Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Code Avengers Review

HTML track

level one

This is just horribly painfully slow, i.e. exactly what a real beginner will find welcoming and useful.

More than that, there's a focus on realistic training, making you check for common mistakes you (and I) make when writing HTML, and really going step by step.

If anything, I would've found it too slow when I was a beginner, but then that always was my reaction to any kind of teaching, so I think it must be just fine as is.

Then it introduces you to google fonts ! which is just awesome.

Then I even learned about stuff I had forogtten (text-shadow and multiple shadows) and never cared about (lists, header, footer) and probably never will use.

I must say my biggest surprise is that not a word was said about divs, and divs are about the only thing I ever use in html5 nowadays - but then they say that's for the level two course - let's see if they provide it for free to a reviewer ...

And then, some things went wrong, too:

JavaScript track

level one

Slow, but not as slow as the HTML one, I suspect they expect people to do HTML before JS, so that's only fair.

Very smart pedagogy, pushing you far into the problem to make you want the solution, long tutorial, with reviews and everything, really thorough and yet not annoying (except the "game" pauses... who wants to shoot dem satellites...).

Much more fluidity than Codecademy as well, going from one task to the next is much less disruptive, there are no interruptions between "topics" either, really immersive and enjoyable.

Excellent pedagogy again by not holding the user's hand while remaining clear and simple.

Also they make you test every code path EVERY time, bit annoying but really good practice, until they give you unit tests that largely speed up the process (probably intentional to make you want to have unit tests).

There's a strong focus on results, letting you use whatever means you feel fit to achieve the results, very flexible (actually what I expected from Codecademy).

And then, some things went wrong, too:

  • 19.5: once again someone insists on using stupid broken two spaces tabs when the whole world has only one standard of four spaces tabs. Dear broken style standards, please die and let us have consistency at last.


This can't be final until I review their other courses, but right now I'd say that compared to Codecademy, they have a far uglier interface for the HTML, ok-ish for JavaScript, much better pedagogy and course quality, and I would not hesitate recommending them to newbies, for the HTML and JavaScript L1 course, with a mention to quickly forget the google style guidelines that were probably written by a team of drunken monkeys.

And while the interface may be a little bit less sleek, the pace, interaction and immersion is far better. You can literally sit at your computer for several hours just being in the zone learning the stuff.

The duration is fair, it took me a good two hours (writing this at the same time) for the HTML 1, 4 hours for the JS 1, when it's marked at 10 and 20 hours respectively for newbies - so really fair, probably 10 to 30% above average for newcomers.

All in all, if you're going to learn js or html, go to, it's simple and a great start, at least for the first free level (didn't get a review token for the rest yet).

so @codeavengers, great job guys, time to expand, and please let that google retarded web style die, it's really not in the same class of quality as your teaching service.

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