Week 9: Code School Free Trial

Lighted Free sign with dancers and band

When I first started learning to program, my plan was to spend a month working on Codecademy courses and then switch to Code School. That plan changed when I realized that my local library offered free subscriptions to Treehouse.

I tried Treehouse, liked it, and decided to hold off on trying Code School as a result.

Last week, Code School offered a Free Trial Weekend so I finally got a full taste of what they offer.

I had sampled a Code School course when I was trying to learn more about BootStrap for my Tribute Page project. Even though I was only able to watch the first chapter of the lesson, it was quite helpful. It was also enough to convince me that video lessons are far superior to written lessons.

I remember noting then that Code School deducts points from your quiz scores if you use the hints. It is a small thing but it’s enough to encourage you to keep trying to find the answer on your own versus taking the easy way out and looking at the hint.

Code School Bootstrap lesson.

For the Free Trial Weekend, I decided to work through Code School’s Front End Foundation course. It covered a lot of the same material that I had already worked through on Codecademy and Treehouse, but I thought it would be a good refresher. I also figured the best way to compare the different sites would be to work on the same subject matter on all of them.

The Code School courses generally consist of a video followed by a coding challenge, followed by another video, and then a quiz. While this works fine, I found myself missing the ability to code along with the video. This is something that the Treehouse lessons incorporate using their Workspace tool.

One thing that the Code School lessons went into great detail on was the math behind hexadecimal colors. While the other sites touched on this, Code School took it a step farther by including an exercise where you calculate your own colors versus just showing you how to look up the different color codes. It was a small thing but I feel like I have a much better understanding of hexadecimal colors as a result.

Overall, the free trial confirmed what I already knew: I like how Code School is set up and their lessons are enjoyable and informative. I would still give Treehouse the slight edge because of how much more coding they include in their courses, but Code School is a clear step up over Codeademy. Treehouse will stay my primary learning site, but I do plan to work on more courses on Code School as well.

That was my weekend, but what about the rest of the week?

Some of you may remember that I was fighting a bug the week before. It continued to linger into Week 9 so I finally had to break down and go to the doctor. After getting some antibiotics and prescription cough syrup, I was finally able to start feeling like my old self again.

Most of my week was spent on the Front End Developer course on Treehouse, but I did take time to work on a cool Holiday Tree project using HTML and CSS.

If you are looking for a fun project or a way to practice your HTML and CSS, then this is the project for you. You can learn more about the project and the story behind making my holiday tree in this article.

Come back next week to find out if Thanksgiving and the dreaded turkey coma can derail my progress.

Feature image by William White on Unsplash

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Author: Lee

Hi, my name is Lee and I am a 40-something who recently made the decision to become a self-taught programmer. This site was set up to chronicle that journey and my experiences along the way. Feel free to contact me with any comments, questions, or suggestions.

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