Compete Against Other Players Learning To Code With Treehouse’s Code Race

As part of the ongoing trend of coding literacy among a more mainstream audience, Treehouse, a startup that teaches people how to program online has developed Code Racer, a game that teaches people how to code by pitting them up against other people  also learning how to code, building, appropriately enough, some kind of race car related website.

To start Code Racer either move straight into “Play” or watch a video tutorial with the basics beforehand. Users can play up to four opponents, and can toggle the “Help” button whenever an exercise gets too hard for them. The objective is to be fast, “It’s the game mechanic that makes the game fun,” says Treehouse co-founder Ryan Carson, “You’ll get beat quite a few times as a newbie, but you’ll learn the code along the way.”

And yes, you can mute the horrible music by pressing the “Mute music” button at the top of the game.

“We feel that a lot of services are starting too advanced,” says Carson, “You have to learn basic HTML/CSS before you can learn JavaScript. Code Racer helps you learn how to build a very basic web page. You can then move on to basic programming.”

So far I’ve gotten my ass kicked playing it, but have also learned a couple things — like how the hell your code gets pushed to the Internet in the first place (Yeah, I didn’t know that. Thanks Ryan). Apparently Treehouse students learn this key fact in Lesson one.

“To become a decent designer/developer [through Treehouse] it’d probably take about 3-6 months,” says Carson, “It depends how quickly you could get through our curriculum.” When students are finished with the program, Treehouse then tries to place you at a job or internship with partners like Facebook, LivingSocial and WordPress.

The Treehouse crew built Code Racer in three days and documented the entire process on Vimeo (below). Curriculum on Treehouse costs $25 for the Silver plan or $49 for the Gold monthly and the company has already 2 million in revenue — unsurprisingly increasing by a rate of $1 million every three months.