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Goodbye to 2023: Key CodeGym’s Achievements and Plans

Published in the Random group
The end of the year is approaching, and traditionally, it’s the best time to reflect on the previous 12 months. What has happened to CodeGym during this time? What new features and opportunities have we created and presented for our users? Alex Yelenevych, cofounder and CMO of CodeGym, is ready to share! Goodbye to 2023: Key CodeGym’s Achievements and Plans - 1

Clear Path to a New Profession

Learning the basics of the programming language is an essential first step to becoming a Java developer. Still, some people study better within a group, with teachers’ assistance. That’s why we created our 3-month course, Java Fundamentals with a mentor. It helps keep students’ motivation up while they acquire basic Java knowledge and does a pretty good job. As always, we’ve continued monitoring our customers’ needs and, eventually, came up with another idea. We decided to create a more comprehensive course that would help our students master a new profession from scratch and even land a first job. This course means learning how to code, collecting additional skills, and getting enough experience to become a practising Junior+ Java developer. I’ll be honest: creating such a course required lots of effort. We had to prepare completely new content for several modules. For example, our students learn some aspects of front-end development (HTML, JavaScript, etc.), which makes them more competitive in the job market. Also, we added two profound modules dedicated to databases, Hibernate and Spring frameworks. As always, all our theoretical lessons come with practical tasks and an instant verification feature. Goodbye to 2023: Key CodeGym’s Achievements and Plans - 2Every module ends with a big project. It’s an opportunity to implement all the acquired knowledge and get real-life experience in programming. All the projects can be uploaded to a student’s GitHub profile to support their resume in the future. Students work on the most significant final project at the end of the course. Also, they get access to the materials related to job searching, resume and LinkedIn profile creation, interview preparations, etc. Thanks to this last module, students understand their next steps and feel prepared for job hunting. Goodbye to 2023: Key CodeGym’s Achievements and Plans - 3

Localize, Localize, Localize

The world is global, and so is the need for Java developers. Therefore, this year, we decided to translate our self-paced course and the website into 30 languages, including German, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Polish, etc. We used AI to help generate translations and then asked local experts to check our modules and correct the content if necessary. This process brought many insights. For example, we concluded that AI-generated translations are pretty decent quality (if I were to grade them, I’d give them a C+). Goodbye to 2023: Key CodeGym’s Achievements and Plans - 4So, now, people from many more countries can access our content and start learning Java with us. Also, this step helped us improve our web traffic indicators and strengthen our SEO position. Since we translated the course content and popular articles from our blog, many more people started finding us on Google and visiting our website.

CodeGym For Education

Over a year ago, we discovered the unfulfilled need in the educational market. For example, we found that only 30% of computer science teachers in the USA have a CS-related degree. Most of them combine teaching CS with other school subjects (from math to gym). After thorough thinking, we created a new product for high school CS teachers based on our self-paced course. It will allow teachers without a CS diploma to help students learn programming. We’ve been popularising CodeGym among schools and colleges ever since. And many of them have already gained access to our platform. To name a few, The Steward School (Virginia, USA), Green Dot Public School (California, USA), Big Spring High School (Pennsylvania, USA), etc. Moreover, the current geography of our EDU project is much more diverse. For example, over the last months, we’ve started working with CI Maria Ana Sanz (Pamplona, Spain), Chengdu Shi Shi High School AP center (China), West College Scotland (UK), St. Pauls School (São Paulo, Brazil), etc. Also, in 2023, we’ve started developing strong relationships with Indian colleges and universities. For example, we signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Hindustan College of Arts and Science. We’ll work together to increase students’ programming knowledge and help them on their path to becoming Java developers. We plan to apply our expertise to create Java courses for Indian colleges based on their needs. For example, a 5-week course on Java basics or a more comprehensive 3-month course.

Latin America Expansion

Often, a company's growth requires looking for new markets. This year, we implemented a series of experiments to test the potential of Latin America's market. And we can already share some results. The first country we focused on was Mexico. We conducted several webinars and noticed the audience's genuine interest in Java programming and our approach to teaching. We've offered our course with mentors to Mexicans and, so far, gathered three groups of students.
Also, we launched a Java marathon to engage the broader audience. It lasted for five days, and participants received video lessons and a task (to write a piece of code) each day. They could ask questions in chat and get answers from moderators. At the end of the marathon, a participant who did all the homework became the game's creator. This marathon was quite popular, with over 3,500 people participating. Most were from Mexico, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Hundreds of participants finished the project successfully. We aim to attract new customers from Latin America and popularise the Java developer profession. With our help, people can discover a new opportunity to make a career switch and start earning more money. Initiatives like Java marathon prove that becoming a Java developer is a doable goal. In the near future, we want to improve the marathon's mechanics and integrate it with our platform. For instance, we plan to add more games to CodeGym's website (one of them is tic-tac-toe). During the next marathon, users will write the game directly on our platform so that they will have all its benefits, like automatic verification. Plus, in the final phase, students can customise the game they wrote (its interface, rules, etc.), publish it on our website, and share it with friends. Watching our users create new games based on classical ones is genuinely inspiring. For example, one student wrote a game that blends Space Invaders and Mario. Other users appreciated his effort, played his game, and left a number of supportive comments. Marathons integrated with CodeGym's platform will become mini-courses for beginners. So, they will try Java programming and get a taste of learning with us.

IDEA Advancements

Being an Edtech company means constantly improving our product in all dimensions. Technological is one of them. This year, we enhanced our IntelliJ IDEA and presented a new plugin. Now, our students can solve coding tasks directly in the development environment instead of the browser. It's much more convenient and makes the learning experience smoother. Goodbye to 2023: Key CodeGym’s Achievements and Plans - 5

What’s Next?

We live in a very unpredictable world with multiple challenges and risks. It's not always easy to plan in such an environment. Still, we know our goals and are willing to move towards them. First, we'll continue expanding to Latin America, organise new webinars and marathons, and launch new groups. We aspire to engage thousands of students in the coming year. Second, we'll continue scaling the business up. New languages, new countries, new products… Of course, it won't be a speedy process, and maybe we'll even need external investments at some point. Nevertheless, we'll keep experimenting! Finally, as always, we have many ideas for improving our existing products. We want to provide our students with the best possible learning experience. So stay with us, and we won't disappoint you!