Code School has been providing online web development courses in a game-style format since 2011. Its website says over 1M people have tried a course at Code School, and that it “teaches web technologies in the comfort of your browser with video lessons, coding challenges, and screencasts. We strive to help you learn by doing.”
Signing up with an email address provides access to ten free introductory courses. It also provides a ‘dashboard’ showing the items being worked on, or finished. Beyond the free intro courses, the main courses are available for $29 per month, or a discounted annual rate of $290. Courses start with a video, then proceed into easy-to-follow lessons with an interface to try out the code learned and see it in action.
The aim is to make it feel like playing a game, with points earned along the way, and badges awarded for completions. There are easy buttons to enable sharing the badges on social media accounts. A friendly explanatory video on the home page, and another on the Getting Started page, give a basic overview.
I started my way through the Ruby path, in the free course called “Try Ruby”. Code School tracks my progress on my dashboard, which shows a percentage of the path completed, and which also enables the creation of a library of ‘bookmarks’ to keep track of courses or screencasts (advanced lessons) to return to.
Here’s my dashboard:
The website has easy navigation, and well-organized help pages:
- A thorough Support page lists help topics by category to explain functionality and registration.
- A robust Forum provides a place for questions, which can be sorted by topic.
- A blog includes articles about career strategies, staying motivated in learning, code tips, and company announcements.
Luciana Morais‘ July 28, 2015 post, on her website, notes that online learning, such as the Code School courses she took, are not for everyone, and she sought the discipline of an actual in-person class.
Laurence Bradford‘s February 18, 2015 post, on her website Learn to Code with Me, describes Code School’s features, and compares them with Treehouse’s.
Allison Glaser‘s August 9, 2014 post, on her website, likens Code School to a unicorn, able to elevate ambition and create spark.
Graham Lavender‘s Feb. 10, 2014 post, on his website, describes how Code School compares favorably to Codecademy.
Riley Hilliard‘s July 24, 2013 post, How I Learned to Code in 10 Months, describes Code School as “more for the Intermediate – Advanced level student.” He noted he found it initially hard to follow, but great once he began understanding how to program. “The courses are absolutely loaded with great content to learn.”
Courses are available by subscription, at $29 per month, as of Sept. 2015. Paying annually, at $290, provides a two month, or $58 discount. A month’s subscription runs until the same date of the following month. The default signup is by auto-renewal, but subscriptions may be canceled at any time. There is a way to ‘suspend‘ an account. With both cancellations and suspensions, progress is saved, and can be picked up when reactivated.
A July 2, 2015 article on Forbes Business by Michael Kerr, lists Code School in a list of five successful tech companies that were started for less than $10,000.
A Feb. 10, 2015 article on EducationDIVE by Keith Button, includes Code School as one of nine coding schools that pose competition to higher ed schools.
A Feb. 2, 2015 article on Tech.Co by Camila Souza, reports the purchase of Code School by Utah-based Pluralsight, another e-learning company.
A June 27, 2014 article on Slash Gear by Brittany Hillen, announces a Code School partnership with Google to help boost tech knowledge for minorities and women.
CODE SCHOOL LINKS:
The Code School YouTube channel has the how-to videos found on the website, and extras that show employees, code tips, and founder’s talks.
Code School’s Facebook page reads: “Code School is an online learning destination for existing and aspiring developers that teaches through entertaining content.”
@codeschool’s Twitter page reads: “Code School is an online learning destination for existing and aspiring developers that teaches through entertaining content.”
Code School’s Google+ page’s tagline reads: “Learn by doing.”
The Code School Pinterest page highlights the course paths.