What programming language does Code org

Zach Sims dropped out of college. If he has his way, you no longer need that today. The 23-year-old American founded a startup that aims to impart the "key qualifications of the future" to people all over the world: programming language. At Codecademy anyone can learn to code for free. "So professional that some of the graduates even get job offers," he says.

In his digital academy you can create a user profile with a few clicks and choose languages ​​such as HTML, CSS or Javascript from the course schedule. Then - ideally - they practice daily: The site sets tasks and corrects attempted solutions immediately. Those who pull this off collect digital diligence points and should be able to program websites, apps, games or animations at the end of the day. "Anyone who knows these codes can help shape the Internet," says Sims.

He founded the online academy three years ago with his fellow student Ryan Bubinski. Today more than 20 young people work in the New York office, and millions of users around the world are cramming codes. "That went through the roof straight away," says Sims of the early days of his startup. "We had thousands of registrations within a few days." Ten months later, investors like Richard Branson, Union Square Ventures or Kleiner Perkins gave the company a huge growth boost with ten million dollars. Since then, funding has been provided by donors. That is not yet a long-term business model. But Sims and his colleagues are choosing a path that many startup founders are taking: First work on user numbers and reputation, then on the flow of money. "But no matter how it comes," says Sims, "the training should be ad-free and free." And limitless.

People from America, India, Great Britain, Russia, South Korea, Pakistan and China click through the courses. Most of them are men between the ages of 18 and 28. The most popular course, according to the company, is website programming. Sims doesn't talk about the hard work of his students or the drop-out rate. "Of course, some people give up because they don't have enough time."

After more or less ambitious self-tests, some journalists and bloggers criticize that the motivation to learn from friendly e-mail reminders is too low and the success is correspondingly moderate. The trade press, on the other hand, applauds the "user-friendly, playful concept" that "effectively" networks users.

According to him, the latter distinguishes Sim's idea from the many alternatives on the net that promise good programming training. The best-known competitor is the Khan Academy, an online school based in the USA that mainly teaches via video clips. But also numerous YouTube tutorials, online lecture halls or interactive programs show how to write programming codes.

Codecademy users can also exchange tips, become lecturers and set up groups. "More and more classic programming teachers are moving their lessons online with such groups." In the future, corporations should train their employees in this way, Sims is planning cooperation agreements.

Since the end of 2013, code lessons have also been available as a smartphone application. This should enable users to learn the basics in just one hour on the go. A taster course for your pocket. Sims and his colleagues are working on adding more app content.

The Codecademy success story is based on the fact that computer specialists and software developers are among the most sought-after professions around the world. In the USA, programming is therefore already on the curriculum at some schools, and President Barack Obama wants to expand this further. Together with the non-profit organization code.org, he publicly promoted an initiative called "Hour of Code", in which 20 million students wrote the first lines of the program in online introductory courses last year. The teaching material for the lesson came partly from the Codecademy.

Sims believes that every child will soon learn to code. "Because the code," he says, "is the language of the future."