During my lunch break today I checked out this neat site called Codecademy. I had heard about it previously on a blog I read called AVC musings of a VC in NYC . Today he posted about an update to their site, as it now includes python as one of the programming languages.

Naturally I was rather interested while reading his post Codecademy Update, being a novice python programmer myself. So I finally decided to check out this codecademy myself.

As I’m still working on my first javascript (js) game, I decided to brush up on my javascript knowledge and go through their fundamentals overview. The site is free for those who either want to learn or teach programming. By teach, it means the site’s content is user curated. This creates a for free and possibly very awesome resource for self-starters.

The major impetus they use to influence people to curate, is the phrase “Build your reputation as an expert in your field.” Which as far as I can tell, those who choose to create lessons on this site are taking it seriously. They are well thought out and put together. This provides an excellent opportunity for those who not only want to be known as code creators (aka using github and open source to show off their skill) and code educators. However one thing the site doesn’t do, is provide for an easy feedback system from the student to the code educator.

They do currently provide a Q&A forum on each section of the various lesson plans. These sections, as best as I can tell, are meant to be used akin to a professor’s office hours. The feedback I mean is if there is a noticeable error in the logic in their coding examples (which some may state that office hours is when you go and tell the professor he was doing it wrong in class).

Going through the javascript fundamentals lesson I noticed a section where completing the section didn’t require the correct answer, just an answer. Here is where I feel that being able to provide the curator with direct feedback (in my case a screenshot of the occurrence), would be most useful.

There are a couple of other things I noticed, but they were mainly things that weren’t explained to the student in places where I personally felt it was appropriate to do so. All in all this is an excellent place where you can provide yourself with a code education. I’m sad I didn’t include this link to my post from last week, but I’m glad I’ve finally gotten around to checking it out.

Another neat aspect of the site? It allows you to use social sharing as a way to promote your educational experience. This is quite awesome for me, because as someone who blogs about their learning process, this provides me an easy way to communicate my progress. I also think it has the ability to connect with today’s youth, because it allows them an easy way to show their friends that they’re learning to program. I think I’ll show this to my nieces and nephews…