I quit my job to focus on learning code. I started with Team Treehouse which you can read my review for over here. So, I made a decision for a better future, without going into much detail you can read over at the Treehouse forum on why I quit my job. So I made the decision and felt I needed additional material to learn with my Treehouse account. I searched the web and make across Code School and subscribed. So I felt the need to write a Code School review to help others with there decision to learn code. One of the reasons I came across Code School was via this amazing link which allowed me to construct a coding timetable so my efforts are more structured and I don’t get overwhelmed with what to learn when I start. Since this timetable is a mix of Treehouse and Code School, I payed for a year subscription with Code School to save money and benefit from their course. So with that said, lets get started with the Code School review.
What is Code school
Most people don’t learn to program and design for the web by reading a book. Real learning takes place when you start experimenting with code in the browser and using design concepts in a website. In our opinion, the best way to learn is by doing. Code School opens the door to a new way of learning by combining video, coding in the browser, and gamification to make learning a new technology fun!
Code School courses
Below is a sample of the courses Code School offers. I find that it compliments Treehouse when you take both courses together. I wanted to focus on Ruby mainly but the additions of Git was a much welcome course as I struggled to get my head around Git for a long time when I was starting out and I knew that if I was going to be serious in my approach to learn code, I needed to be able to use Git like a pro.
Code School- Ruby
I’ll pick one topic to look inside their teaching methods as they have free courses which you can take a look for yourself to see if Code School is for you. For this topic, I’ll pick the Ruby bits part 2. This is a section of what Code School call paths. Paths are designed to be a structured learning system for whatever topic you pick. The image below shows what’s ahead in my course.
Code School – Coding
Learn by doing is the tag line of Code School and you’ll learn code by writing the code in the browser to see in real time the effects of your code. If you have the correct code, you’ll progress to the next stage of the course. Basically, like a video game, if you complete the level (correct code) you’ll progress to next level with more difficult code. Your task is written above, simply enter the correct code and hit the submit button and you can progress to the next level. If you get the wrong code you’ll get a message with what you’ve failed to do. If you find yourself lost, there’s always the PDF that can act as a guide as you make your way through the code challenges.
Code School pricing
I find the pricing pretty reasonable at Code School, I payed $220 for a 1 year subscription making it only $18 a month due to their 3 months free offer.
There’s various options, you can pay $25 a month and cancel at any time, or you can get a team membership which is the same price but you have a few extra features, track your teams progress, visual development stats and team oversight. This is a great way to teach your team code as it will save money in the long run if you up skill your staff now. The other option is to pay for a full year like I did. I saved $75 by doing this and can now enjoy future updates that Code School has.
Depending on what your goals are with learning code, if it’s for a new job like myself or a bit of freelancing, if you are just starting out then Treehouse and Code school, in my opinion help you over that learning curve that can seem so daunting at first. They won’t make you rock star coders but they lay the foundation on which you can start to build a portfolio and develop your skills further. For the price it’s pretty reasonable as new content is added all the time, you have structured learning paths, a fun way to learn something that can seem hard at first and many more advantages.
- Helpful when starting to learn code
- Cost effective to learn code
- Fun to learn, building a zombie Twitter for example
- New content added regularly
- You still need to develop your coding skills further
- Limited subjects at present time