Learn to Code: Codecademy vs freeCodeCamp

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Learn to Code: Codecademy vs freeCodeCamp

Coding schools and Bootcamp have gained popularity in the recent past. Indeed, programmers do not need a degree anymore to be employed in most companies. Mind you, even Google and Facebook, trashed their degree requirements when hiring. Twitter’s CEO, Jack, is a self-taught programmer. There are many platforms out there that you could use to learn how to program. But wait, programming is not a lonely journey; you also need to be part of a community with like-minded people to help you actualize your ideas and your learning process. Codecademy and freeCodeCamp are examples of coding schools available online. 

In this article, we take a look at the two coding schools highlighting the various features available. At the same time, we compare the two services to help you decide which of the two coding schools is an ideal choice that suits your needs. We know that choosing either of them is undoubtedly a challenge.

Summary: Codecademy vs freeCodeCamp

freeCodeCamp and CodeCademy both offer excellent courses for you to get started on various programming skills. And it is not just programming skills, both platforms have come up with multiple paths that prepare you to learn concepts on a particular programming topic. So, instead of knowing it all and becoming a master of NONE – freeCodeCamp and CodeCademy have made things easier for you. Some of the common courses available evolve around topics like web development and data science, among others.

In this one on one comparison, freeCodeCamp is the winner. freeCodeCamp is free and open source – you can’t beat free. However, we do acknowledge that CodeCademy has some more benefits despite the core features being behind a paywall – a higher paywall to be specific.

With that in mind, let us jump into the comparison.

Learn to Code: Codecademy vs freeCodeCamp
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Features

1. Programming Languages Taught

Both Codecademy and freeCodeCamp offer various programming languages. However, these platforms do not provide the same languages in some instances. And that will have an impact on what your choice could be based on what you want to learn or wish to learn. Starting with Codecademy, the platform teaches various programming languages, including HTML & CSS, Python, JavaScript, Java, SQL, Bash/Shell, Ruby, C++, R, C#, and PHP. In simple terms, for those of you out there wanting to learn either web development, game development, data science, and Programming, and Computer Science, then Codecademy offers all of that. 

Our second contender in this comparison, freeCodeCamp, teaches eight programming languages. You can learn HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Databases, Git & GitHub, Node.js, React.js and D3.js. 

2. Learning Process

Despite the several coding languages available at each platform, Codecademy and freeCodeCamp have categorized these courses into nice sections. With all the languages, a beginner might be confused about where to start. Luckily, both platforms have curated paths that you can follow to learn a specific skill. What is good is that you can start coding right away in freeCodeCamp because the programs are self-paced. There is no schedule for learning a particular course – you entirely learn at your own pace.

freeCodeCamp Courses:

  • Responsive Web Design Certification (300 hours)
  • Javascript Algorithms and Certification of Data Structures (300 hours)
  • Apis And Microservices Certification (300 hours)
  • Front End Libraries Certification (300 hours)
  • Data Visualization Certification (300 hours)
  • Coding Interview Prep (Thousands of challenge hours)
  • Information Security and Certification of Quality Assurance (300 hours)

On the other side, Codecademy does the same too. But in a well-organized manner that is very simple to understand. Codecademy offers courses, career paths, and skill paths. So, what the heck is all of this? You may ask. Well, let me explain. 

Career paths are an organized model of learning designed to help you equipped with all the information you need to learn how to build a solid career in technology. Under the career path, Codecademy has four different paths – web development, data science, computer science, and code foundations. Skill paths are mainly short courses that you can take to master a new job-ready skill.

Skill path is heavily inclined to individuals who know their way around code already. Some of the short skills one can partake under skill path include; analyzing data with Python, how to build websites, data visualization with Python, creating a Front-end app with React, analyzing data with SQL, analyzing financial data with Python, creating a Back-End app with JavaScript and getting started with machine learning.

Typically, these skills are taught between 6 to 10 weeks. On Course, Codecademy offers courses on all the previously mentioned programming languages. Besides that, you also get a chance to learn new things like color design, Alexa, and non-technical life skills.

Learn to Code: Codecademy vs freeCodeCamp
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3. Written Materials

Both Codecademy and freeCodeCamp have written tutorials available that you can follow through. Well, we know that written materials nowadays seem sort of legacy learning methods, but this is a better way to learn if you ask.

4. Video Tutorials

Aside from the written tutorials available on both of these platforms, video tutorials do exist also.

5. Code Editing

A code editor is the first resort programmers use in their journey independent of the level of experience. It is a must-have tool. But Codecademy has simplified that work for you already – you don’t need a code editor on your device anymore. Codecademy has an in-browser code editor.

