Oneupweb : Codecademy Makes JavaScript…Fun?

No, seriously. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed digging into code and feel a strange sense of accomplishment when I try something new and it actually works. Maybe that’s just my inner nerd talking (you have one too, they take many forms), but when I heard about Codecademy, I couldn’t wait to get home and try it out. The draw? Learn JavaScript with extremely easy to follow, web-based instructions with a clean interface and design. Within seconds on the site you are trying it out yourself. Oh, and it’s free.

This gem launched only a week ago and has already racked up 200,000 users with 2.1 millions lessons completed in its first three days of existence alone. A system like this must have been in the works for months, maybe even years, right? Try a week and a half. That’s right; Codecademy’s founders Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski put it together and posted it on Hacker News for some feedback. Little did they know there were thousands of nerds like me itching for a simple alternative to videos, books and over-complicated manuals.

Simply visit the site and instantly start coding by following the directions in the command line. While giving you hands-on practice, the system not only teaches you what the code looks like and does, but the vocabulary as well. After flying through the first few lessons I already found myself beginning to gain a deeper understanding of JavaScript.

The rapid spread of this program is thanks in large part to the social “badges” users are awarded when they complete certain lessons. Users can then share on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

After completing a lesson or two, Codecademy will ask you to register as a user. You can choose to skip this process if you’d like, but you won’t be able to return to the progress you’ve made. Being only a few weeks old, the app has a remarkably low amount of bugs. I noticed a few the deeper I got into the process, but nothing that wanted me to stop going. To me, it felt like a video game, trying to complete the levels and yes, going back and seeing if I could do them faster.

No, I’m not trying to get you to whitewash a fence by telling you how fun it is, just wander over to Codecademy and see for yourself how easy it is to get started in the wonderful world of programming!