Best Website to Learn Code: Codecadmy Vs. Treehouse Vs. Code School

I didn't know which resource would help me achieve my goals in the shortest timeframe when I first became serious about learning to code. Since then, I have tried all three of these sites, and thought that you might find my experience useful.

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Codecademy:

In a nutshell: Nice way to try out coding, but can be too easy. Great for those just starting, but more dedicated learners may want to jump to Treehouse. If you aren't sure if coding is for you, then I would recommend Codecademy.

Codecademy covers a variety of material, starts off slow, has a vibrant help forum, and is free. My first experience with programming was here. I started with the Ruby track, and have done the HTML/CSS track, and most of the Javascript track.

Codecademy provides you with a written description of the material for each lesson, and then you need to solve a coding problem in their built in console in order to advance. If you get stuck, they give you hints, and you can always check out the help forum they have set up.

The help forum is actually my favorite feature of Codecademy. There are plenty of users who seem happy to help you out, and chances are there have already been some users who have had trouble with the problem on which you are working. They also have some moderators who provide thorough and complete answers. Pretty sweet for a free website!

My gripes with Codecademy are basically that the problems are too easy, and that lessons can lack in-depth discussion for some more advanced concepts. Because the problems are normally set up to be pretty easy, it is very easy to get illusions of your progress.

Codecademy can also jump in conceptual difficulty pretty quickly. This jump in difficulty, combined with easy coding problems, can get you in over your head quickly, which isn't necessarily a bad thing- but can be frustrating.

Treehouse:

In a nutshell: Great place to start if you know that you want to get serious about learning, and aren't worried about paying for resources. Organized learning tracks, and generally gentle learning curves .

I really like Treehouse. They have a fun aesthetic, and will get you building projects right away; that early start is a bigger confidence booster than you may think. I really liked their intro to HTML and CSS courses, and have taken a smattering of courses relating to Ruby and Javascript.

They provide high quality videos, project source files (so you can work along with the videos), and simple code challenges and quizzes to test your understanding. You can take lessons as you please, but they also have nicely organized learning tracks for your given interest. Treehouse has a help forum, which can be useful. But, I found the forum to be less consistent as far as other users input than I would have liked.

Building the project along with the video can be a nice check to your understanding, but can also slip into parroting what you see on the screen. Really, it is up to you to make sure you know what is going on in the lesson. The problems and quizzes are very simple, too easy to really check your understanding.

While I highly recommend Treehouses HTML and CSS courses, I found their programming courses to be less helpful. The early material is very nice to those of us very new to programming, but I found that some of the later videos can gloss over important details.

Treehouse is a great resource for those of us just starting out. They provide good foundational concepts, and build slowly from there. Their HTML and CSS courses are fantastic, and really helped me on my way. After the HTML/CSS videos and some intro programming videos, I felt ready to move on- at least for now. There is a wealth of information on this site. Those interested in more frontend design will likely find more useful material.

Codeschool:

In a nutshell: For those who have written at least some code before, or are starting Javascript. My favorite resource of the three mentioned in this post. The most challenging too!

Codeschool is hands down my favorite resource from the websites I've mentioned here. Their Javascript Roadtrip has been the most helpful learning track that I have tried related to Javascript, which is one of the reasons I like Codeschool so much. That said, look elseware if you are just starting out with something other than Javascript : a lot of Codeschools courses expect some previous experience. I tried their HTML/CSS track after Codecademy and was surprised at how much more difficult Codeschools track is.

Codeschool provides you with high quality videos, and then you complete coding problems in their built in console. The coding challenges tend to be more challenging, and I spent some time with a number of problems. You can get hints, or buy the answer with points. These we're the only coding problems of all three websites that actually tested my understanding.

Like Treehouse, you can take learning tracks- though Codeschool is more organized around programming languages. Or, you can choose from a variety of miscellaneous courses. I have heard great things about their Github tutorials, for example.

If you are looking for a boost to existing coding skills, or are looking for a great intro to Javascript Codeschool is the place for you.

I hope that my summaries help some of you decide where to start. There are of course plenty of different ways to learn, and I will go into those in later posts, but the interactivity of these websites are a really nice way to try your hand at writing code from the start.

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Posted in Web Design Post Date 10/04/2019


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