, if you are someone without programming background, Codecademy is a great way to introduce yourself to the programming but Codecademy is not sufficient to help you in doing your first job as a programming expert. 

Conclusion

After the above discussion, I would conclude my review by saying that Codecademy is a great e-learning platform where you can introduce yourself to coding and programming ideas. But, if you’re interested in something else, like Design, there are better learning platforms for that.

You will find Codecademy as a great first step on the journey to learn programming. Going through its lessons can help you understand and gain momentum about basics of programming languages. 

However, if your aim is to become a professional developer, you need to find other more advanced resources.