Python via Codeacademy

I have had some downtime over my Christmas holiday which I have used to pick up Python via Codeacademy. Codeacademy offers several free courses (they call them tracks) and their Python course is pretty good overall. I have finished about half of the Python track and want to share the three strengths and weaknesses of the Codeacademy Python course.

Strengths
These are the three best things I’ve discovered running through the Python track on Codeacademy.

  1. The lessons assume you have no experience, which is great for beginners – no previous programming required.
  2. You needn’t download anything – you can write and run code directly on the Codeacademy website.
  3. The lessons are broken into pretty small chunks and are very easy to start/stop based on your schedule.

Weaknesses
These are the weak points, in my opinion, of the Codeacademy Python track.

  1. Sometimes the online intrepreter does not recognize a workable solution to a code problem – in some cases you need to tweak your solution in silly ways to “pass” the lesson.
  2. The lessons sometimes repeat content – while this may be useful for novices the lessons can get tedious if you have experience with other languages.
  3. If you know other languages, this is likely going to be the slowest way to learn the difference between what you already know and what you’re learning (again, this course is geared and likely great for beginners).

Overall, the Codeacademy Python track has been useful and I think it’d make an excellent starting point for anyone who is new to Python or programming in general. If you’re thinking about learning Python (or how to get started writing code) I’d recommend you check it out.