Codeacademy – worth it? Other alternatives?
I’m going to start a Data Science MSc in Jan so I have a bit of spare ‘learning time’ before it starts to pursue related interests. I’ve done a little bit of coding in Python recently and will be using R on my course. Here’s what I’m interested in trying out in the meantime:
– getting better with Shell (I can move files about a bit and that’s about it)
– I’m sure GitHub will feature in my life but I’ve never used it
– Maybe have a play with more Python and get to grips a bit more with Pandas.
I notice codeacademy has courses on all of these but they’re behind the paywall. I’m just wondering if anyone has used codeacademy and what you thought of it?
Any other suggestions of some kind of structured programs to help me get a bit more of a feel for these things also appreciated.Posted 2 months ago
Its not that structured but I have pluralsight via work. Not cheap but they do have reasonable courses.Posted 2 months ago
If you are wanting to mess around with Python I would look at
Github has an okay guide for how to use git so long as you keeping to the basics. So I would just get VS code and just do some basic actions using that.
Depending on if you like books vs videos no starch press has some decent books on general python usage including their project books which build up knowledge in a structured way.
It would be worth looking at edX as well, they feature free and paid for courses by loads of universities. On lots of courses they let you audit the course for free, which means you do the course bit can’t then get the qualification… they charge you to get that bit. But if you are just wanting to learn they are great.
I did a load of python/data science courses when I was recovering from a neck op, and they certainly kept me entertained for a good number of weeks…Posted 2 months ago
There’s a lot of stuff free on youtube but I’m finding a lot of value with the courses available on Udemy. Previously did a Power BI one for work and currently doing a “full stack” web developer course via appbrewery on there. I’m under no illusions that I’ll actually be a full stack developer by the end of it but I am learning A LOT and at the moment could quite comfortably put together a decent functional website – that’s the end goal, making a landing page and customer logon thing with various extras available once logged in.
It’s like the DFS of websites though. Everything seems to be original price £200 but special two-day sale, reduced to £12Posted 2 months ago
When you’ve got a problem search stackoverflow. There is so much free stuff out there and paid courses it is essential that you have an idea of what you want to do first then the terms to search for. Paid and free don’t make much difference but a paid corse will be structured in a way to give you the information that the course designer thinks is worthwhile.
EdX for data science. Their R:basics course is nicely structured if you have not used R before. You used to be able to ‘audit’ their courses for free. Edit-from the earlier comment it sounds like you still can.
And Hadley Wickham’s online book R for data science is very neat.
Shell? Well, if you want. But RStudio is a well-done IDE. No need to suffer with R.
There’s a very neat Python course on Coursera. But the one I’m thinking of is general, not DS focused. It’s what turned me to R for work.
If you’re just dabbling before a real course then free sounds like a good deal. I’ve not used CodeAcademy so 🤷🏻♂️Posted 2 months ago
If you’re after basics then w3schools.com is pretty good for syntax and useagePosted 2 months ago
I’m a big fan of find a problem you actually want to solve and just getting on with it. I find the online courses really hard to stay focused on as I don’t really care about the problem.Posted 2 months ago
I’m a big fan of find a problem you actually want to solve and just getting on with it. I find the online courses really hard to stay focused on as I don’t really care about the problem.
+1 on this for me. All depends how best you learn. We have datacamp at work but, having done other languages, i find it far easier to find a project and just crack on used the wealth of material online from sites already mentioned. My colleague had a project in R and i learnt more just sort of deconstructing her code to see what it was doing than from the online coursesPosted 2 months ago
I’ve tried a little bit of datacamp and codeacademy and found codeacademy more engaging – it was a few years apart but codeacademy was better at presenting practical challenges to test knowledge instead of quizzes and flashcards.Posted 2 months ago
– I’m sure GitHub will feature in my life but I’ve never used it
Github is just a host for Git repositories. It’s Git that you want to learn, which is best done on the command line, so fits in nicely with learning that.
Best way to learn is hard to say, but I think whatever method you use is best backed up with working on a project of your own where you need to really work through the problem yourself. There are no easy shortcuts, at least that I’ve found.Posted 2 months ago
Thanks for the thoughts everyone. Will crack on and give a few things a try, but I’m definitely looking for courses rather than ‘just try a project’ just now.Posted 2 months ago
No specific course advice, but learning bash, then git, then python will stand you in good stead. Each will be made a bit easier knowing the previous and basic tool proficiency has a cumulative effect.
We’re on a bike forum so let’s say learn to use Allen keys well and every other job on the bike gets easier.
If you’re not familiar with Linux systems that’s worth doing, similarly cloud systems – but the above is all more important.
I’d suggest getting proficient with conda (well, miniforge) or virtualenv/venv will pay off in spades too.Posted 2 months ago
I am not a professional developer, but like to tinker and learning the basics of coding, is useful for my role.
I would echo the above mostly, lots of free courses / YouTube / around, and I have definitely learnt more when trying to solve an actual real life problem.
But I have used codecademy pro, and for what it is, I think it is good VFM, especially if you can still play monthly.
I did the python course, you use their browser based ide and shell, so no faffing about getting your environment ready, just log in and code. The courses are well structured and the community forums are good when u get stuck. They also have mini learn on your own projects that you can use, knowledge check quizzes at the end of the module.
Did it make me a python god, no. But it did teach me the basics, syntax and gave me a good base to understand what people were talking about when googling stack overflow and the like when doing things on my own.Posted 2 months ago
you use their browser based ide and shell, so no faffing about getting your environment ready, just log in and code.
I’m not sure I’d consider that a plus, TBH. Setting up your environment, learning where the log files are, exactly what version of Python or whatever you’re running – all very useful skills IMO.Posted 2 months ago
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got this earlier.Posted 2 months ago
Thanks for the heads up on the discount. Certainly makes it a more attractive prospect.
I’m absolutely not looking for useful developer skills at the moment, just having a play with things for now.Posted 2 months ago
FWIW, I did this course a few years ago, looks like it’s been lightly modified but the weekly projects add a good deal of fun.
I’d also recommend Harvard’s CS50, which again has been running for years, has a great reputation and a very good lecturer. Quite demanding though- I’ve started it several times and kept running out of steam.Posted 2 months ago
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