That is not what you will have to find at freeCodeCamp. To learn on freeCodeCamp, you will have to install a third-party code editor on your device. But don’t worry, most code editors are freely available to download. You can use Atom, Visual Studio Code, Brackets, Notepad++, Sublime Text, the list is enormous.

6. Progress Saver

Progress saver is another handy tool that is available on both platforms. A quick primer, progress saver functionality saves your course progress, so the next time you wish to learn, you can be able to start right off where you left. freeCodeCamp and Codecademy have this feature on their respective platforms.

7. Exercises

Both freeCodeCamp and CodeCademy offers exercises to help you apply what you have already learned into real-world projects. Just like formal school, drills are an essential part of learning and will help you evaluate yourself. You can gauge whether you’ve mastered a specific concept before hitting the “Next” button. Unlike privacy policies or Terms and conditions embedded on websites, which many of us go “TL: DR,” doing these exercises do matter.

And why do we insist on this? Because these exercises or projects will help you build your programmer portfolio, too. Codecademy will test you with real-world projects which help you kick start your career. For freeCodeCamp, the case is no different – You will be able to build projects and earn free certifications. Besides, you will also gain experience by coding for non-profit organizations.

8. Open-Source

freeCodeCamp is an open-source, so after your learning, you can give back to the community by helping in improving the platform. CodeCademy is not open-source.

Learn to Code: Codecademy vs freeCodeCamp
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Small Comparison Table

Who is this for?

Codecademy and freeCodeCamp are both online platforms for learning code right from beginners to experts who want to expand their knowledge. Whether you wish to learn web development, game development, data science and Programming, and Computer Science, you are not limited to anything. For beginners who have no budget set aside, well, the two platforms have a platform for you also.

Pros and Cons

Codecademy Pros

  • Has expert advisors to help students in the learning process
  • You can share your repositories to GitHub.
  • Informative forums

Codecademy Cons

  • Some courses are under a paywall – $20 per month
  • No certifications

freeCodeCamp Pros

  • Entirely free to use
  • Certifications available
  • Gain experience coding for non-profits

freeCodeCamp Cons

  • No offline version available
  • Learning material is not in-depth
Learn to Code: Codecademy vs freeCodeCamp
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Pricing: Codecademy vs freeCodeCamp

Turning on matters pricing, freeCodeCamp wins it – obviously – you can’t beat free! freeCodeCamp is a non-profit organization launched in October 2014. The platform solely depends on donations to fund its operations and make the platform free for everyone to access and learn code from anywhere in the world.

CodeCademy has a pricing model. Some courses are free, while others lie under a subscription model. You will be charged $19.99 per month if you prefer paying every month. Paying upfront saves you much – you will only pay $17.99 per month and $15.99 per month if you pay for six months and 12 months upfront, respectively. Under the premium membership, you get access to quizzes, portfolio-building projects, and customized paths to specific careers. So, if you are on a free membership, you will miss out on exclusive courses, quizzes, and extra practice content that are placed behind the paywall.

User-Friendliness

Both CodeCademy and freeCodeCamp are easy to use. The platforms have customized career paths that quickly guide you on how to fire off your coding career. Furthermore, the platforms have been optimized for easier learning with their user-friendly user interface. But.. but, we will not shy from pointing out that CodeCademy’s website has a more impressive UI than what the contender offers. Deep down, CodeCademy’s site is, on the other hand, very buggy, something that most users have complained about.

Customer Support

On customer support, these platforms don’t fall short. Codecademy does have customer support solely via a community forum – but only to pro members. For freeCodeCamp, there is customer support, too, via their community forums, which are open to every member – there is no premium membership in freeCodeCamp.

Learn to Code: Codecademy vs freeCodeCamp
A person typing on a keyboard @girlmeetcode

The Verdict: Codecademy vs freeCodeCamp

CodeCademy and freeCodeCamp are both fantastic platforms that you can leverage to kickstart your coding career. freeCodeCamp is entirely free while CodeCademy has a subscription service that is very expensive but again worth paying for if you are going that way. But a paid service often proves better than a free service. In this case, we cannot confirm otherwise – the same saying applies. CodeCademy has more in-depth teaching on its courses, unlike freeCodeCamp. Plus, premium members on CodeCademy can get feedback from experts on their projects, which makes the learning experience feel so much better.

Final verdict, which service should you choose. Well, the winner is freeCodeCamp. The platform is free and open-source, offers a good variety of courses, and users earn certifications at the end of the course. You also gain experience in working on projects with non-profit organizations.

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