Guide to Codecademy is a popular online resource for people learning to code. Historically it has been either really good or downright horrible. Here’s what you need to know before using it to learn anything.

💎 The best alternative to Codecademy is following along with guided learning projects and creating something of your own from the start. This takes a lot more work and research but is far more productive when it comes to your learning.

The most important thing you need to realize from the start is that Codecademy is just not real. It is a guided set of lessons that help you learn skills and concepts but that ultimately leave you with nothing to show for it. This is extremely dangerous because it gives you a false sense of accomplishment without you ever actually doing anything. Codecademy is not the only online learning service that fosters this dangerous mind set but it is certainly one of the most well known.

⚠️ You never need to buy Pro and never should. It would be an objective and costly waste of money.

💬 I have had several members get notably angry for doing any Codecademy while others loved it.

After all those disclaimers and warnings here are the few things in the Codecademy catalog that I can reasonably recommend:

Do not do the Python lessons under any circumstances. They are completely out of date and will cause you to learn things incorrectly that you have to unlearn later. Plus you should completely master Bash, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Go before learning any Python.

Don’t bother with Java until you have learned the other major languages.

💢 Codecademy is notoriously bad in their marketing emails at just blatant stupidity and hyperbole. For example, they made a big hype once about the “Android Operating System.” Android is not an operating system and never was. Android runs on top of the Linux operating system.

Another time they were seriously pushing their Python material even though it covers Python 2, which has been deprecated for more than 10 years and will be officially unsupported by the Python Foundation in 2020.

Codecademy can be a good resource if you ensure you combine your learning with projects to create something real while you are doing the learning. Make sure you have a Linux workstation and preferably VSCode installed and available as you go through the work.