Good While It Lasted, But Way Too Out of Date Now


#1

I just want to offering a huge thank you to the amazing people who created and have maintained this wonderful learning tool. I have used it for more than five years and remember fondly talking with the creators in the beginning about it, which is why I feel compelled now to tell them (and everyone) exactly why we have ceased using CodeCombat permanently and have removed it from our curriculum.

We no longer teach Python at SkilStak. Python was (and is) reasonably good on CodeCombat, despite using mixedCase instead of the standard snake_case.

We now start with JavaScript.

JavaScript on CodeCombat is horribly old. To the point of being downright bad for beginners in comparison. For example, one of the most important concepts to teach beginners correctly is ‘functions as values’, which is the basis of first-class and higher-order functions and the future of concurrent programming. It is paramount students think of functions as just another data type from the very beginning and the assignment operator best conveys that—especially with the new ES6 syntax (which codecademy.com has completely updated, by the way).

REPL.it has largely replaced all the stuff on CodeCombat.com because students can begin real coding with no ramp up and no excuse not to make something of their own. This is way more appealing than even the best game to a beginning coder—especially since REPL.it supports full progressive web apps, game development, and more.

I do not want anyone to misunderstand. CodeCombat.com was an amazing tool. It has just grown obsolete and outdated, which is unfortunate.

The fact that anyone can hack any items they want without even finishing the levels certainly doesn’t help.

Nor does the incredibly bad decision to code all of the CodeCombat base in CoffeeScript, now widely regarded as a full-on joke in the development world—especially with the advent of Babel and ES6. The attraction to being able to code contributions to the code base is completely destroyed based on that fact alone.

I am not angry or bitter or even complaining. On the contrary, given how much I have invested, both money and time, into CodeCombat and promoting it to hundreds I just want everyone to know that others might share my feelings about why they are leaving. At least this way the creators have something to work with even if they are frustrated by any of my statements or disagree with my conclusions.

Thanks again for everything,

Mr. Rob