Learning to program through books and tutorials is hardly an exciting endeavor. The first few exercises might maintain your interest by capitalizing on your staunch commitment to reach your goal of becoming an avid programmer, but interest often wanes as the exercises become more difficult and seem to drift further from real world applications.

Enter Codecademy, an interactive game that teaches programming, right in the comfort of your own browser. Codecademy holds your hand through each step of the programming basics, including declaring your first variable and executing your first function. Explanations are concise and easy to understand, even for the absolute novice.

You can follow the exercises at your own pace, and you can even experiment using the scratch pad, an in-browser Javascript editor that lets you play around with what you’ve learned.

Best of all, Codecademy is built around basic game mechanics, including missions and achievements. Track and share your progress, and you’ll soon be on your way to programming your own website or game.

Right now, Codecademy only offers Javascript courses, but it looks like they’re working hard to add more programming languages as soon as possible. So if you’ve always wanted learn how to code, give Codecademy a shot.