Code Academy

Learn. Build. Solve.
Our passionate instructors have created an environment that makes learning and productivity unavoidable. Each of our instructors excel at teaching beginners.
Why Should I Learn Web Development?
Make Your Ideas Real

Got an idea for a great web app that you wish you could build yourself? Tired of trying to convince your technical friends to do it for you? Are you ready to see how to take that idea and make it real?

This is an 11-week, beginner-focused course that will help you understand how to turn your idea into reality. By the end of the program, you'll be able to prototype the basic functionality of most web applications. You’ll have the invaluable advantage of a hands-on understanding of the software development process if you choose to become a founder of a tech startup.

With the quality of instruction and experience it provides, Code Academy will unlock your potential and reshape what you think you can accomplish.

A Place for Everyone

Our mission is to provide a non-intimidating, beginner-friendly environment geared for first-time developers. We welcome everyone, from all walks of life.

We don't have any prerequisites other than passion and persistence. If you are familiar with the basics of how to use a computer, you can apply for our class.

Our alumni include school teachers, photographers, real estate professionals, graphic designers, lawyers, college students, artists, and musicians.

Learn How To Learn

We place a high value on learning how to learn. In the rapidly-changing technology industry, the ones who succeed are the ones who have learned how to keep up, how to learn new techniques, and how to leverage their existing skills to acquire new knowledge.

If, like many students, you fall in love with software development and choose to pursue it as a career, you will have laid a solid foundation that will serve you well on the long path ahead. To take the first step is the hardest part, and that's what we're passionate about helping beginners do.

Get Connected

Code Academy is an unprecedented opportunity. We give our students the chance to interact with the best in the Chicago entrepreneurial and tech communities, and open doors to networks you might not have encountered otherwise.

What Will I Learn?

Build web applications the same way they’re built in the real world. Learn what HTML and CSS are all about, and the differences between client-side and server-side programming. Delve into the Ruby on Rails application framework to build real, live, database-backed web applications. And use all of the modern tools of the trade all along the way.

  • The Ruby on Rails Web Application Framework. The best way to build database-backed, web applications.
  • HTML5 – The new standard for web markup. Build modern, rich web applications with HTML5.
  • Agile Software Development. Adapt to change and minimize costs by leveraging agile theory and practices.
  • Presentation Skills. Be able to present your ideas and code in front of technical and non-technical audiences alike.
What Will I Build?

Here are some examples of what some of our students achieved from our 11-week course:

  • Create an e-commerce site
  • Make a Facebook app
  • Start a photo-sharing service
  • Launch a project management app
  • Build your own blog
  • Cultivate a portfolio of projects that represent your progress as an application developer
Why Rails?

Ruby on Rails is the best way for beginners to learn how to build their own web applications; but still has all the power, agility, and robustness needed to power the top websites on the planet. Here are a few examples:

Why Should I Learn User Experience Design?
Learn How to See New Opportunities

User-centered design doesn’t just mean making existing products better – it’s about seeing the possibilities in everyday life. In this course you’ll go into the field to find opportunities for innovation, and pair that insight with findings from research online. Solve problems creatively with a broad, open mindset – and debate with colleagues that challenge you to color outside the lines.

Understand the Entrepreneurial Mind

Whether you want to start your own business, or improve your skills in working with business owners, this course will put you in a business owner’s shoes. You’ll create your own concept for a business based on your personal passions, experience, and resources, and refine it with user research. We’ll also pair you with a fellow student who will fill the role of an objective designer for a product you define – and you get to play that game too.

Design Systems that Move, Motivate, and Work

A great user experience is about more than a product’s pixels. It’s about the need it addresses, how it makes users feel, and what motivates them to use it. The techniques you learn in this class will help you design and build a product that engages users and brings them back again.

What Will I Learn?
  • Design research techniques like field observation and interviews
  • Persona creation, to model your user base
  • Basics of business modeling and brand definition
  • Conceptual design techniques like sketching, mood board creation
  • Interaction design and information architecture tools such as wireframes in Balsamiq, site maps, flows, and card sorting activities
  • Visual design principles like color, balance, font usage and layout
  • Basic Photoshop techniques for web design
  • Usability testing to validate design with users
What Will I Be Able to Create?
  • Develop your idea from a thought to business concept using
  • lean startup methodologies
  • Design visual mockups of your application to focus yourself and others on the users you want to reach
  • Create low-fidelity prototypes representing your MVP (minimal viable product) that you will test with users, or high fidelity for those pairing this class with the
  • HTML/CSS class
Why UX?

You may design a site that's beautiful to look at, or develop a site that uses the latest technology - but if it doesn't meet a real user need it'll be a flash in the pan. User experience design is about making all the elements come together so you can create something meaningful, useful, and pleasurable for the people you're trying to reach. This class will develop your skills in visual design and your understanding of front-end development, but user experience design is the framework that will ground you in planning and innovation.

Why Should I Learn HTML & CSS?
Learn How to Build Your Own Website

Knowing how to build your own website is an expertise many desire, however few obtain. In ten weeks you'll learn how to build your own website, taking a concept or design and turning it into fully functional HTML and CSS. Once launched see what it takes to update and maintain your website, as well as websites for others.

Work to Become a Front-end Developer

The demand for front-end developers is higher than ever. See what it takes to occupy one of the hardest to fill jobs. Whether you're looking for a job or looking to build out your own understanding of HTML and CSS, Code Academy will help you gain the abilities to be a talented front-end developer. Knowing HTML and CSS is a great advantage to an already skilled software engineer or web designer.

Expand Your Fundamental HTML & CSS Skill Set

Not only are beginners welcome but so are intermediate students looking to expand their fundamental knowledge of HTML and CSS. Our advanced class is focused on helping those with an already basic understanding rise to the next level. The advanced class dives deeper into coding practices and techniques, as well as the new HTML5 and CSS3 languages.

What Will I Learn?
HTML & CSS Beginner Class
  • How to develop web pages in HTML and CSS
  • The terminology and syntax of HTML and CSS
  • Common HTML elements and their semantic value
  • The box model and how to position elements
  • How to work with backgrounds and gradients using CSS
  • Semantically displaying and stylizing text
  • How to create forms to gather user input
  • Adding images, audio clips, and video clips to a web page
  • How to organize and display data with tables
  • Building and styling list
  • Organizing code and site architecture
HTML & CSS Advanced Class
  • Advanced front-end coding techniques and practices
  • CSS3 transitions, transforms, and animations
  • Building responsive pages with CSS media queries
  • HTML and CSS compilers HAML, SCSS, and SASS
  • Leading-edge CSS selectors
  • Advanced semantics including microformats and WAI-ARIA roles
  • Working with different frameworks, including Twitter Bootstrap
  • CSS sprites and working with data URI images
  • Progressive ways to position and clear elements
  • Designing in the browser
  • Using JavaScript and jQuery for advanced asset creation
    (slideshows, tooltips, drop down menus, modals, etc.)
What Will I Be Able to Build?
  • Websites and web pages in HTML and CSS
  • Semantic and standards compliant code
  • The front-end of web applications and websites
  • All things HTML and CSS

HTML and CSS are the two dominant languages of the web and the backbone of all websites. Having a proficient understanding of HTML and CSS provides the ability to build websites and leverage other skill sets, be it entrepreneurial, user experience, or backend development. Knowing HTML and CSS also provides the capacity to update and maintain websites, an expertise always in request.