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Codepen is like Instagram for developers

If you’re a front-end developer, I highly recommend that you try Codepen. It’s a dead-simple code playground and social coding platform which lets you experiment with HTML/CSS/Javascript and explore what others have done. It’s exactly like Instagram, but you share front-end experiments instead of photos. Fellow developers can comment, like, share and fork your stuff.

Jaakko Alajoki, October 8, 2015

I’ve found Codepen extremely inspirational and powerful. Let me explain why.

  1. Codepen doesn’t require any setup. You just go to, click on New pen and start creating. Even signing up is optional. No repositories, no virtual hosts, no virtual machines. Just a couple of clicks and you’re writing code.
  2. Codepen is very simple. You have one CSS file, one HTML file and one Javascript file. It really forces you to focus on bare essentials – which is great, at least for me. Usually when I’m experimenting, I end up in a never-ending loop of extending functionalities and polishing features. Eventually, I don’t get anything done. Codepen helps me avoid bloating my code.
  3. In Codepen, everything is public by default. When you’ve created something cool, you can share it immediately. I’m the kind of guy who likes to share cool stuff, whether it is a nice photo of my fatbike or a mindblowing visual experience. I also appreciate the views, likes, and comments that I get.

I haven’t done too much stuff on Codepen yet, but I already have a feeling that it has made me a better developer. Its social features motivate me to experiment and its smooth workflow lets me truly focus on what I’m doing. If you haven’t tried it yet, do it now 🙂

You can find my pens from my Codepen profile.

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