If you’re looking to make yourself more marketable when it comes time to look for a job in the tech industry, one of the easiest ways to do so is to learn the basics of coding. When you know code foundations, basic coding concepts, and at least one programming language, you’ll be able to apply for just about any kind of job you might be interested in.
Do you have to get a degree in computer science or machine learning in order to propel yourself forward in this rewarding, in-demand industry? Not at all. You just need to have a little bit of coding experience – which you can easily acquire by taking online coding courses through Codecademy.
In this review of Codecademy, an online learning platform that specializes in online coding classes, you’ll be able to master the basics of coding and get ahead in this industry.
Ready to learn more about this one-of-a-kind opportunity? Our Codecademy intensive review will tell you everything you need to learn about the platform, from the real-world projects you’ll complete to the prices – we will even address some of the most frequently asked questions you might have.
There’s no time to waste. Let’s jump into our detailed Codecademy review.
What is Codecademy?
Codecademy is an American-based online learning platform that offers free coding classes in a dozen different programming languages, including:
…and more. This unique platform is free to use but you can upgrade to a paid “pro” plan that will give you access to personalized learning plans along with quizzes and real-world projects.
Codecademy was founded in 2011 by Ryan Bubinski and Zach Sims, a pair that met at Columbia University. Headquartered in New York City, the website is perhaps most famous for its iOS app known as “Hour of Code,” which focuses on the basics of programming. Although Codecademy does not offer in-depth training in computer science or programming, it offers easy-to-understand classes that are perfect for newbies.
Who is Codecademy For?
Codecademy can work well for anyone, but it’s best for people who have a limited knowledge of programming. Although you can certainly play around on Codecademy if you have a bit more experience, you may find that the courses here are a bit too elementary for your liking.
However, if you prefer hands-on learning and aren’t a fan of just watching videos of lectures, Codecademy is the right platform for you. It is a highly structured platform that offers the perfect learning environment for people who crave predictability when it comes to their online courses.
Of course, Codecademy is perhaps most famous for its ease of access for kids and teens. If you or your child are looking to learn how to code in an easy, accessible, and organized way, Codecademy is the way to go.
How Does Codecademy Work?
Codecademy is relatively simple at its core. This platform offers classes in more than a dozen programming languages along with courses on various frameworks and libraries along with related tech subjects.
It’s designed for beginners, making it a good option if you are completely new to coding (or if you are a teen or young child). After you sign up to create an account (either free or paid), you’ll be able to choose your course from a long list of options.
Everything is extremely hands-on. You’ll learn by doing, walking through courses that are primarily text-based with additional written instructions that can help you out if and when you get stuck. You’ll also be able to write real code as you work through the course material, using a text editor as you do so.
Interested in learning more about what Codecademy has to offer? Here are some of the platform’s most exciting and unique features.
Personalized Learning Plans
There are very few online learning platforms out there that offer quite the same level of customization as Codecademy. With this platform, you will be able to pursue a variety of career paths and skill paths so that you can take coding courses that are uniquely customized to your unique career goals and personal interests. Whether it’s computer science or web development, a Codecademy pro membership will allow you to tackle any topic.
Quizzes on Code Foundations
One of the most helpful features of Codecademy is that it includes quizzes at regular intervals to test your progress. Although this is something that you will find in many online learning platforms and courses, quizzes certainly can’t be found in all – but when they are, they offer users a great way to gauge their skill level and figure out what concepts have yet to be mastered.
Extensive Community Support
Taking online courses can be lonely sometimes – and if you have questions or need a bit of assistance along the way, it’s nice to know that there are folks you can reach out to for help. With Codecademy, you’ll have access to Codecademy forums where you can share resources, ask questions, and collaborate with other students.
Not only that, but Codecademy offers extensive customer support. You’ll also benefit from in-person and virtual Codecademy Chapters that host regular meetups all around the country. You could actually get to meet some of your classmates face to face – how cool is that?
On the Go Access
If you’re not the kind of student that likes being chained to a desk when you’re working on your online courses, Codecademy is the platform you’ll want to consider. Codecademy offers apps for both iOS and Android devices, allowing you to read articles, practice coding, and review core concepts all from your smartphone.
Detailed Walkthrough Videos of Coding Programs
Codecademy doesn’t just contain lengthy lectures that you’re expected to listen to before trying things out on your own – the courses on this platform also offer project walkthrough videos so that you can see firsthand how things are done. By watching an expert work his way through projects, you’ll gain all the confidence you need to give it a try yourself.
