More Coding

Last post, I mentioned how much fun I was having programming with Scratch.  A colleague mentioned after that his son was using Codecademy to learn how to program.  I logged into to check it out, and quickly was hooked.  Over the past 4 days, I have completed the entire JavaScript track.  A few observations:

1) For kids and novices, Scratch is a better environment to understand the bigger picture in programming.  Codecademy, on the other hand, is a strong environment to learn, step-by-step, what it takes to write code. One doesn’t get the big picture right away because you have to learn the building blocks and you have to get use to syntax.

2) In the JavaScript track, courses are written by a variety of people.  On the whole the quality is good.  But it is uneven.  Some courses are strikingly clear, while others are a bit muddy and unclear.  (The good news is that the Q&A forums often with clear things up.)

3) Tracking, Dashboard and Badges.  Getting points, receiving badges and visualizing my progress were all very good.  It kept me motivated and focused.  This is one of the best eLearning dashboards I’ve encountered.

Click on image to enlarge!

4) I would love to see the glossary linked up to practice exercises and worked examples.  I know I learned a lot doing the JavaScript Track, but I know a lot of it is still on surface, and I will need more practice.

Way to go Codecademy!

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