Lessons shouldn't require use of third-party APIs

Why doesn’t Codecademy have its own APIs for lessons? Does Codecademy receive some sort of benefit from having thousands of their students create accounts at third-party sites such as Rebrandly or TMDB?

I chose to have this educational relationship with Codecademy, but I don’t necessarily want to provide my personal information to those other sites.

Requiring students to create accounts at third-party sites is not a good thing and should not be necessary, as it would not be difficult for the coders at Codecademy to create their own APIs.

Hey, welcome to the forums!

Generally in my opinion, I would say that incorporating third party APIs into lessons and projects is actually a good thing, for a couple major reasons:

Firstly, you will almost certainly have to use an external API many times, especially if you are creating a portfolio or personal projects as showing understanding of APIs and how they work is really important if you’re looking to demonstrate your skills (i.e to try to land a first development job), thus it’s better (imo) to get experience how to do that now and be comfortable with them rather than have to learn on the spot when it’s needed.


I think you’re mildly underestimating the amount of work it takes to make an API here :slight_smile:. While I guess it is something it would be possible to do, the time commitment (let alone the commitment for regular maintenance) is more than likely simply too high to justify creating an API that would only ever get used in a single lesson or project, especially when there’s so many public APIs that are being actively developed with significant time and effort that can be used instead.


While I’m not going to claim to know about CC’s business stuff (I don’t), I would assume not no. Note that when they ask you to create an API account, there is no referral link or the like that would be used to identify you as a Codecademy student, so they have no way of knowing if users are CC students or not, making it almost impossible to provide those benefits (although there may of course have had to be an agreement between the API provider and Codecademy for CC to use it in their lessons)


All of the APIs that Codecademy uses are major, well established organizations, I assure you that your personal information is perfectly safe with them :slight_smile:

Happy coding!

2 Likes

[notlyall] notlyall https://discuss.codecademy.com/u/notlyall
Volunteer Super User
April 12

Hey, welcome to the forums!

Generally in my opinion, I would say that incorporating third party APIs
into lessons and projects is actually a good thing, for a couple major
reasons:

Firstly, you will almost certainly have to use an external API many
times, especially if you are creating a portfolio or personal projects
as showing understanding of APIs and how they work is really important
if you’re looking to demonstrate your skills (i.e to try to land a first
development job), thus it’s better (imo) to get experience how to do
that now and be comfortable with them rather than have to learn on the
spot when it’s needed.

I’m talking about lessons, though, not projects that could be added to a
portfolio. The code used in the lessons is written by Codecademy and not
something you’d put in your portfolio. A project for your portfolio
could use a third-party API of your own choosing.

system7930203487:

Why doesn’t Codecademy have its own APIs for lessons?

I think you’re mildly underestimating the amount of work it takes to
make an API here :slight_smile:. While I guess it is something it would
be /possible/ to do, the time commitment (let alone the commitment for
regular maintenance) is more than likely simply too high to justify
creating an API that would only ever get used in a single lesson or
project, especially when there’s so many public APIs that are being
actively developed with significant time and effort that can be used
instead.

If you can teach others how to create web APIs (which Codecademy does in
some of its courses), then it’s well within your ability to create and
maintain one.

It would not be difficult to create a web API that could accommodate all
the lessons (there’s more than one) requiring one. And web APIs tend to
be very similar in their use (base url, endpoint, params, api key), so
there is no benefit to using a third party, unless it’s one that uses a
different sort of interface.

system7930203487:

Does Codecademy receive some sort of benefit from having thousands
of their students create accounts at third-party sites such as
Rebrandly or TMDB?

While I’m not going to claim to know about CC’s business stuff (I
don’t), I would assume not no. Note that when they ask you to create an
API account, there is no referral link or the like that would be used to
identify you as a Codecademy student, so they have no way of knowing if
users are CC students or not, making it almost impossible to provide
those benefits (although there may of course have had to be an agreement
between the API provider and Codecademy for CC to use it in their lessons)

First of all, note that in the course, “Create a Front-End App with
React”, there is an explicit suggestion to plug “https://codecademy.com
into your API account setup at themoviedb.org (who also require your
address and phone number, which is not as common as Codecademy suggests
in the lesson notes).

But also, it’s quite possible to make the business connection if the
student follows the link provided in the lesson and then creates an
account – and then to further clinch the deal, that newly created
account’s API key gets used – pretty simple.

It isn’t cynical to think there might be a financial arrangement behind
two businesses making these sorts of connections. I trust a business
more when they’re open about it.

system7930203487:

but I don’t necessarily want to provide my personal information to
those other sites.

All of the APIs that Codecademy uses are major, well established
organizations, I assure you that your personal information is perfectly
safe with them :slight_smile:

Okay, I will rest easy! :wink:

Happy coding!

Thanks, and likewise!