Codecademy has spent the last several years building a large community of learners with free lessons aimed at teaching its users the basics of how to code. But now it’s betting that many of them will be willing to pay for more intensive courses.
When Codecademy founder and CEO Zach Sims founded the company in 2011, he did so with the hope of allowing more people interested in programming to gain access to educational content they’d need to get started.
Codecademy differed in its approach from the way most people learned how to code at the time. Unlike university lectures or most online tutorials in its early days, Codecademy’s courses were built around learning by doing. That meant putting a terminal in a user’s browser and having them interact with it the same way any engineer would in a dev environment.
Since then Codecademy has grown its user base to more than 45 million learners, most of whom are attracted to the dozens of courses and hundreds of hours of free content designed to teach them the fundamentals.