Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Co-Founder and CEO here. We started Codecademy and launched on HN 10 years ago. I'm so thankful to this community for helping us to get started and to see up the momentum! We're committed to making sure that the product stays as great as the one you've used for years (and gets even better!).



Looks like these were the first two HN threads:

Show HN: Codecademy.com, the easiest way to learn to code - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2901156 - Aug 2011 (232 comments)

Codecademy Surges To 200,000 Users, 2.1 Million Lessons Completed In 72 Hours - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2914854 - Aug 2011 (75 comments)


that first one brings back memories! thanks for resurfacing these, @dang!


You missed a great opp here, zds.

"dang, thanks for resurfacing these!"


I taught myself Python using Codecadamy in 2010 and I've since increased my salary 720%. Wanted to just say thank you for all of your team's efforts that touched so many lives like my own.


Seconded, would love to hear your story! I too learned python with a little help from CA but I'm struggling to find the right niche.


I started out as a sysadmin for a tiny software company and I was barely doing any automation. I started to realize through forums, etc that I needed to get into this scripting thing if I didn't want to be drowning in work so I was fiddling with batch/powershell stuff for the Windows servers. However, I was stuck on the few Linux boxes so I started poking around for what language I should learn for that and landed on Python. Spent a bunch of time going through the CA course and got fairly comfortable with the language but still hadn't really done anything with it.

I always wanted to work for a big company so I managed to land a role at a large network provider and when they found out I was interested in scripting they dubbed me the automation guy so I started writing a huge python/expect script that could do automated troubleshooting on these vendor systems that previously could only be navigated with SSH commands. Basically I truly learned Python doing this along with reading "Fluent Python" cover to cover. I recall days of frustration chasing bugs when I finally tracked it down to copying variables from lists without doing deepcopy() and having them modified later. My coworkers complained about speed to load data so I had to learn about multithreading and GIL so I could lazy load data. Then an old coworker reached out about a snazzy new startup so I went there to do this newfangled DevOps thing.

The DevOps role is where I was forced to round out my overall language awareness (not exactly learning the languages) so I could help manage the CI/CD pipelines and supporting infrastructure. For example, I had to learn that C# was compiled and developer machines were special snowflakes that compiled things differently. Days of frustration digging into to "compiles on my machine, your TeamCity is broke" type stuff. I had to use a lot of my sysadmin knowledge to prep machine images and do VMWare bootstrapping stuff which requires some healthy scripting. I was one of a few Linux guys so I was dubbed Hadoop dude (bought an O'Reily Hadoop book and read cover to cover) and my python scripting came in handy here plus had to buff up on bash. Started getting frustrated with the dynamic nature of Python and not being able to hand a script off to someone and expect it to work on their machine so I did some googling and learned that I needed to learn a compiled language. Golang sounded cool so I started teaching myself this. Startup life was getting to be a drag so I took an opportunity and another massive corporation doing Cloud stuff (new hotness, right?).

Massive Corporation was trying to govern triple digit AWS accounts with a newly hired team of 4 people--what could go wrong? The only way to be successful at this is to code automation. At this point I had to live and breath Golang/Python/AWS-SDK to survive. At this point I was being nudged into taking a people manager role and I'd been around the block enough to know in my bones that bad leadership was the source of a lot of engineer frustration so I felt obligated to at least try it. Now I'm pretty much full time leader and haven't coded anything in about a year but my job now is to spot talent, call BS, and nip bad ideas/programs in the bud.

I can't tell you how many stupid, pointless technologies I dug into and then fixed that provided no immediate benefit whatsoever but I learned to spot patterns which is invaluable. For example, I screwed around with Artifactory as a result of left-pad-gate [1] at DevOps job and got a working system together so now at massive corporation I'm helping some teams learn basics of artifact management even though it's not really part of my job. All of these experiences add up to value for a technology company.

I learned most of my skills from making the "mistake" of curiously trying to help someone fix something and then ending up three days later at 2AM writing some script and thinking to myself "What the hell was I thinking?" but it's always provided more value for me than them in the end.

None of this would be possible if I didn't live in the trenches and absorb systems into my bones via programming. Best advice I can give is to be curious, then be helpful, and then be stubborn. Throw in a few dashes of RDD [2] for self-preservation.

[1] - https://medium.com/quid-pro-quo/what-should-we-learn-from-th... [2] - http://radar.oreilly.com/2014/10/resume-driven-development.h...


this is amazing to read. thank you so much! would love to hear your story -- I'm zach@ if you want to shoot a note over.


Congrats Zach! I owe you a lot. I started using Codecademy in 2011 or 2012 when I was in high school and it was one of the main tools I used to teach myself programming. Fell in love with the hobby/profession and it's what I'm doing (and still love doing) 10 years later!


awesome! would love to hear more (and to tell our team!). shoot me an email!


I was a freshman in college in Fall of 2011 and took the python course because I was starting to regret majoring in business.

10 years later I'm a senior engineer and can take care of my family for life. I wouldn't be where I am today without the start you and the company gave me. Thank you and best of luck in whatever you choose to do in the future.


this (and every other story in this thread!) really makes everything worth it. would love to hear as much as you're comfortable sharing over email!


