Dev

Codecademy gets a major redesign to take the pain out of learning how to code

Codecademy founders Zach Sims (CEO) and Ryan Bubinski (CTO)

Above: Codecademy founders Zach Sims (CEO) and Ryan Bubinski (CTO)

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

Two years after launching, and with more than 24 million users learning how to code on its platform, Codecademy is getting a facelift.

The New York City startup unveiled a sleek new website redesign today, which should make Codecademy easier to use for newcomers as well as make the site more useful overall for the company’s existing members.

Codecademy is also dramatically updating its training platform to guide its members through lessons while still giving them plenty of hands-on time with code. The first example of this new experience is a lesson that guides HTML newbs through the process of creating AirBnb’s website. The new lesson experience will be launching on Monday, while the overall site redesign hits today.

The new platform is “aimed to help you learn skills hands-on, with real projects, and constant feedback,”Codecademy cofounder and CEO Zach Sims wrote in a blog post. “Better yet, the new Codecademy experience helps to connect you with the real skills you’ll need to succeed in today’s workplace.”

Codecademy's new learning environment

Above: Codecademy’s new learning environment

Image Credit: Codecademy

Codecademy focused on 10 major design principles for its new look, including using single columns whenever possible, highlighting the progress made by other members on the site, and not forcing members to deal with as many form fields. Overall, it makes for a more streamlined experience.

During a launch event at the company’s Manhattan office last night, Sims also highlighted a few members for whom learning to code made a huge difference in their lives. One 50-something member was laid off from her secretarial job and ended up using the site to land a web administration gig after just a few months of training. Tommy Nicholas, cofounder of Knox Payments, used his early coding skills from Codecademy to help build Coffitivity, which was named one of Time Magazine’s top 50 websites last year.

Sims hinted that monetization could come about from the company’s new training design.  “The new lesson experience is a better way to connect learners with the skills they need,” he said in an e-mail. “We think monetizing will come when we help connect our learners with better skills and opportunities.”

At this point, there are plenty of ways for people to learn how to code for free online. By simplifying its training process and making its site more welcoming, Codecademy is just giving people afraid of coding yet another reason to choose it over any potential competitors.

Codecademy has raised more than $12 million from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Index Ventures, and others.

More information:

Codecademy was created out of the frustrations Zach and Ryan felt with learning how to program. Tired with less effective text and video resources, they teamed up to create Codecademy, a better, more interactive way to learn programmin... read more »

Zach started Codecademy with Ryan in 2011. He worked for a few startups including GroupMe (acq. by Skype) and drop.io (acq. by Facebook) and was, somehow, a Political Science major at Columbia. He redeemed himself by dropping out of co... read more »

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