Since its launch two years ago Codecademy has become synonymous with online education for basic computer programming.
In that time, the company says it’s learned a few things itself and today launched a newly redesigned website with an enhanced framework for teaching more than just the nuts and bolts of programming.
In some ways it’s the company’s attempt to transform itself from the first step on the path to learning how to code and getting a job — a process that could include additional programming bootcamps or coursework through a site that charges for educational services — to a one-stop-shop for online continuing and professional education for programmers and developers.
The New York-based startup began as “the easiest way for anyone to get started programming” according to Zach Sims, the company’s co-founder. “We are now trying to teach more advanced concepts as opposed to just get you from zero to basic skills,” Sims says.
Over 24 million people took courses provided by Codecademy and the company is working on tracking those newly minted programmers and their skills and professional progress after receiving training through the site.
At its core, the new focus on more advanced skills will come through the redesigned training method that has users build their own iterations of the basic Airbnb site, Sims says.
As Sims describes on the Codecademy blog, the first course in its new curriculum involves experimenting with blocks of code, visualizing how different parts of a page can change dynamically, and using the same terminology that professional developers use to create websites like Airbnb’s.
The company says using the new framework will ultimately connect users to social and career opportunities. It’s also the first step toward Codecademy’s broader vision that will bring in universities, business clients and employers and employment networks, to help Codecademy students move toward actual careers through the site.
Codecademy is already working with educators around the world to integrate computer programming with basic education provided at secondary schools in the UK, Malaysia, and Singapore. In the UK, Codecademy has gotten middle school and high schools to integrate courses into their existing curricula, according to Sims.
The results are sites that are shareable and portfolios that jobseekers can point to as they move ahead with careers in web design and programming.