The key concepts are pretty easy to master across the board for both HTML and CSS for beginners. Remembering all the properties is a little more difficult. As a person who must have been out sick in the third grade when they went over colons and semicolons it was a bit more difficult than I imagined. I constantly forgot which one to use as I worked on styling different h tags. I would imagine one of the most confusing pieces is remembering all the different fonts it will accept as well as choosing and remembering different hex color codes.
Most of the time spent for me was trying to do edit the code from spelling errors and using the wrong punctuation. It brings me back to the first article I read on The Linchpen and the parallels between a journalist and a programmer. Unfortunately, for me I’m not a journalist nor do I aspire to be. As a person who tweets in fewer than 140 characters, often having to forgo punctuation it makes it a bit more difficult. For this very reason, I enjoyed the CSS part of the learning exercises. It allows for clean code on the HTML file with just classes and ids instead of styling each h2 and div with repeat code over and over again.
As for how the Codecademy operates, it makes a lot of sense. I’m not sure how I would simplify it, but it seems a little heavy. I’m not sure if it will make it more difficult in the future, but I think it could do without the squares around the different properties to force memorization upon the students. The reading is a little heavy on the left hand side, but it does help in understanding. The only real complaint I have is that it often freezes and it wont let you input more code. Aside from that, it has really helped me understand many of the key concepts.