Codeyear from Codecademy

My boyfriend is a massive geek, and I organise Cambridge Geek Nights, so when I saw the Codeyear idea from Codecademy, it looked ideal. They offer the chance to learn to code over the course of a year, with lessons e-mailed to you each week to complete online.
Now, I have a bit of a reputation for being able to break programs, finding bugs in games and so on, but I did not expect to come up against a problem in lesson 3 of week 1! The lesson deals with the declaration and setting of variables, firstly showing you the syntax for declaring a variable (var myName;) and then setting it (myName="Jo"). It then asks you to

Try creating a new variable called myFullName with your first and last names.

Typing var myFullName; results in the hugely helpful error message, “Oops, try again”. After some head scratching and some input from David, we found it wanted the response var myFullName = "Jo Anslow";. The fact that you could combine the variable creation and setting into a single line did not occur to me – in fact it is covered in the next lesson, but they require you to apply it before they introduce it.

I think that Codecademy are probably losing quite a few people at this early stage who would give up thinking they couldn’t understand even the simplest lessons – if I didn’t have David in the house, I would probably have quit myself. I shall persevere for the moment, but I’m concerned about what else I’ll find as I continue.

8 Responses to “Codeyear from Codecademy”

  1. al Says:

    thank you!
    i had EXACTLY this problem, and this is the first helpful post i’ve found
    please thank your boyfriend for me, too


  2. Billyspike Says:

    actually I was just confronted with the same problem and it didn’t make any sense to me as well, but fortunately your blog helped 🙂
    Some desperate urge of making my time as useful as I possibly can convinced me to learn code; So far so good 🙂

  3. LJ Says:

    I had the same problem. This is a clear flaw in their ordering as the lesson immediately after explains that you can combine the two.

    Thanks for the solution. I probably would have just given up.

  4. Cali Says:

    I almost just quit before I found your site. Geez!

  5. Debby Says:

    Thanks, I was having just this problem, luckily I knew it was them and not me (C++ programmer in a former existence!). More problems crop up when you get to replacing substrings in lesson 4 as well….

  6. Gene Says:

    Having met this same problem, as did every other person accessing this lesson, I am also grateful for the solution. I have also submitted feed back in the hope that this error will be corrected.

  7. Zach, Codecademy Co-Founder Says:

    Really appreciate this feedback – thanks! We’re fixing how we handle error messages shortly.

  8. Mike Says:

    You should check out our new site…
    Its a fun tutorial for learning Javascript!