Coding can seem like a complex language to those who are unfamiliar with its terrain. There are a lot of elements (quite literally!) and it doesn’t help that CSS , HTML and PHP are a mouthful of consonants (adding to their aura of technical mumbo-jumbo).
However, there will be times when marketers are confronted with nuggets of code language in their day to day working life -- and this doesn't have to result in something like this scene from The IT Crowd.
You don’t have to wear converse and a beard to have all the coding fun either – nope, you just need one little tool to learn the basics in no time.
This week we bring to you Codecademy. One of the most popular code training tools on the internet, Codecademy allows you to take a series of free and interactive lessons at your own pace, inside the comfort of your web browser. Interested? Come on – let’s get our code on.
Starting to code with Codecademy
For those who want to learn how to code in an interactive and engaging way, Codecademy is definitely the answer. This tool offers 7 different coding languages, with dozens of lessons:
HTML and CSS are good places to start. Every lesson is interactive and you’ll begin coding from the get-go. Coding from the first lesson is a good tactic to keep the student engaged throughout (it certainly beats skipping over the droning voice of a YouTube tutorial!).
Why use Codecademy?
- Coding language has a clear everyday practicality for online marketers. Although ‘An bhfuil céad agam dul go dtí an leithreas?’ is ingrained in my brain forever, 2 hours of Codecademy has proved more useful to my life than 8 years of Irish (sorry, Mrs. O’Keefe).
- It’s 100% free – you won’t pay a cent for any lesson. Which is a nice treat and sets it apart from many other online coding tutorials.
- The courses are all focused on ‘learning by doing’. This extends to 30 minute 'goals' which include animating your name and creating your own website. Wholesome geeky fun.
- Codecademy offers API training (Application Programming Interfaces). These are tools created by companies to give users access to their data.
- Codecademy has a neat little function that helps you find mistakes as you learn. Next to each line of code, you’ll see a hazard icon if something’s wrong. So if your code won’t run and you don’t know why, don’t let your glasses fog up – just breathe slowly and heed the helpful hints offered in the side panel.
The code-errors of Codecademy
- Codecademy will teach you the basic-basics of coding. Therefore, we recommend using this tool as a starting point, so the next time your web developer starts discussing headers, footers and style sheets, you will be armed and ready with new found knowledge.
- However, do not venture off from 30 hours code-academy training with intentions to build and maintain a website on your todd. One of the biggest issues with Codecademy is that although this tool introduces and cements the building blocks of coding, it does not offer a real-life context for users to practice this knowledge.
- In this way, you will learn crucial concepts, but will then find it difficult to apply these in the big wide web. As ‘Skilled Up’ nicely put it, it’s a bit like learning to drive a car in an empty car park, then trying to drive on the motorway.
If you're looking for award-winning, sticky content, a user-focused website (and all the mumbo-jumbo in between), get in contact with us here at 256 Media - we'd be happy help!