September 9, 2022
Those looking to get into coding but don’t know where to start
If you’re looking to get into coding but don’t know where to start, Codecademy may be the stepping stone you’re looking for!
In this Codecademy review, I will relate all the relevant details needed for you to decide whether it’s the right choice for yourself.
You’ll read about:
So, let’s get going!
Codecademy is an interactive online code-learning platform established in 2011 by Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski. It’s designed for those without a bit of coding knowledge and those looking to expand it. As such, it offers everything you need to get started, from courses you can create as you like to Career Paths that comprise what’s needed for someone to learn to pursue a career in technology. Apart from the pool of positive Codecademy reviews, the TIME Magazine award for “50 Best Websites of 2012,” and the TechCrunch award for “Best Education Startup,” its vast learner base of 5+ million users alone is enough to confirm this platform is legit and popular.
Once you go to the Codecademy website, browse through the course catalog or Career Paths, and find what you’re looking for, you can create an account and start learning at your own pace. If you’re unsure where to start, you can take the quiz to discover what course/career is best suited for you. After that, you can take a look at the syllabus, click on a lesson, and start learning—as simple as that!
Let’s first see what Codecademy main features are, and later on I’ll explain how does Codecademy work and talk about my personal experience in learning HTML and CSS on Codecademy.
The course catalog is divided into subjects and languages.
The 15 programming languages Codecademy offers are:
Regardless of whether you choose to start by subject or language, you’ll be navigated to a page like this:
As you can see in the image, you have an option to start the course, read related resources and blogs, or pursue a Career Path.
Compared to other online learning platform examples like Udemy, Skillshare, or Pluralsight, some might find Codecademy’s course catalog pretty thin. However, it’s an excellent starting point for beginners in coding, because the extensive catalog of other platforms may often seem overwhelming.
Once you select a course, you’ll be provided with more details in regards to what the syllabus contains, such as the number of lessons, projects, quizzes, level, certificate, progress, etc.
If you’re now wondering “is Codecademy free,” what I can tell you is that the courses are free to take to learn the foundations and get some basic practice, but the most useful resources for your learning such as quizzes and real-world projects are only available through the paid plans.
Presently, there are 10 Career Paths on Codecademy, given in the table below:
Career Paths consist of a different number and type of online classes, and they’re all beginner-friendly. Unfortunately, they’re only available through the paid plans, but you can try them out for free via the free-trial. However, unlike other platforms, Codecademy will ask for your credit card details upon signing up, but you’ll be charged only if you forget to cancel your account before the free trial expires.
Depending on which Career Path you chose, after completing the lessons, you’ll be given a project to work on to test your knowledge, after which you’ll get a certificate of completion. In addition to all this, you’ll get mock questions usually asked during job interviews of the chosen Career Path so you can prepare to nail that job that pays over 500k a year you were dreaming of.
As I found after a lot of digging through the reviews on online review platforms, those who’ve enrolled in Career Paths are divided on the question “can Codecademy get you a job.” Some say the Career Paths are well-directed and all-inclusive, while others say they’re only the tip of the tedious job hunt for new developers. So, it really boils down to personal preferences.
If you haven’t decided where to start yet, taking the quiz may be the best starting point. You’ll find it on the Homepage, in the Catalog section, right above the Course selection.
The quiz consists of a few simple questions, such as “I’d rather…,” ”What sounds like me…,” “When cooking a recipe, I…” and 3 answer options. After you answer the questions to let Codecademy learn more about your personality, skills, and preferences, you’ll be given your result, which includes your strongest skills and jobs you may excel at.
Here’s what I got:
Certifications on Codecademy are reserved for the paid plans, which isn’t unusual for an online learning platform. If you’re interested in the Codecademy certificate value, I honestly couldn’t find any information as to whether this certification played a crucial role in a learner’s life. You should also note that no matter how many certificates you have or how valuable they seem, companies will always hire you for your skills and attitude first, and not the certifications you have.
Under the Community section, you’ll find:
According to Codecademy reviews, Codecademy students praise the Community feature, as it lets you exchange experiences with other students.
The Resources section on the homepage includes:
This is in my opinion the most valuable asset on Codecademy, as you get to put into practice everything you’ve learned on the courses. What’s more, you can also feature your project in your portfolio and show it to potential employers, along with a certification you earned from the course and/or Career Path. The only con to the Projects is that they’re only accessible if you subscribe and pay.
Under the Docs section, you’ll find code-filled documents created by contributors, with the focus on the most popular programming languages and frameworks. The page features the most viewed documents, top contributors, the week’s concept, newly added documents, and a side menu where you can search the docs by topic. I found this page especially useful for revisiting some concepts from the courses I’ve forgotten, and for picking up additional knowledge that wasn’t included in the lessons.
The Cheatsheets are an excellent shortcut for revisiting forgotten details or refreshing your knowledge about a certain term without digging back through the course lessons.
The Articles section is yet another archive filled with in-depth explanations of the most common questions learners may have. If you find the courses too scarce, as I mentioned some do in the Course Catalog section of this Codecademy review, you may find the Articles section particularly helpful.
If learning through reading isn’t your thing, the Video resource section can provide you with video tutorials on popular topics like “How to create a website,” “How to build a portfolio,” “What does a front-end developer do,” and so on. I was particularly excited to watch video tutorials on coding since I’m more of a visual learner, but my excitement dropped when I noticed there were only 3 videos, all from 3 years ago. In comparison, the sections on interview prep and job explanations were relatively new. I didn’t appreciate this, because as a beginner in coding, I need to learn more about it before I jump to interview preparation.
