The demand for coding knowledge is massive.
Could you be sitting on the app concept of the century, but you don’t know the programming basics to create it. Now, thanks to coding courses offered by companies such as DaVinci Coders and Codecademy, people are launching new businesses by taking coding matters into their own hands.
The demand for this knowledge is massive. After its official launch, 200,000 people signed up for coding lessons in just 72 hours. It now boasts millions of users. It works too — one user recently built a fitness app called Sworkit, which has more than 100,000 downloads since its November 2012 debut.
Mashable spoke with Codecademy co-founder and CEO Zach Sims about how the startup is teaching the framework needed to usher in innovation.
How does Codeacademy work?
We built an interactive experience that focuses on learning to program by doing and actually writing code, as opposed to watching videos or reading lots of text. People learn with each other, contribute to our Q&A and can create lessons, as well as take them.
Why is there a need for a code-teaching platform?
Codecademy serves the growing need for digital literacy. It’s not that everyone needs to learn to code and build web apps — it’s that everyone should be savvy with the technologies that shape our world. Many of us are using mobile phones, laptops and more in our daily lives, but we don’t know how they work and how to harness their power. Programming is the way to do that. It makes it easier for anyone to become a maker and democratizes creation.
What are people most interested in with learning how to code?
Students are often interested in the fastest way to get from zero to a product. We see them start with websites and progress on to more complicated web technologies. It varies from person to person.
How does empowering people to code help launch new businesses and jobs?
We’ve seen scores of users either find new jobs with their new skills or start to create their own businesses. Codecademy is meant for anyone interested in learning to program — you don’t have to have a technical background, so it’s great for getting anyone started. We’re excited about extending the opportunity to learn to code to those who never had access to programming education.
What do you think students will want to learn in the upcoming year? Two years?
Languages and technologies shift, but we think a solid grasp of the fundamentals is always important. We expect this to continue in the future.
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