Learn to Code in 2012 with Code Year

Looking to learn the basics of programing and start hacking out your own Javascript? Want to learn more about computers and the web? Or maybe you just want to polish up your skill sets a bit? Then check out Code Year from Codecademy.

It’s a free – that’s right, free – course on Javascript (and possibly some others) that delivered in weekly lessons, projects, and challenges. So far over 388,000 people have signed up, and I expect that number is going to continue to grow throughout 2012. There’s just one thing; since the lessons are delivered quickly, the sooner you join the easier it will be to catch up.

Code Year - Learn to Code in 2012

There are loads of tutorials and lesson out there, so what makes Codecademy special? I’m glad you asked.

Code Directly in the Lessons

Unlike most other tutorials, you aren’t just given instructions and then sent off on your own. Codecademy is completely interactive. Each lesson is divided into a number of manageable pieces, and you don’t move onto the next one until you complete the coding for the first.

Coding is part of every lesson and helps you build fundamentals

There’s an integrated coding window on every lesson. Not only does it process the code, but it highlights syntax and helps you spot potential issues, minimizing a lot of the frustration of debugging.

In order to move onto the next part of the lesson, your code needs to check out in the built-in validator. Sure, sometimes it’s a little strict when it comes to having to use the exact content provided, but on the whole it works really well.

A Sense of Accomplishment

One of the more brilliant parts of Codecademy is the way they use elements from gaming to help give you a sense of accomplishment as you proceed. As you finish lessons your score goes up.

And when you hit certain milestones you’ll earn “Achievements”, which come in the form of cool little badges that sit under your profile. It might seem like a little thing, but upping that score and earning more badges gets addictive, and quick.

Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges... but we want them. Oh yes, we want them.

I’ve earned fifteen achievements so far, and I can’t wait to get caught up in my lessons (I started three weeks late) so that I can fill out my profile with more points and badges. And as an added layer of fun, you can compete with your buddies. I got the chance to brag up my meager accomplishments with one of my friends who just started yesterday.

Who knew learning could be so fun?

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