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Review of CodeSchool – Becoming a Developer

Before online learning was popular among science, humanities, and art topics, computer programming was among the first topics delivered online in course form. Makes some sense, because the people creating the earliest websites were technical folks, and teaching programming and computer topics were things they were experts in.

Whereas a site like Lynda.com has been around for 10 years, delivering instruction primarily using video lectures, in the past 5 years new sites have cropped up to train developers using a mix of video instruction and online programming challenges. This hearkens back to the Seth Godin article again about how learning by doing is more effective than learning by watching.

CodeSchool was an early entrant into the age of online programming instruction that involved required actual programming as you went through it. The quality of the website and the course instruction therein is quite impressive. The website immediately strikes you as being sharply designed, and that quality makes it through right to the videos and the tests you must take as you go through them. There’s an element of fun as the videos include animated videos, songs, and practical programming exercises that build upon each other.

It’s important to note that CodeSchool is not a free site, although they do provide some free content to entice you to enroll in their subscription plan. But even the free content is quite useful if you are just learning how to code.

Topics covered include JavaScript Core (and many popular JavaScript frameworks like JQuery, Backbone.js, Node.js, Coffeescript, AngularJS and Ember.js), HTML, CSS, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and iOS app development. Getting through topics like those will allow you to call yourself a front end web developer and if you master them, you will be highly-sought after.

Ultimately, I think CodeSchool is great. They have a lot of free content that you can use to evaluate the platform and see if it’s right for you. For only $29 per month, you can have access to all their content. Ultimately I am really grateful that educational sites like this exist to provide high-quality technical instruction to people just getting into these technologies. Even people who may be experts at one set of skills may be interested in picking up another can find this useful.

Things they don’t have are peer-reviewed assignments, recognized credentials, or a mobile application (although their site seems responsive). But they’re not trying to be all things to all people, nor compete with the university-level sites.

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Before online learning was popular among science, humanities, and art topics, computer programming was among the first topics delivered online in course form. Makes some sense, because the people creating the earliest websites were technical folks, and teaching programming and computer topics were things they were experts in. Whereas a site like Lynda.com has been around for 10 years, delivering instruction primarily using video lectures, in the past 5 years new sites have cropped up to train developers using a mix of video instruction and online programming challenges. This hearkens back to the Seth Godin article again about how learning…

Review Overview

Variety of Courses
Quality of Courses
Website Ease of Use
Offers Credentials

Standard-bearer in web programming courses

Really good at what it does - programming classes. A good mix of video and in-browser programming challenges.

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3 comments

  1. This is really through and useful review. I think codeschool is better if you are looking to learn web development than web designers. But there is recent improvement as codeschool is acquired by pluralsight. Check out codeschool firs month trial offer: http://webuilddesign.com/enroll-in-code-school-at-9-dollars/

  2. Charles Floyd

    I just tried Code School, using a link they provided for a round of free courses. Right now I find that their exercises are not working correctly. It repeatedly says I have entered incorrect tags or not closed tags. I have worked in html off and on for 3 – 4 years, and know that the tags I’m entering are correct. I also tested the tags in a text editor, which worked properly. Personally, I find this type of exercise platform frustrating. But the videos do appear to be very well done, and informative.

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