Code Year: This Is The Year You Learn To Program

Codeacademy is doing a new program this year called Code Year:

Make your New Year’s resolution learning to code.
Sign up on Code Year to get a new interactive programming lesson sent to you each week and you’ll be building apps and web sites before you know it.

It seems to be based around JavaScript (at least at the start), and it looks pretty interesting (and it’s free!). If you’ve always wanted to learn how to build apps and games and things like that, why not make this the year you do it?

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  1. As a starting langauge, I have mixed feelings about Javascript. I love it, but I’m not convinced it’s a good starting point. It’s syntax is good, as the C/Java syntax is common and useful. I think I would point people in the direction of Java though. Wider application and the stricter rules would benefit people further on. That said, I’m all for people learning to program!

  2. I’d have to post date that resolution by about 35 years. 🙂

    Personally I’d go with Python as a first language. It’s free, cross platform, dead simple syntax, simple enough to teach a child but brutally powerful enough to do just about anything.

    (by the way, the captcha you use is hell on the color blind)

  3. @Aaron: I see where you’re coming from, but note that I said it ‘seems’ to be based on JavaScript — this is based on comments I’ve seen around the web — it may only stick with JS for a week or two before it moves into Java or C/C++/C# etc. I haven’t gone through the program yet, so I don’t know for sure.

    Anyway, I think the goal is more code+computer literacy than it is ‘everyone will become a hardcore developer’ — perhaps it’s just designed to whet people’s appetites for coding (which I’m all for as well) 🙂

  4. I’m not convinced that JS is a good language to start with either, but it’s better than being ignorant.

    I did look at their site long enough to find a place to get notified when Python was ready:

    There is also one for Ruby if you are so inclined.

  5. I think Code Year will catch fire a little bit. Well, I say that because it’s been my focus too that we need “road maps” that span the lessons and tutorials.

    I too have reservations about JavaScript as a first language, but in this long discussion (about JS at Khan Academy!) there were supporters, past happy students, etc.

    FWIW, I’ve been collecting a few “alternative paths” at my blog, various first steps for the independent student. I’ve stumbled on some interesting things … like Greenfoot.

    @Aaron, Greenfoot is an interesting Java environment.

    I’m still old-school enough that I think learning the LAMP stack, bottom to top, is a good path for someone serious about “programming” (perhaps after a first-language experience). I mean, it’s good to know a “level,” but I don’t think you can really be a pro without knowing how it fits in … a few stacks.

  6. I was scared the greenfoot link would put me at “too many” and trigger a moderation wait.

    Greenfoot is here.

  7. According to, Ruby and Python lessons will be added later.

    I found it rather amusing trying to guess what the criteria for success of each task was, and then trying to complete it in an unintended way.

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