While having a “preview” activity, in the beginning, is nice, sometimes I do get very impatient from the get-go. I like following along with setting up my environment for the type of coding language we’re about to learn. There will be a few obstacles that can get in the way in setting up your environment, especially if you have a desktop/laptop that doesn’t have the required memory power as, say, a Mac, and everything else. When that happens, you won’t be able to proceed with your course. You would have to look around for another alternative, such as using an online IDE like Cloud9 1 or CodeAnywhere. Depending on the platform or the instructor that you have, you would also have to learn how to set up and use these online IDEs to follow along with the course. And then when it’s time for you to create your own projects after your course is done, you start over again from the beginning by setting up your environment, which you had a problem with earlier at the beginning of your course.
I was relieved again when I remembered that Progate doesn’t present their lessons through videos, but through interactive slides. Here’s an example below from the jQuery module:
Even though I was going through HTML & CSS again, I was happy to see that they have other concepts that I felt that I needed to seriously learn. RWD (Responsive Web Design) being one of them. Because Progate presents the lessons in interactive slides instead of videos, it was easy for me to take the time to read, analyze the illustrations, and even take notes on my notebook. I’m a bit old-fashioned when it comes to note-taking, and this was a huge help! Now I feel a lot more confident building layouts that are responsive for future sites without using any frameworks like Bootstrap. It also helps a lot with my WordPress theme development too.
No complicated setup on your computer required!
Just like Treehouse, Codeacademy, Code School, and other similar learning platforms, Progate also provide their own built-in IDE so you don’t have to set up your computer through complicated steps. Here’s how it looks like:
For practice, you also have the option to copy and paste the entire code to your favorite editor, but your work will count if you use their built-in editor and submit your results. You also get to level up your progress on the platform, which is a nice incentive also. If you do get stuck, you have the option to see the answer, however, you won’t be earning full points that would help you help up.
But also, be sure to contact Progate if you do run into problems. I’ve run into a few problems in which my results/answers would not get accepted by the platform, which turned out to be bugs. The staff are very friendly and are prompt to respond to all your inquiries, which is a huge plus.
Introducing Progate Plus
Recently, Progate has launched the new subscription-based feature of their learning platform called Progate Plus. The free version will still be available, but it will only have 14 basic lessons included. The subscription-based version will have 48 lessons total (and possibly more as the course choices grow). I’m currently going through the trial period (lasting May 7 – 30) but I already decided to subscribe so I can have access to the more advanced exercises so I can practice and challenge myself with what I learned so far. I’m loving what I’ve seen so far.
The lessons are divided into two categories: Study and Dojo. The Study category is just that, the actual course that you go through and hands-on practice. The Dojo category is where the challenges begin and apply everything you’ve learned to build a project.
I recommend going through the free trial for those who are curious. Progate has a lot to offer and their approach isn’t as intimidating as some other platforms where some require you to at least be familiar with some terms you probably haven’t heard of in your life. At the moment, the English version 7 doesn’t have all of the courses available yet, but they are working on getting them up.
When the free trial period is up, you will be automatically charged $19.99 should you decide to stay with their Plus subscription form. Otherwise, you may cancel before the last day and stick to the free version.
… and the actual reason why I love Progate
As you can see through this blog’s theme, as well as the themes of all my other blogs linked here, I am a sucker for the kawaii 8 characters, 9 a sucker for the Japanese language and culture, 10 and a sucker for ninjas. In the programming and (web/software) development world, there are the rockstars and the ninjas. I prefer ninjas. 😎
Ken the Ninja and his pals, Ben the Baby and Mister White are so darn cute! Who wouldn’t wanna love these adorable ninja cuties? But, that aside, this proves that pairing up the kawaii with being a code master is very, very effective.
That’s why I came up with this learning blog name, NINPOJineous. 😁
On the sidenote…
- now owned by AWS. ↩
- Plenty, like Code School, Udemy, Treehouse, Codeacademy, etc… ↩
- I started Skillcrush‘s Ruby on Rails program last year but wasn’t able to finish it for obvious reasons… ↩
- FreeCodeCamp is a really good learning platform in my opinion. I plan on returning to it soon once I settle myself down. ↩
- and it’ll be such a good addition to my LinkedIn profile too… ↩
- Progate is made in Japan. ↩
- “cute” in Japanese for those who are curious… ↩
- I sometimes make my own kawaii characters too for theme purposes… ↩
- I’m also participating in another #100DaysOf challenge involving refreshing the Japanese language… ↩