Codecademy expands to server side with new Python courses

New York-based Codecademy is taking a walk over to the server side. The programming education startup, which last month announced a $10 million round of funding, today said that it is expanding to support server-side languages, the first of which will be Python.
“It’s been a pretty serious engineering effort on our end to build an infrastructure to run a lot of server-side languages, like Python,” said co-founder Zach Sims.
Until now, he said, the startup focused on langages that can run in-browser, such as JavaScript and HTML, not Python and other languages that run on remote servers.
In January, the company started offering courses in Python and Ruby through Codecademy Labs, but it was more of an experimental, lightweight offering. Sims said they’ve rebuilt the way they offer Python from the ground up and plan to launch other new server-side languages in the near future.
Starting today, the startup will offfer six new user-generated Python classes and will allow the community to contribute more. Python was by far the most requested language by users, Sims said, and given mounting interest from high school teachers, they wanted to be able to roll out the new courses in time for the new school year.
Last week, author of “Program or Be Programmed” and CNN tech commentator Dougless Rushkoff said on his blog that he would be joining Codecademy as an evangelist for Codecademy and its wider goal of code literacy.
“He’ll do more writing about the theoretical underpinnings of why people should learn to program, he’ll be giving speeches about it… and talking with people in government and elsewhere,” said Sims.
Since launching last year, the startup said millions of students on the platform have taken more than 100 million exercises and that more than 25,000 people have created courses.