I saw a little banner asking for peoples Codecademy stories so I thought I'd share mine,
I started using Codecademy about 18 months ago. Originally I wanted to just take a look over the HTML course to help with a couple of WordPress sites I was trying to get up and running. I found the course so easy to follow and interesting that I started to set aside a couple of hours a week to try and learn a little more.
At the time I was working a really terrible job and hating it. I'd graduated like a year ago from Advertising, done a couple of unpaid internships for a year and then somehow gotten myself stuck selling broadband over the phone from a crappy little industrial estate in Wythenshawe (think Shameless, because literally that's where the show is set, like there was a woman who I assume lived nearby, used to have a wheelchair towed by a donkey. You can't make this stuff up)
I wanted to get back in to advertising/design but I kind of felt a little behind. I felt like there was a growing trend for people who could both think of the idea, and then also contribute towards building it. So I stuck at the Codecademy courses, set aside a couple of hours every weekend, and worked towards finishing a whole load of courses.
Deciding to stick at them is 100% the best decision I have ever made, because it turns out, I'm kind of good at it and I just genuinely enjoy doing it.
Roughly 12 months after starting my first course on Codecademy I managed to land my self a job in New York City building and developing internal websites and systems for Citi Private Bank. Which is just an entire world away from what I was doing before. I honestly had little to no understanding of any of it before I started the courses, like I knew in HTML was a space because a friend of mine had it printed on a shirt he then wore to a space party aaaannd that was pretty much it.
I got my job because I had taken the Codecademy courses, I had zero real-world or professional experience in web development before I started, I had only taken the courses and then worked on a couple of personal projects. Six months in to my job here and I know so much more. I have somehow gone from having people yell at me about the speed of their broadband to a brand new career on the other side of the world and it's amazing.
I also recently wrote an entire site from scratch (for my dad) outside of work, which you can look at it you like - www.hirohomes.co.uk It's not the most amazing thing in the world but I did it by myself and I am kinda proud. I'm also building a site for a friends pizza place on top of several new portals and sites I'm building at work.
Here's a photo of my enjoying my new snazzy NY life on Christmas Eve
In terms of advice for people who would like to do a similar thing, I would say that it's important to stick at it. I think in the beginning it can seem way more complicated than it actually is. In my job I work on my own a lot and because I am relatively new to it, it can sometimes take me a little while to work through it and especially in the beginning there were a lot of times I would be like, I can't do this, or feel massively out of my depth, but, actually if you just stick it out and really knuckle down you can figure it out.
For completing the courses, and actually learning, I really recommend going somewhere public. If you take your laptop to a coffee shop then sit on Facebook & Twitter all afternoon you look like an idiot. If you sit there on Codecademy all afternoon you look pretty cool. Use the forums, people are really helpful, but don't just copy and paste people solutions, because whats the point? Take the time, figure it out and I'm sure you'll grasp it.
Also once you feel like you're there and you've gotten it, keep going. I work through little bits of courses on my lunch breaks and I find that often things I learn during those 20 odd minutes I am able to directly apply to something I'm doing at work.
If you want to take it further and apply for new jobs I would recommend doing a couple of personal projects just so you have something to show. I'm still doing my own projects as nothing I complete at work I can ever show to people outside of Citi. Also I was lucky enough to take a private tour of Google NY recently and when I asked about the criteria for working at Google they told me that the majority of their staff just live to code, and it's not uncommon for coding to be listed as a hobby on most the CV's they receive.
I am really thankful to Codecademy,because I 100% wouldn't be here otherwise. So thank you Codecademy