When you finish a Codecademy course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion that is 100% personalized. Although this certificate may not be credit-bearing, it is certainly enough to show a current or prospective employer that you really know your stuff.
The long list of features of Codecademy does not end there. You’ll also have access to programming personality quizzes so you can find out which programming languages and careers might be best for you to pursue. You can also read related blog articles and get personal insights into your progress.
Streaks and Project Challenges
A final interesting feature of Codecademy is the streaks and project challenges feature. Streaks allow you to make a game out of your learning – you will see a streak number displayed on your dashboard that goes up for every day you progress on the platform. You can also opt into 30-day project challenges to help keep you pushing forward – and motivated to learn more.
Ease of Use
A simply designed, clean, and easy to use platform, Codecademy offers an engaging interface that is perfect for newbies to the field of programming.
You’ll find everything you need from the platform’s homepage – nothing is hidden and it doesn’t take a master’s degree to figure out what your next steps are. You can start taking classes immediately and the catalog of courses is easy to navigate.
Just from the home page, you’ll be able to see what kinds of classes are currently available. You can browse by subject or programming language, or you can click through an aggregated list to see everything under the sun.
Without a doubt, the content quality on Codecademy is second to none. With this platform, you’ll enjoy access to text-based projects, lessons, and quizzes, all of which are uniquely and thoughtfully arranged and organized to help you advance your learning in any aspect of coding.
One of the nicest features of Codecademy’s courses is that there’s very little beating around the bush – courses don’t contain long preambles from instructors trying to get you to buy into their latest sales pitch or gimmick. Instead, the courses get right to the point. Everything is simply written and easy to follow and it’s easy to figure out what the instructions are telling you to do.
And if you do get stuck, Codecademy’s courses offer a way around that, too. There are forum threads that allow you to unlock hints if you get stuck. Some classes even have detailed walkthrough videos that are taught by dedicated and talented coding professionals.
Student reviews of Codecademy are overwhelmingly positive. They report that the courses are easy to access and the material is intuitive and not difficult to follow.
As a learner on Codecademy, you’ll benefit from a one-of-a-kind structure that truly puts the student first. You’ll be able to practice before you even work through all the material, allowing you to learn firsthand how to code (and especially what not to do).
Codecademy Pricing Model
A subscription-based service, Codecademy offers two simple pricing structures for you to choose from.
The most common is the basic plan. This plan is 100% free – no obligations, no commitments, just free access to everything that Codecademy has to offer.
The second plan, the premium plan or Codecademy Pro, can be purchased with two separate options. You’ll pay $19.99 per month, billed on an annual basis, and receive access to all of the dynamic features of the basic plan along with the unlimited mobile practice, real-world projects, extra assistance, members-only content, and more.
If you don’t want to commit to a yearly plan, you can sign up for a monthly premium plan, too, which will cost you $39.99 per month.
Of course, if you’re a business owner, you may want to look into Codecademy’s business plans. These are offered on a case-by-case basis.
Codecademy has extensive resources to help you out should you get stuck while taking a class or trying to sign up for one.
You can log on to Codecademy’s support page to find answers to frequently asked questions, where you can also browse help articles by category. You can also message customer service and support if you have a more specific question that isn’t addressed on this page.
The Advantages (Pros) of Codecademy
Affordable Way to Learn Coding as a Beginner
If you’re new to the big, wide world of coding, you won’t find a better or more budget-friendly way to get started than with Codecademy. This platform offers all kinds of resources for total newbies. Since the lessons are all extremely hands-on and don’t cost a cent, you’ll be able to get your feet wet without having to spend a fortune.
Low Barriers to Entry
Of course, if you decide that you really love what Codecademy has to offer, you can upgrade for a Pro membership. However, the free version of the platform makes it easy enough to get started immediately – you can learn from anywhere and without having to spend any money at all. This platform removes a lot of the barriers that tend to exist when it comes to advanced education, such as time, distance, and money.
Many Topics in the Tech Niche Covered
Although Codecademy does not cover any topics outside of the tech niche – something that we’ll address in the next section – it does offer plenty of courses to choose from in subjects like web development, computer science, machine learning, data science, code foundations, developer tools, mobile development, game development, web design, and more.
The Disadvantages (Cons) of Codecademy
Courses are Not Available Offline
Although Codecademy does have a mobile app that you can use, the courses cannot be downloaded for later use.
Lacks Training in Theory of Programming
If you’re hoping to get a solid, highly intensive education in coding and programming like you’d receive with a full computer science degree, unfortunately, you won’t get it with Codecademy.
This platform does a great job of providing students with bite-sized course modules that are easy to accomplish and master, but doesn’t go super in-depth on the theory and principles of software development. To become a true professional, this is something you would want to explore further, perhaps by pursuing a full-fledged college degree.
Limited Courses in Other Non-Tech Areas
Many students who wrote Codecademy reviews mentioned that there was a surprising deficit of course topics to choose from. Although this platform offers plenty of classes in coding languages, it would be nice if it included more tracks and programs geared specifically toward business, marketing, and related fields.
In addition, as of writing this article, Codecademy only offers courses in English.
Free Version is a Bit Limited
Another potential turn-off from Codecademy is that the free version of the website is a little bit limited. Most of the high-quality content comes at a price. Of course, this is to be expected – nothing worth having in life is truly free! However, it would be nice to see a few more free features to give you an idea of what you’re paying good money for.
No Advanced Search Settings
When it comes to finding the right course for your needs and goals, it can often be helpful to narrow down a course search list by things like paid vs. free classes, beginner vs. advanced, and so on.
Unfortunately, when it comes to searching for courses on Codecademy, this is not an option. You’ll have to do a bit more legwork to find the course that meets your needs.
There are a few alternatives to Codecademy that you may want to consider.
One of these is Code School. Just like Codecademy, Code School will do a great job of teaching you how to code. However, it also offers a more extensive range of courses with course materials covering things like cybersecurity and software development. It’s also better for more advanced learners.
FreeCodeCamp is another option. Just like Codecademy, FreeCodeCamp is free. You can pursue various certifications and also benefit from a unique interview prep feature – something you won’t get with Codecademy.
A final alternative to Codecademy is Pluralsight. Pluralsight offers classes that are primarily video-based rather than code- and text-based. As with Codecademy, you will be able to explore unique learning paths and in-browser coding challenges. It’s a bit better suited to advanced and intermediate learners than Codecademy, too.
Is Codecademy right for you? Only you can be the judge of that – but here’s our take.
But if you’re still not convinced, after reading this Codecademy intensive review, don’t be afraid to do a little research of your own. Take the time to read other students’ Codecademy reviews and you’ll likely draw the same conclusion we did – this online learning platform is one of the best if you want to master coding concepts via real-world projects, detailed online coding classes, and hands-on project challenges.
For an exciting coding experience that will suit students of any skill level (and at affordable prices to boot) you should consider Codecademy.
Is Codecademy legit?
Codecademy is legit. As a web app and desktop website meant to teach aspiring developers how to code, it is perfect for beginners. There are certainly areas where Codecademy could improve – for example, in its teaching of the theory behind coding, an area in which it is sorely lacking – but overall, this platform is 100% legit.
Is Codecademy any good?
Yes. Overall, Codecademy is an excellent online learning platform to consider if you are interested in learning how to code from ground zero. While some of the courses may not offer the most advanced level of instruction, this site offers a great entry-level education in coding, particularly for those on a budget.
Is Codecademy actually free?
No smoke and mirrors here – Codecademy is actually free. The platform’s free course catalog features hundreds of hours of content that can help you develop your skills in a certain programming language. Of course, there are paid features you can explore, too, if you want to get a bit more in-depth with your training.
Is Codecademy worth paying for?
That depends. If you’re just a beginner interested in playing around with coding, then it probably won’t do you much good to pay for the premium version of this platform. However, if you care deeply about getting ahead in coding, it might be a good investment.
Does Codecademy give you a certificate?
After you complete a course or path, you will receive a personalized certificate of completion. To get this certificate, you do have to be a Pro member of the platform, though.
Can I put Codecademy on my resume?
You can. However, the courses you take here are not accredited, so it may or may not make a difference to your future employer whether these courses are listed there.
Can I get a job with Codecademy?
With zero background in programming, the courses you take on Codecademy may not be enough to get you a job by themselves. However, the experience that you gain through taking classes on this platform can help you break into the industry and will provide a solid footing for pursuing additional education and training in coding.