I discovered Codecademy in late fall 2011, while miserable in my first semester of law school. I had no idea how to code, and had only found it after stumbling on PG's essays for the first time (which led me to google "learn to program"). I dropped out of law school after a year and ended up a self-taught data scientist. Codecademy was only a part of my journey, but you kicked it off. Congrats, and thank you.


congratulations to you on your new career! i almost became a lawyer too ;)


Congrats! I've watched your 10+ year journey from afar and been inspired by the impact you've had on this industry & and your persistence during the ups/downs. Excited for your and the great acquisition.


thank you!


Hi Zach, I owe a great deal of thanks to you and the rest of the Codecademy team for providing me (and millions of others) with the tools to make a career transition. Hope this is just the beginning, can't wait to see what's next!

(Also, great to see someone from my high school class doing huge things. Well done!)


Congrats Zach to you + Ryan! I was just talking to my co-founder (Shahed Khan) yesterday and you came up in conversation as someone he really admires. :)

Best of luck in this new chapter for your company, your team, your loved ones, and your life.


It actually turned my life around. I was in school and wasn't feeling challenged, but we had a web design class by a shaggy haired, bearded metalhead in his 50s who did it as a part time job, he started his career with punch cards, had seen just about everything. I was a depressed kid in a poor area and no parents, I didn't really have the attention span for learning to program the classic way so I loved what I learned from Codecademy, it was really engaging.

I got an internship at the guy's old company and dropped out of school shortly after to work there full time, since then I've done so many things, moved to the US to work for Microsoft, built some really cool software, worked at all these places I couldn't even imagine 10 years ago. It's crazy to think that it all started in a small classroom going through Codecademy, I don't think anything else would've captured my interest in the way your website did. Thank you.


I started learning HTML/CSS on Codecademy about 8 years ago when I was in early highschool. Now about to graduate from college with my CS degree. Thanks for making a great service that helped shape my life


I remember the thread. Reading about it on HN back then I started programming stuff outside of game scripting. I had just finished high school. At a meetup it led to my first job. It’s been a good 10 year career and couldn’t have gone better in this regard. Thank you for Codecademy which was life changing for me.


Your courses in Java and python were some of my first introductions to programming in middle school and I now work as a full time software engineer. Thank you sincerely for all your contributions. I hope codecademy continues to flourish.


thank you so much! glad to hear the java and python paid off ;)


Congratulations, Zach! It's been very cool watching Codecademy go from electrifying prototype to media darling to quiet giant.


Thank you and congrats! I took a Python course on codecademy and it led to a career change and basically a complete life transformation. You convinced me, and I’m sure a lot of others “Yes, I can do this.”


this is why we show up to work in the morning! thank you so much. if you have more you want to share, shoot me an email!


Congrats! It's been great to watch your journey. I've always recommended Codecademy to my friends who wanted to learn to program. I can safely say you helped three people get into the industry.


I'm thinking back to the first time I cracked open a Java 101 book, which was a truly impenetrable and frustrating experience. I didn't even get the tooling stable enough to print hello world. It took me a few years later to engage with Code Academy to realize that programming is accessible and enjoyable.

So many of us owe you all a huge debt of gratitude. I have a stable career and lifestyle in part to your work which made programming accessible to people like me.


this is why we started the company! it killed me in college, but it didn't have to be that hard. so glad we could play a small part in your career!


Thanks so much! Codecademy taught me to program and it’s something I’m still getting paid to do 10 years later. Amazing product!


I know the opportunity to grab half a billion dollars was nearly impossible to pass up, almost all of these acquisitions result in the destruction of the original business and the abuse of the employees and customers involved.


Your site helped me find a new career! I am so much happier in my new life. Congratulations!!!


Thanks a lot and congrats to you and the team for this big milestone! I accelerated my webdev journey via Codecademy, even learned Python I believe. It's a wonderful platform that I still recommend to folks who come to me for advise.


Congratulations, Zach! Codecademy was a huge inspiration for me and a whole generation of edtech founders. It’s been amazing watching the company transition from a wildly viral consumer company to an enterprise powerhouse.


This feels a bit strange. I remember Codecademy as the first wow moment where I saw items being discussed here also being discussed "in the real world".

You're also reminding me that I've been on here for 10 years.


Congratulations Zack! I learned to program at Codecademy and it has played a very important role in my life/career. I'm working as an Engineer in an ed-tech company. This was all enabled by you and your team!

Thanks again


Like everyone else in this thread. You changed the trajectory of my life for the better. Came across your website as a business major fall of 2013 and never looked back!


InspiringAF now use your freedom to do even more...


It was well played; it somehow helped me have supplements on my dev learnings. I do appreciate the work you guys put in.


quite fun looking through your activity on HN, right back to a :- Show HN: Codecademy.com, the easiest way to learn to code

very cool


Will you continue to work on Codecademy? What's the next chapter?


Congrats Zach! - Kelvin


Congrats! I'm curious, are you a millionaire now? :)




Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: