As some of my prior posts will show, I am an avid believer in education after graduation. So many graduates are already drowning in debt and refuse to fork over another penny to add onto that debt – myself included. So many go without any further education when it is clear that this is not a field where you can afford to be left behind. Exactly how many things are free these days? That 2-hour-old sample your local grocery store employee is handing out. Water from lime-ridden fountains in the front of Walmart. Maybe even a penny on the sidewalk that you can take home and throw in your student loan jar with the $1.16 in change you’ve managed to save up throughout the year? In the United States, it’s very hard to find a quality education that’s free.
Coding is done completely online, in the same window the instruction is given, along with your resulting “design.” Before the lesson starts, there is a breakdown of terminology and definitions for those just starting out. The lessons are simple and each stage consists of smaller chunks of code to keep the user from getting discouraged. The interface is truly so well-thought-out that a child (familiar with some coding) can understand and interact with the elements. Throughout your lessons, you achieve points and badges to mark stages of completion. I hope to see a badge with fireworks, people dancing and a pretty wicked light show when I earn my final badge for my first completed course. (Perhaps I’ll code my own when I’m done.)
While the membership to Codecademy is free, there is also an option to upgrade to the Pro plan. This is a more personalized plan that feels more like a classroom setting, but without the hassle of learning within a specific timeframe. With the Pro plan, you can get exclusive content, live help from the Codecademy experts and a personalized learning plan. While the plan is priced at $39.99/mo, it may be a cheaper option for those actually willing to put out some cash to build on their post-graduate education or those seeking an alternative to paid academic courses. When it comes to $480/year compared to $480/course or credit, I’m sure some would not object to the price of the Pro plan.
Thanks to folks like those who brought us Codecademy, people who want to improve themselves through education don’t have to spend thousands and tens and thousands of dollars to learn a new skill. There are plenty of testimonials on the site that exhibit how eclectic their clients truly are. From those looking to start a new career to children looking to advance their knowledge of code to produce awesome games and robots, anyone can learn through this simple software.
If you have any free opportunities to learn, please feel free to share them in the comments!