Forums overhaul: September 2018


#1

Hi Community!

Starting tomorrow we’re going to do some spring cleaning on the forums. It’s been a while since our last forums overhaul back in March 2017, and we’ve heard a lot of feedback from you since then. Key things that we’ve learned from your feedback are:

  1. The forums have so much going on that it can be quite overwhelming sometimes – lots of topics, lots of categories, lots of subcategories.
  2. It can be difficult to figure out where to post and why, and there aren’t always spaces for the things that you want to discuss.
  3. It can be hard to find answers for your own coding questions.
  4. The “upvoting” feature on the forums is not particularly intuitive (we’re changing this back to a “likes” system)

A lot of those can be addressed by having better onboarding, including things like a more prominent, more concise guide to how these forums work. We’ll definitely work on that! Before we put together a guide to how to use these forums, we need to put in place some changes that will affect that guide.

The main change that we’re doing here is that we’re slimming down the categories where you can go to post or find answers. Since March 2017, we’ve had categories for each language or framework at Codecademy (like #learn-angularjs) and subcategories for units within those courses (like #react-101:react-jsx-intro). Over time, that’s lead to hundreds of subcategories, which makes it hard to both find the right one and also often for your post to get seen by other people. That’s why we’re changing the system so that there’s one main category for asking and answering questions or generally talking about about learning to code – the #discuss category, which will have subcategories within it for languages and frameworks #discuss:html.

This change, plus a few others to some other categories, will slim the number of categories down from over twenty now to just nine after the change. It’ll be far more intuitive to know where to go and why.

As for the finding the answers you’re looking for, we’re still working on that one. Those of you who have taken our HTML or Python 2.x courses recently will have noticed a nifty FAQ feature in the left window that links you to the top community questions for that exercise. That’s still in beta, but we’re working on that and a few other ideas to try and make it easier than ever to find answers that you need in just three clicks or less.

We hope that you like these changes! As ever, please let us know what you think about these changes and how we can make these forums better and better for you.


How can I implement these extra features?
#2

#3

Just as a general principle I would try and keep the forums as Codecademy-focused as possible. There’s much richer discussion of career advice and coding on Quora, Reddit, and Stackoverflow, so at least for me I wouldn’t invest time talking about those topics here.

I love reading about personal journeys and studying tips, which I think these forums could be good at. Just my two cents!

(I already work in technology so maybe my view is biased)


#4

Thanks very much for this feedback, @designrockstar51015. I love that you love reading about personal journeys and studying tips (motivating, helpful, and maybe even both), and I agree that this is a good place to share stories of this kind. :slight_smile:


#5

Oh, that’s pretty good, I always felt like the forum was a bit messy for newbies since there were so many categories related to each course and some of them were outdated or way too old. :smiley: