Hi -- Personally, given the non-existent help resources available to the basic user, I'd be hesitant to sign up for the premium services. Maybe it's worth it, and maybe that's the key -- better responsiveness for paying customers, but I don't feel like the base product is much of a sales piece. I feel like relegating help to the user-community model does a disservice to newbie coders, because the answers aren't always correct or directly on point. I suppose the paying customers probably get a little more out of the website.
The forums are a great platform to solve your problems.
It is, after all, a free website.
Open source is free. A lot of software is free. Some of the greatest museums in the world are free. The point is that you're providing a resource and a tool for people to learn. And it's clearly not the only one out there. The street cred and the reputation of that resource is directly impacted by how faithfully it's supported. If you're taking on the mission to train... to help people learn, then I think there's a certain responsibility that comes with that.
There's the money argument, as well... if you want people to pay for the Pro service, seems like a good idea to have a strong tool underpinning the foundation. ______
I would say that the resources are far from non-existent, but still, it's a free website like Cade said, so you can't expect instant responses, in-depth answers etc all the time. There are people on this forum that dedicate a lot of their free time to helping out and they don't need to do that. They could do anything else, but they choose to help other people.
Please don't misunderstand me... I applaud everyone that contributes to the success of the site and I'm very familiar with how well organic, community-driven learning like this can be. I guess my point was just that not everyone has the capacity to learn well from what is, essentially, a chaotic environment like this. Multiple answers, disparate opinions, complex navigation, and asynchronous help. This is where I feel that code academy should employ a few well-positioned resources to fill in the gaps. It builds good will, encourages newbies and drives business to the Pro platform. Sorry if my comments came across as critical.
The inner chaos of the forums is part of its inner beauty. The way it operates with all of the noise going on is beautiful.
This I completely disagree on. The only way to learn in depth on a topic, is to cover it from all angles. A friendly argument brings fresh thoughts to both sides.
Not sure what you mean by multiple answers.
What resources would you suggest? They have team members patrolling the forums.
This is a free website, very few others offer courses completely free, that runs, as you said, on the community. It is still relatively young, and is likely to have many more expansions.
With pro you can speak to advisors, so I guess that's covered
Sorry. Didn't really want to turn this into an extended debate, and clearly we see the issues differently.
By multiple responses, I mean that often, people respond in a thread but either don't have a solution or have an incorrect one. They may even lead someone entirely off-course. Perhaps something they picked up from a more advanced programming course or from a tool or framework that isn't in play for the lesson in question. This can be confusing to parse if you're just learning. I'm sure the course designers go through a lot of effort designing each screen... choosing a particular example and seeing it through.. choosing to leave out things that could derail a new learner. Often, someone chimes in a response that throws that course design out the window. A forum is great for throwing ideas out, discussing approach and sharing ideas, but if someone's really stuck or facing a technical support issue, it's just better to have a cut & dry support solution.
I'd agree with you that having multiple opinions is helpful to learning new concepts, but those same discussions can obfuscate and derail a learner if they're just looking to get a quick question or tech support issue addressed.
For resources, I think I'd just like to see a help system that doesn't shunt every single question to a forum. If there were a path to triage questions, with a possibility of getting a direct response or referral, I think that would be helpful.
I appreciate the discussion. Thanks