Codecademy raises $$$ to expand overseas

Codecademy, the site that promises to teach anyone how to code, is raising money to expand across the globe. On Tuesday, the company announced $10 million in funding from big-name investors including Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Union Square Ventures, Richard Branson and Yuri Milner.

The New York based company threw out some additional stats: 50 million course exercises have been completed, with 50% of users from the U.S., 10% from the U.K., and the rest coming from “virtually every other country around the world.” 

Codecademy (not Code Academy — yes, we’ve made the mistake too) was founded in August 2011 by Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski. It quickly became one of New York’s most buzzed-about startups. The tech industry is booming and technology is becoming ubiquitous. Even if you’re not techie, it can’t hurt to learn a couple lines of code.  Codecademy’s founders are hoping to help people gain skills that will give them a leg up when it comes to the job search. 

Codecademy plans to use its new funding to translate the site into different languages and boost its international presence.  As Sims puts it, the crew is looking “to be the go-to for anyone to get a job in programming. Not just in the U.S., but abroad.”

So are people on the service actually learning how to code and getting jobs out of it? I’ll admit, I signed up and never made it through. #journoforlife. -Laurie

FCC sez: Demos not memos


Screenshot: CNNMoney

The hardest thing about Net neutrality is explaining why it matters. Like an airplane, the Internet is a fabulous thing that just works — with a whole lot of complicated mechanics under the hood. Combine “lotsa geeky stuff” with the words “government regulation” and you have a story that induces instant narcolepsy in readers.

So the FCC is doing what Silicon Valley sorts do when they have a fiendishly complex problem: crowdsource it! The agency today launched an Open Internet Apps Challenge. It invites developers to create apps that “empower consumers to monitor and protect Internet openness.” Full details at, an entire site of government-backed competitions. 

The prize? Basically bragging rights, though the FCC will pay up to $500 in travel expenses for the winners to come to Washington, D.C, and present their work to the Commission. And hey, FCC HQ is only a mile away from Cafe Atlantico, a restaurant so tasty I’ve occasionally gone to Washington just because I wanted to eat there. So, free trip to FCC = good prize! -Stacy

Fun with Facebook APIs


Screenshot: CNNMoney

For Dave’s story about the information your Facebook ID makes publicly available, we’ve been banging on the site’s APIs. Want to play along?

First, you’ll need your ID. Every Facebook user is assigned a unique identifying number or username. Facebook displays those in the URL for each user profile.

Pull up your own profile. If you see a URL that looks like this: then copy the numbers. If you see a URL that looks like this:, copy everything after “.com/” — that’s your Facebook ID.

Next, go to or

For example, to query me you can go to or

You can run that query on any registered Facebook user and get their ID and some of their basic, public information. The result will look like the image above.

What’s the point of this? You don’t have to be someone’s “friend” to get these results. The data is available on any registered user, to anyone who queries the API for it. That’s intentional: The data is public, and developers have lots of legitimate reasons for grabbing it. But data miners can also grab it — without your permission or knowledge. -Stacy

Hackers at play


photo: CNNMoney

Geek fun! The New York City offshoot of Hacks/Hackers is having its inaugural open-source hackathon today, with journalists and the coders who love ‘em gathering in a palatial Soho penthouse to commit (har har) some code. I’m chronicling the day over at the Hacks/Hackers blog — up now, a summary of the morning’s talks on open-source basics and licensing issues. -Stacy

What’s the mystery behind today’s Google homepage logo? It’s an animation comprised of colorful circles that bounce around the screen, scattered by the user’s mouse.

Usually the special logos celebrate holidays or historical events, and clicking them leads to a search that details the reason. But today, clicking doesn’t do anything.

In an e-mail to, a spokesman released this vague statement: “Today’s doodle is fast, fun and interactive, just the way we think search should be.”

Silicon Alley Insider dismisses the theory that it’s tied to Google’s birthday, noting the company denied it in an interview with Search Engine Land, but they don’t offer any other explanations.

Do you have any ideas? Or is this merely another way for the search giant to show its HTML5 skills, in the vein of the Arcade Fire’s super-sweet Google collab called “The Wilderness Downtown”-Julianne