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Jaakko Alajoki
Jaakko Alajoki, October 8, 2015

Codepen is like Instagram for developers

If you’re a front-end developer, I really recommend you to 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 instead of square photos you share front-end experiments. Fellow developers can comment, like, share and fork your stuff.

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

  1. Codepen doesn’t require any setup. You just go to Codepen.io, click New pen and start creating. Even signup 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 functionality and polishing features. Eventually I won’t get anything done. But with Codepen I can avoid bloating.
  3. In Codepen everything is public by default. When you do something cool, you can share it immediately. And I’m that 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 views, likes and comments 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 motivates 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.