General Assembly launched today a new service designed to help get more people to take advantage of its Web Development courses. Called Dash, users will be able to take courses in HTML, cascading stylesheets, and Javascript right in their browser. It follows in line with what other services like Codecademy, Coursera, and others are doing in the computer programming education space.

We interviewed General Assembly’s co-founder and Chief Product Officer Brad Hargreaves who told us that initially Dash was meant to help its students get started in its immersive programs. It received such great feedback and the organization saw that it was being shared with friends through various social networks that instead of being an internal tool, it is now open to the public.

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Interested users can sign up for the service using their Twitter account or email. Oddly, Facebook Login isn’t being used.

After successfully authenticating, users can opt to undertake one of four projects, each one more complicated than the last ranging from building a simple website to creating a CSS-powered robot. The service also applies some game mechanics, awarding you skill points for successfully completing checkpoints in each lesson. Should you require any assistance, General Assembly also offers virtual office hours where instructors can review your code or provide feedback on your progress.

Just like what you have with Codecademy, Dash’s lessons guides you through the process. What makes it interesting is the fact that users can switch the display view from a computer monitor to a mobile phone, which will illustrate how the code will look across various devices.

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However, one of the differences that you’ll find between Codecademy and Dash is the limited tutorials that are available. While Dash teaches you about HTML, CSS, and Javascript, it pales in comparison to what Codecademy and others offer, such as PHP, Ruby, Python, and jQuery. Hargreaves says that General Assembly’s platform is one of the better computer programming services out there because it’s “project-based” and because of this, it’s more fun and motivating to watch something cool come together as opposed to memorizing abstract and unfamiliar concepts.

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Dash is free to use and anyone can sign up for an account.

General Assembly’s Dash

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