Learn to Code with Code Academy

For many, the thought of learning to how to code is daunting. Fortunately, Code Academy brings us an easy way to learn the basics of programming taught using JavaScript, a language commonly used for applications on the Internet. Code Academy starts off with basic programming concepts like variables and loops and works its way up to functions and full applications. It’s also free. An easy to use interface, lessons that start simple, but gradually grow in complexity, and incentives such as badges, points, and achievements, Code Academy has figured out to making learning to program accessible and enticing.


Code Academy's Workspace

As someone with a degree in Computer Science, I found my time with Code Academy to be pleasantly refreshing. I’ve dealt with many languages, but have not spent much time with JavaScript.  The interface is easy to use, and the instruction is far better than many of the textbooks I had. The exercises introduce new concepts at easy to understand rate. For example, in the case of loops, first they show you how loops work. Then they have you modify existing loops. Finally, they have you write loops from scratch. This gradual increase in complexity is one of the best features of the courses, along with a fully functional JavaScript environment right next to the text.

Code Academy recently received some media attention when New York mayor Michael Bloomberg tweeted that he was going to take the courses and learn to code. This helped to get other people interested and aware of the site. Currently, over 300,000 users are signed up. Also, in the future, Code Academy plans to include lessons for Ruby and Python in addition to JavaScript. For now though, there are full environments you work in without having to download anything at labs.codeacademy.com for these languages.

If you’ve never programmed before, give Code Academy a try. It’s free, easy to use, and you just might learn something. While I feel it’s not a full substitute for a degree from a college or trade school, it’s a fantastic place to start. JavaScript it still a widely used language, and once basic concepts are learned, it’s easy to adapt to other languages. I plan to finish out Code Academy’s courses and am looking forward to what they will have next.

Code Academy is located at www.codeacademy.com


Source: CNN Opinion

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