What do professional developers think of online programming courses such as Codecademy or Code School?
by Song Zheng,Developer
90% of the people who use Codecademy and Codeschool to try to learn coding fail. This is because 90% of people who turn to Codecademy and Codeschool are learning programming for the sake of learning how to code. This is why you will not be hired if you list Codecademy and/or CodeSchool badges on your resume.
The other 10% of people who use Codecademy or Codeschool become successful developers because they are learning programming to build a tictactoe game to play with their friends; a ecommerce site so they can sell things; a video chat app to connect with relatives; etc.
There is a very different mentality between the 90% and the 10% who are learning programming, and the successful ones are those who sees learning platforms as means to an end, not the end itself. For example, if you have no programming experience and want to learn how to code, your goal should not be claiming all the badges on Codecademy. Your goal should be building a simple game (or website) and you should learn just enough on Codecademy/Codeschool to build that app.
As you move along, you will set bigger and more complex goals for yourself and build more engaging apps. These will became the apps that you will proudly put on your resume, and the story of your wonderful journey will have given you the experience you need for a programming job.
... or perhaps one of your apps might one day inspire hundreds of talented individuals to work under you.
edit: A great example is Jennifer Dewalt, who learned programming by building 180 Websites in 180 days.