LEARNING WITH CODECADEMY
When I started to pursue coding, I went through various sources available online. There were tons and tons available which was incredible but I also wanted to be careful where I invested my time and made sure that what I learned about stayed relevant.
Having decided to go into Web Development out of the other types of programming, I found Codecademy which offered a structured learning path.
WHY I DECIDED TO LEARN WITH CODECADEMY
Looking at the course overview, it’s well structured and clear. It covered multiple topics relevant to each path, in this case I took the Web Development path. It’s easy to follow and you can learn at your own pace. It has codealongs, instructional videos and articles. It had clear instructions and checkpoints. They provide the full set-up, you don’t have to download anything. You work on projects that you can add to your portfolio. Not to mention the price was very reasonable, I took the PRO subscription which cost $19.99 a month. And the Facebook community they have is are very helpful.
WHAT I LEARNED
Codecademy made it easy for someone like me, who had no experience in coding, to understand how things work and how to use them. It was a clear step-by-step guide into each activity. Like most things, there were frustrating times – many of them, but I feel that with how the lessons were structured, Codecademy made the lessons easy to digest. I dedicated between 25-40 hours of my time each week which took me about 5 months to complete the course. This includes a few weeks of vacation travel and some holidays over Christmas. So without any holiday breaks, it could be shorter.
MATERIALS I USED
I used a laptop but any computer will do. My laptop is 7 years old, so you don’t need anything fancy. As long as you have a computer that has a browser and internet, you’re good to go. For note taking I started with writing things down with a pen and paper but quickly changed into using Google Sheets because it’s easier to maintain and pull up the topics I’ll need in the future with simple keyword search. See below example.
Optional but really comes in handy, during and after the course, is having a second screen. I use one screen for the lesson and my laptop screen for note taking. After the course I code on one screen and render on the other.
Lastly, I would advise using a planner to structure your time to balance your personal/ work/learning/rest life to avoid becoming a burnout. I personally use Google Calendar to accomplish this so that I can have an overview of my week and make sure I’m putting enough time on important areas of my life. Being able to access it on desktop and mobile is also very handy.
After completing the course I felt a little lost at first, but with the tools I gained from Codecademy, the community to collaborate with and the help of these other resources Stack Overflow, W3 Schools and MDN Documentation which were also introduced in the course. I was able to start building things, figure things out on my own and know when to reach out for help – which is pretty much what every developer does whether experienced or not.
Codecademy is a great place to learn and get introduced to the tools that you need along the way. But that’s just the beginning of the journey, the path to becoming a web developer is by simply building things and keep learning. Putting your tools to work which in the process exposes you to problems that you need to solve and adding those to your toolbox once you have solved them. Keep learning because technology is always evolving, the more you learn the sharper your tools become.