Code Year in Review
It was a day late, but I managed to finish CodeYear. All 50 weeks of it (and a Christmas card that randomly didn’t count).
It sounds as if not many people did though. Kevin Roose over at the New Yorker wrote a public apology to CodeYear for not actually doing any of it. And he wasn’t alone. Some didn’t even open the emails. It all started with such a bang. This time last year, Sasha Grief knocked together a simple but compelling one-pager, while people such as Mayor Bloomberg (auto) tweeted their “New Year’s resolution is to learn to code with Codecademy in 2012!”. It was even reported by the Beeb.
Yet by the end, it had gone out with a whimper. Those that did finish on time got a nondescript email, and not so much as a badge of achievement, much to their annoyance. And there’s no sign of a 2013 track as of yet. Even the actual track is irritatingly incomplete: why would there be more courses? Surely the year is over? What happened?
- Variable quality and difficulty. Some lessons were not only difficult, but badly worded (usually the ones that had lists of complaints in the forum). More irritatingly, some lessons appeared to be out of order: what was an impenetrable concept in one lesson would next have its basics spelled out in the next.
- Vastly different languages. While it was a little confusing to move from JS to HTML and CSS (so similar and yet so different), at least they have a pretty similar basis. On the other hand, the final third of Python (moving to some pretty specific Python stuff!) was like learning a language all over again, given its syntax is completely different.
- A shift from what it said it’d be (namely being practical). While I found the final Python thread interesting, it certainly wasn’t what I signed up for. And while I found it useful to actually understand what the hell bitwise shifts were about, I struggled to know how I’d use that in a coding situation. (At the very least, an explanation of when it might be used would have been helpful).
Still, I did learn a few things:
- Fundamentals. The one thing I’d wanted to get from Code Year was to learn some of the fundamentals in regards to coding that you miss out when you only work on projects.
- A bit about that Google language. I had been playing around with the Python track when it was in dev, and did like it, until it took over the Code Year track.
If they can do that and make more consistent lessons, then Code Year 2013 (if it ever appears) would probably be well worth taking.