Codecademy Review [2020]

Codecademy Review 2020

I’ve been testing codecademy over the past several weeks to bring you a comprehensive codecademy Review. 

Should you sign up for codecademy in 2020? 

We’ll look at their curriculum - including what programming languages are covered and the overall setup of codecademy. We’ll also talk about their learning style, cost, and community / support. 

Then, based on my 15 years of analytics experience, I’ll tell you whether I recommend signing up for codecademy...or choosing another option...

Disclaimer: This review is my opinion based on my own experience using the product. I’ve spent my own money to sign up for codecademy to evaluate and review it. Some links may be affiliate links.

What is Codecademy?

Codecademy is an online platform for for learning coding skills and programming languages.

Their main message focuses on building coding skills whether you want them for web development, programming and computer science, or data science.

Codecademy Curriculum

Codecademy offers dozens of courses as well as projects and practice. While you can take these individually in any order you choose, the main structure of Codecademy is based on their Career and Skills Paths.

Career Paths & Skills Paths

Codecademy offers 4 career paths and 10 skill paths.

Career paths are built on different sets of courses. The skills paths are more focused on specific skills so they’re quicker to do. They contain portions of other courses as well as unique content curated to help you quickly build skill in a particular area. 

Codecademy estimates the length of time needed to complete each of the paths so you can easily see what time you’ll need to complete the training. The duration varies from track to track since the number of courses within them also vary.

Codecademy Career Paths include options for code foundations, computer science, data science, and web development.

Codecademy Programming Languages

Because the main focus is on coding, they offer quite a few different programming languages from HTML & CSS to Python, R, Go, and Swift.

The complete list of Codecademy programming languages includes: 

  • HTML & CSS
  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • SQL
  • Bash/Shell
  • Ruby
  • C++
  • R
  • C#
  • PHP
  • Go
  • Swift

Codecademy Courses

Codecademy offers 65 different courses crossing a variety of technologies.

If you watched my DataCamp review, this isn’t going to sound like many courses compared to the over 300 that DataCamp has to offer. HOWEVER, the courses in Codecademy are often more comprehensive. For instance, they have 1 course for “Learn Python 3” that’s 25 hours long whereas DataCamp breaks this same content up into multiple courses that are 3-4 hours long each. 

Not all the courses are 25 hours long - there are ones that are 1-2 hours as well. But it’s hard to directly compare the number of courses since their content is very different.

Codecademy Projects

Once you’ve learned different skills within Codecademy, you can move into projects. These projects give you the opportunity to practice the skills you’ve built in the courses.

Each project centers around 1 or more focus areas - usually a combination of the major category and the programming language - such as Data Science and SQL.

Some projects are heavily guided and others are more open ended. This is a good blend to help you develop your skills, but also to push you to figure things out for yourself. 

Codecademy Learning Style

Codecademy's learning style is based around examples and then practicing the concepts.

You read through examples and then are given exercises to try the same work yourself. Most of the practice assignments I tested were very directly related to the examples making it easy to complete them.

You get immediate feedback on your code when you check it. If you got it wrong, you can correct and resubmit. You’re given a small hint to prompt you in the right direction. As you progress through topics, you’ll also have concept reviews that you may find helpful.

Each lesson also links to the community forum to find out more about the topic or get help if you’re struggling to understand it.

Codecademy's learning style is great if you’re a person who learns best by doing. While you get a bit of theory, it’s really focused on having you jump in, learn and adjust. 

Codecademy Cost

Codecademy has 2 pricing levels for individuals as well as team options for companies interested in training multiple employees.

At the free level, you can:

Take basic courses - in reality this means a few PARTS of SOME courses
Do limited practice

That’s about it...the free level is really just to let you figure out if you like Codecademy's style and to get you hooked to sign up for the paid plan

The paid level is their “PRO” plan at $19.99/mo:
This opens up everything they have to offer.
You get all the courses, career paths, and skills paths.
You also get unlimited practice, many real-world projects, step by step guidance, and access to peer support. 

Codecademy pricing 2020

Support & Community

For both free and paid plans, you’ll have access to Codecademy’s forums where you can ask questions and participate in discussions. The pro plan also offers an exclusive pro community.

Overall Codecademy Review

Codecademy Pros

Codecademy is a great option if you like to immerse yourself in practicing your new skills and don’t want to spend a lot of time on theory. They are a cost effective option to build programming skills that are needed for data science and data analytics jobs. They’re also a large platform with a significant variety of options.

Codecademy Cons

The main shortcoming of Codecademy is the non-programming related data science skills are lacking. There are a few probability / statistics courses within the content, but they certainly aren’t enough to cover everything you need to know in that area.

It’s a great starting point, but I don’t see Codecademy as a complete solution for EVERYTHING you need to know for data science.

That’s only a con from my perspective looking at this as a solution for people that want to learn to become analysts or data scientists. Codecademy is very clear their focus is on coding.

Should you use Codecademy?

I recommend Codecademy as a way to learn programming skills for data science and data analytics. Their platform is intuitive to use and is flexible to do whenever you have the time. As opposed to less structured methods, it’s easier to get feedback on your work and you’re able to get hints on how to fix any issues along the way.

Codecademy Review Infographic

About this Guide

Jen - the person behind all the content on this site - has over 15 years of experience in data science and data analytics. She know what it takes to be a great data scientist or data analyst.