Careers at Codecademy
Codecademy is an online education company that develops and operates a platform that provides resources and course content for users to learn coding and programming skills. The Company aims to make computer science skills more accessible to non-technical users.
Codecademy was founded in 2011 by Columbia University student Zach Sims (“Sims”) and Ryan Bubinski (“Bubinski”). The concept for the Company’s online learning platform was developed at the Y Combinator incubator program. Sims and Bubinski had been accepted to the program despite having no firm idea of what they planned to create. The pair reportedly came up with a number of failed ideas, including a customer relationship management system for club promoters, before landing on the concept of Codecademy.
The pair ultimately decided to use the framework from an earlier idea they had had for a skill-discovery and job-matching website – designed to help recent graduates find jobs – and began building a site featuring simple lessons on programming basics. Codecademy was launched three weeks later, attracting 200,000 users over the course of one weekend, with users totaling 1 million by the end of 2011. The Company began attracting investor funding later that year and to date has raised $12.5 million from investors including Union Square Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Oreilly AlphaTech Ventures and Richard Branson.
Benefits at Codecademy
Business model of Codecademy
Codecademy is targeted at users that wish to learn coding and programming skills, catering to a broad range of abilities and interests, primarily those with no or little knowledge of coding.
These could be jobseekers, those seeking to change their career path, hobbyists, people who want to set up their own website and people who wish to expand their skillset.
In 2011, Sims stated that the majority of the Company’s users were aged between 15 and 30. In the intervening years, this may have changed, with the Company now boasting more than 24 million users.
The US is its largest market, accounting for around 30% of the site’s web traffic, followed by the UK with just under 7%, India with around 6%, Canada with 3% and China with just under 3%.
Codecademy’s most immediate value to users is that its platform and resources are accessible free of charge. The Company provides a broad range of resources and learning content, including a number of courses contributed by leading tech companies, that make coding more accessible to all demographics, including students, professionals and non-technical users.
Codecademy’s resources are available in multiple languages allowing users around the world to utilise the platform. Users are also provided technical and community support from the Company and its user base.
Codecademy’s learning platform can be accessed through its mobile and desktop websites at www.codecademy.com. The Company also provides an iOS app named Codecademy: Hour of Code, that allows users to start learning programming skills on the go.
Codecademy is available to users on a self-service basis. Customers can register via the Company’s homepage and start learning at their own pace. Upgrading to the platform’s premium subscription can also be done via the website with no interaction with Codecademy representatives necessary.
Codecademy provides a range of support resources to its users – including FAQs and guides – through its Knowledge Centre and enables users and Codecademy representatives to discuss and collaborate on issues through its community forum.
Premium customers are provided instant support from one of Codecademy’s technical advisors.
Customers can also interact with the Company through its blog; its YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Medium, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts; and through its own community-led sub-reddit.
Codecademy is an online learning company. It develops and operates a platform that allows users to learn coding and programming skills free of charge. The platform provides a range of courses, including coding classes for ten different languages, as well as for specific tasks such as designing a website or developing an API.
Codecademy partners with a range of companies, including tech firms, software developers, content providers, and other online learning companies such as Galvanize. This includes partners in the US as well as across the UK, France, Estonia, Argentina and Brazil. Codeacademy provides lessons for building APIs contributed by high-profile tech firms including Twitter, Evernote, Box, Microsoft SkyDrive, Github, MailChimp and Gilt. The Company has also partnered with Periscope to provide courses designed to teach SQL.
The Company has also partnered with non-profits and government bodies on various coding initiatives. It collaborated with the Obama Administration as part of the TechHire initiative to bring coding education to underserved groups, partnering in with Libraries Without Borders to help 600 minority students participate in Codecademy Meets. Codecademy has also partnered with Google and DonorsChoose in a scheme to encourage high school girls to study Computer Science.
Codecademy does not currently generate significant revenue. As such, its financial investors remain key partners.
Codecademy’s key resources are its software platform, its IT infrastructure, its learning resources, and its personnel. The Company’s partnerships, in particular its content partners and financial investors, are key to the success of the Codecademy platform. Codecademy does not have any patent applications filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Codecademy incurs costs relating to the development of its platform, maintenance of its IT infrastructure, the creation of its content, the management of its partnerships and the retention of its personnel. On its website the Company lists a team of 27 staff members working out of a single office in New York, representing costs in the form of salaries, benefits, rent and utilities.
Codecademy generates revenue using a freemium business model. The Company provides access to its learning platform free of charge but also offers a more advanced, more feature-laden premium package for which users pay a monthly subscription. The Premium package is currently priced at $19.99 per month or $199.99 for a full year.
Codecademy only relatively recently began to monetise its offerings after a great deal of speculation as to what the Company’s business model would be. Further revenue streams are expected to be added; however, revenue generation is not currently a priority of Codecademy Chief Executive Officer Sims, according to reports.
info: Zach has served as Codecademy’s Chief Executive Officer since dropping out of his Political Science course at Columbia University to co-found the Company in 2011. He has also been a venture partner at seed stage venture capital fund Bowery Capital since 2013. Sims has held roles within the tech sector since 2009 when he worked as part of the Business Development Division at file-sharing company Drop.io (acquired by Facebook in 2010). In 2010 he served as a summer associate at AOL Ventures before joining group messaging provider GrouMe, where he worked for around a year. Between 2010 and 2011 Sim also served as a consultant at venture capital firm .406 Ventures.
info: Ryan has been part of the Codecademy team since the Company’s incorporation in 2011. The exact nature of his role at the Company is not disclosed on the Company’s website or on Bubinski’s corporate networking profile. Outside of Codecademy Bubinsky has little professional experience. From 2009 to 2010 he was a researcher at Columbia University Medical Centre, where he developed and implemented parallelised algorithms used in image alignment. In 2011 he was part of the Y-Combinator program, where the Codecademy platform was developed. Bubinsky graduated from Columbia University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Biophysics and Computer Science.
info: Nicholas joined Codecademy as its Head of Engineering in 2016. He is a software engineer and developer by trade, having started his career in 1987 as a senior software engineer at financial services company First Boston. In 1989 he moved to software company Sybase, now part of SAP, where he continued his career as a software engineer. After just a year, Clay left Sybase to join software giant Adobe as a computer scientist, where he developed PostScript engine improvements for Windows for around a year. In 1991 he was employed briefly by Pixar Animation Studios as a senior software developer before co-founding Altamira Software later that same year. After three years as Altamira Software’s Vice President of Technology, Clay was appointed Director of Architecture Development & Professional Media at Microsoft. He went on to serve as Chief Executive Officer at tech company Avica and Senior Vice President of Technology and Business Strategy at DTS, into which the Avica team was integrated. In 2008 Clay was appointed Chief Executive Officer at digital cinema technology company Digicine and in 2012 he co-founded artificial intelligence and machine learning company XPLR, where he served as President and Chief Technology Officer until 2015.
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