SideStories II: FreeCodeCamp or Codecademy?
I remember when I started I was unsure where to start and what language to start with. I looked around the web and found a few good sites but was limited by budget, so opted for a free course that didn’t trial for 30 days, and one that was accessible to everyone. So here we are.
I’ve been learning how to code and blogging to keep track of my progress primarily with FreeCodeCamp, it offers a very clear step-by-step process with an editor (where the code it typed) and a console (where the code is interpreted). The layout is basic plain text and colour codes certain elements and attributes, and the process is chronological and methodical. It even offers you a recommended place to begin.
On the other hand, there’s Codecademy, which is colourful in design and uses emojis and text bubbles, which are all very appealing to the user. The code in the editor is usually partially complete and you have to select from multiple choice boxes where the correct coding terms go in the console. This way you learn about the ordering of the code, and each task seems to jump back and forth between difficulties. At the end of each practise there’s a small test where you have to complete code, or select the right definitions, and you get a little jingle with each right answer. It feels a bit like DuoLingo by design.
I personally prefer to learn with FreeCodeCamp and then open the Codecademy app on my tablet and practise tasks familiar or unfamiliar to me at this stage. Anything I don’t understand I simply Google and then write that summary down in my Notes app. So I would say it depends on what you want to go for, but I would suggest a combination of the two. One for lessons, the other for practising on the go.