Thursday, September 20, 2012

Example: Codecademy

Codecademy is a web app that facilitates self-learning for various programming languages (particularly web languages), including Python, Javascript, HTML, and CSS. The app keeps track of your progress if you sign up for a profile. A given tutorial in Codecademy typically shows an input form and an output form that can be used together to work on the tutorial and test the results. You can jump around within tutorials, either to reference previous knowledge or skip ahead to try more challenging material. With infinite attempts available for each problem, the grading system in Codecademy is designed to be lenient and promote reflection on material when problems arise (learn, try again until successful). The tone set in tutorial content is typically lighthearted and attempts to fuse humor and learning material.
I've personally worked with the HTML tutorials in Codecademy before entering CSC 342, and now I'm working with the CSS tutorials as needed. 
Codecademy's cross-platform availability (due to being a web app), progress tracking, and consistency with adding and updating content make it a great web app for me. I believe total beginners to any form of programming may have a few issues getting started, but Codecademy would be the most lenient and forgiving method to begin learning the programming languages it offers. Seasoned programmers will enjoy Codecademy's navigability, allowing them to quickly find unknown content and start learning immediately. 

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