Codecademy founder Zach Sims tells me that Codecademy, and specifically new hire Amjad Masad, built the feature because it wanted people to be able to play with what they’ve learned on Codecademy without having to download a desktop-based code editor or integrated development environment (IDE). He says that most other online code-learning environments (like Treehouse) don’t yet offer a way for students freeform write and run the code they teach in-browser.
In addition to editing, Codecademy Labs allows you to run, and download executable files so your programs can run elsewhere. “It eliminates the biggest hurdle. When they’re learning code, people want a super easy way to go do something with it,” Sims says “Labs makes it really easy to continue along the path of learning stuff without any of the complications that go along with programming.”
Codecademy recently received $2.5 million from an impressive array of investors including Union Square Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech, SV Angel, Yuri Milner, Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder Collective, CrunchFund, Joshua Schachter, Dave Morin, Naval Ravikant and others.