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>> BTW, buying is not a huge part of adwords. In fact, it's pretty hard to get a positive ROI on a "product" purchase campaign.

Great point.

If I understand you correctly you are talking about how adwords link to marketing landing pages that _give away_ something valuable to the user like an ebook in exchange for your email address. In this way they convert you by slowly giving away more value, building trust, and upselling premium offerings, etc.


Constructive criticism:

I think the video should be 100% about "what's in it for me" (the user). I understand the reason why you are introducing the people behind the project, but after 1minute in the video becomes "about howtocode.io" and less about "me". I closed the video after that to be honest.

Again, I get that you are providing validation and answering "why should I trust you" but honestly, unless you can say something that a beginner would value like "I founded Twitter", or "I work for Microsoft" (used to illustrate people can relate to a brand name regardless of how our inner-circles perceive them.) then it becomes a waste of the 30 seconds I'm giving you as to what's in it for me and how can I start receiving value RIGHT NOW.

In writing this, actually I think most everyone that has asked me for advice in how to code vet sites by word of mouth and by proxy i.e. "Jade what do you think about this site?" or "well Google has it as #1" or "well on youtube this has 1 million views" etc.

So in summary, I think you should not _lead_ with vetting yourself.

EDIT: I watched more of the video. You use language like "we will teach you.." and "our goal is to" which illustrates the point that you are talking about yourselves rather then the user. Changing it to "You will build a basic webpage and host it online entirely yourself in the first week" shifts the subject to the user, because it's always all about the user.


What I picked up in the "whats in it for me" category was pretty much in the url. I'm going to learn "how to code". The video went on to explain that I specifically could learn HTML, CSS, JS, jQuery, and Ruby on Rails, with some programming basics, and Git usage thrown in--for free.


I got the impression that they were not really trying to find customers, they instead were trying to gauge interest in the project. Nothing on the site gave me the impression that this was anything more than a web site soon to be a kickstarter page.


Here's a similar conceptual overview of "how the web works" in terms of client-server operations but done in a more interactive diagram style: http://nilclass.com/

It's a work in progress which helped me get a lot better at d3.js but I truly believe in this style of teaching as foundational knowledge. I think one of the best things veterans can give to newbies is _awareness_ and _perspective_.


For me I see it as breeding a culture of passion. I'm sure there are tons of people who really want to work for GitHub.

This is a small example of why that is true.

Toward that end, I'd say it's a fantastic use of resources.


You know, I've been asked recently "what kind of company would you like to work for?". I had no answer then, just said that definitely not Google or Facebook. Now I think GitHub might be that kind of company :)


I have plenty of room in my new apartment and you a free to stay here, but I live in Berkeley. If you don't mind the hour commute hit me up! Email is in profile.


I personally don't like javascript in my HTML, and vice versa.


publishing platform for coders/builders: http://ruhoh.com


Damn, this is so cool! I love it. I think I'm going to switch from Wordpress, actually.


The phrase is "by and large"



Thanks - changed


How about using parse.com's new javascript database layer to abstract the requisite server-side dependencies. (disclaimer, I've never used it myself). Then you'll be able to teach a user how to setup a simple one page web app, maybe a todo list, that used jquery's xhr requests to set and get data from the database.

Alternatively you can do this entirely with localStorage, problem there is that you need to provide an extra lesson about why localStorage doesn't work "online" (across the network).

I definitely think javascript is at a state where it's actually easier to understand the underlying principles of programming, i.e. why design decisions are made and how each component is integrated with the next component. Contrast this with rails where everything is magic, and I would much rather learn from a bottom-up kind of approach. When the front-end logic is all taken care of, Your next lesson will be to build "the part that parse.com is taking care of". So you throw up a sinatra app maybe, provide 2 REST endpoints etc. Thinking about applications as a composition of integrated services (database, database api, UI, application logic, etc) proves a lot more understandable and also has the benefit that it's a very mature way to look at things actually!

Just writing this get's me excited to start teaching my friends again. The problem is it's very hard and very exhausting (in a good way but I only have so many hours in the day!)

The biggest problem for me keeping the iceberg manageable. I should let them know just how many TONS of stuff they will eventually need to know, but ideally I want to do that in a procedural fashion so that it makes elegant sense.


That's a cool idea but I wonder if this is too complicated for the average beginner? I did COmsci in school but I did not easily understand how the DOM and xmlhttp API related...I was a perfect example of the programmer who Crockford says is wrong for hating JS because all we did was run to jQuery (and he's right)

I can't imagine how frustrating it is for a total beginner to understand the mechanisms, even if they are web desires with some experience with the DOM.

The good thing about teaching a language like Ruby or Python is that you don't have to build a webpage. In fact, most people are very content with not publishing on the web...and so they are reluctant to study JS because they think it's only for web development.

But with Ruby, you could write something that sucks in Craigslist results and reformat it so that you don't have to click through to see the pics...and then store it as a local file that is written to every 5 hours...I did this plenty of time when doing a furniture search...

I know you can hack Google tables/fusion to do some of this, but that's a whole new layer of things to learn...whereas everyone gets basic text files existing on the HD


It's funny you say that actually because I would fall into the category of being all about the web. I'm self taught and learned 100% in a web environment. I actually didn't have any experience with pure scripting (data-mining and processing) until my job required it a couple years back.

I think it probably just comes down to preference. I'm positive that a large portion of people that "want to learn to program" really mean "make a web application", but that's not to say that scripting isn't equally rewarding/fun. HN is filled with cool posts about how to make little command-line utilities that do xyz -- yes very nice indeed!

Lastly, FWIW, I sure am glad you say "ruby" as opposed to "rails" because I can't imagine the DOM being harder to learn than everything that rails is taking care of for you under the hood.


Yeah...I'm not saying they shouldn't be about the web...as I fit in that boat too. But when I think of most of the web creations I've produced, virtually all of them have come from being able to crunch/gather data (even if it's just spitting out HTML for every row in a dataset) at an efficient speed...when you have that much info, the incentive to publish is greater :)

But yeah, ruby != rails. That is most definitely something I clear the air about right away.


thats the thing though...people that know how to program know that programming is not about typing words on a screen.

patio11 brought up a good point in that in order to read one must learn the alphabet. I think this is very true but lets apply that here and realize codecademy teaches the alphabet -- not how to read.


"people that know how to program know that programming is not about typing words on a screen"

Agree. While I am not a programmer, I can certainly do enough to have made money with programs that I have written that have allowed me to achieve some goal that I had. Starting with editing shell scripts with ed and awk (a crude estimating system). To me it's fun. What can I do to automate something? How can I tweak this or that? I'm sure this is quite common. Fun. You want to do it. You like doing it. It's not work.

I've been doing this for quite some time now and found it fun right from the start and never get bored and it's always a challenge.

The bottom line though with all my learning has been making mistakes and figuring things out. In order to do this you need to actually make something and use it in order to think and come up with ideas on how to make it better and to solve the problems you run into.


Fine, Codeacademy teaches Reading (for beginners) instead of Reading (intermediate). But to imply that learning the alphabet is not the first step of learning to read, and instead is a separate thing, is totally disingenuous.

If you want to learn to read: you learn the alphabet first.

If you want to learn to code: you learn the basics first.

Codeacademy targets nonliterate coders, AKA people who don't know the alphabet.

It's pedantic to say that people aren't learning coding, just like it's pedantic to watch someone learning the alphabet and saying "You're not learning to read". Yes, they are, that's the entire reason they're learning the alphabet.



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