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January 12, 2012 / carlispina

Code Year: Week One

This week marked the beginning of Codecademy‘s latest project, Code Year, which encourages people to make it their New Year’s Resolution to learn how to program in 2012. While I have written about Codecademy previously, this project really extends the company’s mission and promises to increase the lessons available on the Codecademy site every week for the entire year. Each week, Codecademy will release a new, interactive lesson that will take approximately 5 hours to complete. The goal is to know the basics of computer programming by the end of the year. While the complete syllabus hasn’t been released yet, the first week gets users started with JavaScript and my understanding is that other languages will be covered over the course of the year. According to the website, participants can expect to learn how to create websites and applications if they keep up with the lessons.

The first week’s lesson is the initial portion of Codecademy’s existing Getting Started with Programming course. While reviews online have been somewhat mixed, I continue to find the exercises to be a good starting point for those who are interested in an online tool to teach themselves JavaScript. Lessons are broken up into very small pieces which makes it easy to work on the lesson during small breaks in your day. And, the way that the lessons slowly build on one another helps to both reinforce early topics and gives users a sense of accomplishment. As someone who already knows JavaScript and had worked through Codecademy’s previous lessons, I was particularly happy to see that, at least for this first week, there is also a new lesson for more experienced users, this time a series of exercises to build a small game. I hope that they will continue to offer these supplementary lessons in future weeks as well.

I am excited about Code Year’s possibilities. Personally, I hope that it will move on to more advanced topics quickly so that I can continue to develop my programming skills, but more generally, I am happy to see the enthusiasm that it is generating for coding. Already over 250,000 people have signed up to participate, one of whom is Mayor Bloomberg of New York. Hopefully these lessons will foster enthusiasm for computer programming and spread coding knowledge to a large new population.

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5 Comments

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  1. emilysingley / Jan 12 2012 11:49 am

    I’ve signed up! Though haven’t found the time yet to do my first assignment. Thanks for reviewing this!

  2. archivalerie / Jan 13 2012 1:21 am

    I signed up as well. I hope I’m more disciplined about this than I was with the free Stanford courses.

  3. Josh Boldt / Jan 18 2012 5:13 pm

    Add my name to the list of humanities people seeking to broaden my knowledge base. I also wrote a post called Everybody’s Going Code Crazy: The Year I Start Talking to Computers about the beginning of my Code Year journey.

Trackbacks

  1. On Resolutions (and learning from failure) « archiValerie: Archivist and Arch-villain in Training
  2. Codecademy | Carli's T509 Blog

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