Scrimba (YC S20) – Interactive video for learning to code

Hi all, I’m Per, co-founder of Scrimba.

We are building an interactive video format for teaching and learning how to code. The main benefit is that students can pause the video and edit the code whenever they want.

We think this is needed is because over 70% of people who are trying to learn to code today use videos. But since videos aren’t interactive, students end up mirroring the instructors’ code line-by-line in their local code editors. This is time consuming, and it often causes problems with local dev environment setup.

Scrimba solves these problems as it enables students to pause the screencast and modify the instructors’ code directly inside the player. So when a Scrimba student feels confused, she jumps into the screencast and plays around with the code (editing, running, debugging) until she’s made sense of it. As a consequence, she learns faster.

Technically, this is possible because we have merged the IDE and the video player into one tool. To understand the technology in-depth, please watch this cast:

The Scrimba format also opens the way for other features that can further enhance the learning experience, like searching inside videos, in-video hyperlinks, audiovisual code feedback from teachers, remote pair programming between students, and more. The more we work with the format, the more of these opportunities we see. So we have decided to use the format as the backbone for an online coding school as we continue to improve it.

After launching a bunch of shorter courses the last couple of years, we launched our first full-degree program this summer. It's called “The Frontend Developer Career Path” and it contains 75 hours of content and 100s of interactive coding challenges. It costs $19 per month and the teachers are well-known instructors like Gary Simon, Cassidy Williams, and Kevin Powell. Students are also paired up in Study Groups, in order to make the online learning experience feel less lonely. So far, over 3000 people from 110 different countries have enrolled.

Here’s a link to the course:

Fun fact: Scrimba is built entirely in Imba, a programming language that our CTO has created. It’s a Ruby-inspired language that compiles to JavaScript, and it excels at creating high-performant web apps. The first version of Scrimba was created because Sindre wanted a better way to teach Imba. You can learn more about Imba here:

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andrey azimov by Andrey Azimov