Learn How to Program With CodeAcademy

CodeAcademy

As a student minoring in Computer Science, I know how valuable it can be to know how to code. Not only does it improve your resume, but you can also do some pretty cool things on the computer once you have an understanding of programming and code. It can also help with problem solving and just basic logic. CodeAcademy is a great tool for beginners who don’t know the first thing about programming.

How it Works

For CodeAcademy, you don’t even have to create a profile or create an account to begin learning how to program. I do recommend it, however, just so you can keep track of your progress. So far, they don’t have that many languages to learn from, though I highly recommend starting with HTML and moving to JavaScript and JQuery, since those all go hand in hand.

Each language has a set of exercises and lessons that focus on one aspect of the code. Really, the way that the site reads and your involvement with the exercises, it feels like a classroom environment. You write some code, submit it, and if it’s correct, you can move to the next lesson; if not, a red error bar will appear and give you a hint on what might be wrong with your code, whether it’s bad syntax or just forgetting a double quote in one place.

If you know a little about programming, you can even create a course on CodeAcademy.

Review

So far I’ve learned mostly Python in school, so right now I’m mostly trying to get through the HTML and JavaScript lessons so that I can fiddle around with creating some very basic online games. So far, I’m really really liking CodeAcademy. It’s a lot easier than going through a lot of tutorials with no exercises to try out to figure out how the code can work and what all you can do with it.

The only thing is that sometimes the exercises can sometimes get a little repetitive. Which I understand, since I know I have experience in programming and it’s good to go over topics several times before moving so that the user has a full understanding, but not being able to advance without writing some lengthy code can sometimes be a little tedious. However, it’s all really good practice, and sometimes, so long as you fulfill the requirements that lesson has requested of you, you can add in your own things and do interesting things with your code.

Generally, books that are supposed to ‘teach’ you how to program in a certain language are horrible. They’re horrible because most of the time, they assume you already know how to program, and they’re just teaching the syntax. CodeAcademy helps those who have never written a line of code in their life learn how to program and debug code, and I think this site can really help people learn how to code without having to take a class on it.

Conclusion

All I really have to say is give it a try. Learn a little bit of programming, and see how you like it. Since this is a free website, there’s really nothing for you to lose except maybe a little bit of time. But the things you can gain from learning how to program is far more valuable.