An understanding of computer programming goes a long way these days, particularly when it comes to increasing your appeal to employers post-graduation. But in lieu of taking computer programming courses for college credit or declaring it as a major outright, many would-be developers have been expanding their programming repertoire through the use of MOOCs, or Massively Open Online Courses. One website in particular that has been garnering widespread attention is the New York-based Codecademy, which announced on Tuesday that it would be bolstering their new set of instructional courses on APIs through partnerships with 14 additional companies, such as Twitter, Microsoft Skydrive, and Evernote.

When Codecademy’s block of courses on using APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) was introduced last month, the educational start-up allowed students to use APIs from websites like NPR, YouTube,, SoundCloud, and the Sunlight Foundation to help students to create computer programs using familiar, real-world websites in order to foster a stronger grasp on both how coding works and the potential that it brings. Working from a philosophy of “reinforcing learning by doing,” students can use these APIs in any number of projects, such as building apps that play YouTube videos, or stream NPR newscasts.

“This gets you from not knowing anything to building something that feels pretty substantial,” said co-founder and CEO Zach Sims.

With these additional partnerships, Codecademy will allow students to use famous tweets through Twitter’s API, create personal cloud storage sites with Skydrive, or a website that orders food only from their favorite restaurants with Other sites that are also adding to Codecademy’s lesson plans are WePay, Easypost, Firebase, Github, Mashape, 23andMe, Dwolla, Gilt Groupe, Mandrill, and Box.

“We really wanted to have a diverse set of partners that were real consumer brands – brands that people use in their everyday lives – so that we could show them that programming isn’t just abstract,” said Sims.