After looking around at the Q&A forums at Codecademy and finding that most of the other beginners are as lost as I am, I’ve decided that maybe I’m stuck on the current lesson because the author just isn’t very good, rather than because I can’t understand the content. A friend has offered to write up a tutorial for me going over the same material, and I’ve also requested a book from the library. Between those two, I should be able to get past this hump.
In the meantime, I’ve discovered that I can link to my profile there as a little brag, showing all the courses I’ve completed! It’s a small thing, but I like it.
I decided to splurge and give Lynda.com, which is NOT free, a try, as it was also recommended by Lifehacker. A monthly fee gives you unlimited access to all of their tutorials, and there are scads of them. They had all the subjects in which I am currently interested, and the fee is less than the price of one technical book.
Unfortunately, watching a video, even while following along with the exercise files, just isn’t as effective for me as doing exercises hands-on a la Codecademy. I have gotten a better introduction to the Fundamentals of Programming from Lynda.com, but then I watched a video course dedicated solely to that topic. Of course, if you learn better from videos, you might find it the bee’s knees. I am liking the fact that I can watch the videos on my iPad, and apparently, I could also access them from my phone if I wished to watch on a tiny screen.
I’ll keep using the site for the rest of the month since I’ve paid for it, but I don’t think I’ll be renewing after the one-month trial.