The learning assortment on Codecademy doesn’t end, as the blog section is another book to read to enhance your coding knowledge. This section covers interesting learner experience, and not necessarily technical topics only.
The Career Center is the hub for everything career-related. You get access after you pay, and from there, you follow the steps outlined:
1. Choose your career
2. Learn the skills
3. Prepare for the search
4. Land your dream job
In the Beta Catalog, you’ll find the content that’s still in the beta stage, i.e that’is still being tested. As Codecademy strives to deliver user-friendly content, it’s only natural the learning platform wants feedback from its customers on what they think should be changed and how the prospective content can be improved before it’s finalized.
This isn’t a spectacular feature per se, but I checked it out for the most curious among you. It features the freshly released content and events available on Codecademy, as well as what the Codecademy team is “cooking up.”
The Codecademy mobile app is available both for iOS and Android devices. However, the free courses are limited, and you only get unlimited access via the paid plans.
To see what the platform really offers and how does Codecademy work, I created a free account. Once you log in to your account, you can go to “My Home” to see your past and current courses, your goals, and your workspaces.
In “My Courses,” you’ll see which course you’re currently enrolled in but haven’t finished yet. The lesson featured, in this case “Setup and Syntax,” is the lesson where you left off, and you can resume it by clicking on the “Resume Learning” button.
Once you enter the lesson, the interface will look similar to the one in the image below. This is the CSS course lesson “Setup and Syntax”:
In the top navigation bar on the left side (marked in red), you have the options “My Home” to go directly to your profile dashboard, and “Course Menu” to navigate to the courses. On the right side (marked in red) you have the Connection signal that will change according to your Internet connection. You should note coding requires a strong and stable Internet connection, so if you’ve set out to do some real coding, make sure to sign up with a reliable internet provider.
Next, on the left side, you have the lesson content. After reading the explanations supported with examples, you’ll get instructions and a task to test your knowledge acquired in the current lesson. I really liked this, as it allows you to test what you’ve read right away instead of building theory and testing only at the end.
Once you write the code required in the Instructions, you have to hit the “Run” button to get a visual presentation of your code (provided it’s correctly written), as in the page named “Top Vacation Spots.” In the bottom of the image, you’ll see the “Run,” “Copy to Clipboard,” “Reset Workspace,” and “Format Code” buttons, as well as the navigational “Back” and “Next buttons” to browse through the lesson.
What I noted when learning HTML and CSS with Codecademy is that the editor only accepts the code that’s set as correct in the Instructions. What I mean by this is that if you make an error, the Editor will ask you whether you wrote the code correctly. This helps you learn coding is about the details, and missing a letter or an attribute will result in a bug in the code.
Another thing I tried is to play around and add more code apart from the one asked for in the instructions. The Editor didn’t mark my code as incorrect like it did when I was missing a part of the task code, but it also didn’t consider it at all—it wouldn’t show a visual presentation. So, to save you some time, if you want to learn real-life website coding, download the Visual Studio Code and start building your website from scratch.
Codecademy offers 3 pricing options:
These plans are suitable for individuals who aren’t sure whether coding is for them so they want to see what it entails. They’re also great for curious minds looking for a profitable hobby.
Codecademy appreciates the student’s struggle with money, so it offers discounted student membership with access to its tools and interactive courses for just $149.99 a year ($12.5 a month).
Codecademy for Enterprise is best for larger teams, as it fills up the gaps in your team’s knowledge and creates a unanimous knowledge base. Team members can take courses, work on projects, and exchange experiences.
There are two Codecademy prices for businesses:
To register a free account on Codecademy, follow these simple steps:
1. Go to the website
2. Enter your email address and password
3. Click on “Sign up”
4. You’ll get a verification email to confirm it’s you, after which you can choose your course and start learning.
If you’re unsure where to start or whether Codecademy is worth it, go with the free option, as you can always upgrade to the paid plan at a later time.
Under Support, there’s a knowledge base where you can find answers to common queries. However, if you need an answer for something more complex like I did, you can reach Codecademy customer support via the contact form. Unfortunately, I haven’t received an answer to this day, and this is a common complaint among other users as well.
Let’s see how Codecademy compares to its competitors:
Read our full review
Codecademy isn’t the only online learning platform that offers coding lessons, but it’s one that focuses solely on coding. Another strong advantage is that you learn concepts by discovering. The platform is interactive, so instead of watching videos of someone showing you how to code, you get to try yourself immediately.
Codecademy is an online learning platform that centers around coding. It offers courses and Career Paths—the first comes with an option to pick and choose to your liking, while the latter is designed to provide you with the relevant skills and knowledge for a certain career path. In my experience, and according to the user reviews, Codecademy is best for those new to coding, because of its user-friendly interface, simple lessons, and interactive tasks that make the learning process easy and memorable.
Yes, it is. Codecademy is a legitimate online learning platform where you can learn and practice coding at your own pace.
In my experience, Codecademy is great for coding newbies. Its simple instructions and interactive lessons make coding look like a piece of cake. However, more than one Codecademy review mentioned it’s not the best choice for advanced coding.
Yes, Codecademy gives certificates, but only for the paid subscription.
Beti Prosheva Gavrilovska
I am curiosity-driven and detail-oriented so you will often find me researching the latest trends, experimenting with search engine optimization, or testing software. As a keen observer of content, my teammates often like to joke that "noting escapes the eye of Beti."
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