Navigating Curriculum On Learn Ide


Before we go any further, let's get a little more familiar with how lessons work on Learn. In this README, we will briefly go over:

  • How content is organized on Learn
  • The standard Learn workflow

Let's start by talking about the different parts of the curriculum on Learn.

Tracks and Lessons

Lessons similar to this one make up each individual piece of curriculum on Learn. Organized together, they form what we refer to as a track. Tracks are typically organized into topics, with each topic containing a series of specific lessons.

To view the lessons in this track, pop open the track navigation by clicking 'Curriculum' in the upper left corner of the page.

Click for Navigation dropdown

The track navigation allows you to view topics within the course you are in, navigate between lessons, and get an overview of upcoming content.

View Navigation dropdown

Later lessons build off the earlier ones, so it is strongly advised that you complete each lesson before you advance to the next one. Use this navigation to go back and review previous content if needed.

Lessons you've completed will be filled in with a green circle, and your current lesson will be orange.

Lesson Types

There are two types of lessons on Learn: READMEs and Labs.


Labs are lessons with a coding challenge you must complete. A lab will require you to write code and submit a solution. You can quickly tell if a lesson is a lab by looking for the flask icon:

readme icon

If you are on a lab, this icon will be displayed to the right of the lesson title. It also appears in the track navigation beside each lab.

All labs include a README that you will see on Learn. The lab README will describe the objectives, overview, and instructions for the code you must write. You should definitely read the lab README. If you're confused at any point, always go back to the README.

You'll know if a lesson on Learn is a lab by the actions the right column asks you to take. Labs will display the following on the right:


To start a lab using the in-browser IDE, click the "Open IDE" button. The IDE will appear with a copy of the lab materials within it.


To complete a lab and move on, you must do two things:

  • Write a solution that passes all the tests for that lab. Unless otherwise specified, testing your work is done by typing the learn test command (or just learn) in the terminal. Running this command lets Learn know when you believe that you have a working solution.
  • Submit your code. When the tests are all passing, type learn submit into the terminal to let Learn know that you're ready to move to the next lesson.

Occasionally, you may encounter labs that do not have tests which we call code alongs. These lessons do not have a challenge to solve, but are designed for a hands on approach to learning a concept. For these, you will not need to run learn to pass tests, but will need to run learn submit when you are finished.


READMEs are lessons that only have instructional content. They are designed to teach you something without challenging you to practice or implement the concept directly. The lesson you are currently reading is a README.

READMEs have an open book as their icon for quick identification:

readme icon

Similar to labs, this will appear beside the lesson title as well as in the track navigation.

READMEs provide context and exposition on a topic by breaking concepts down. READMEs are how you learn enough to solve a lab.

As you can probably tell already, Learn is a big fan of the written word. Some READMEs have videos, but our expectation is that you also do the reading. The video augments the content; it does not replace it.

You're going to have to do a lot of reading on Learn. We know other platforms make heavy use of short videos, and we're going to continue to experiment with that medium. However, for now, the majority of the content on Learn is text. We believe that with all the details and syntax involved in code – and since being a professional programmer is basically reading and writing text all day – the best way to learn to code is through reading and writing code, not watching videos.

Some READMEs also contain brief interactive elements such as quizzes or little in-browser coding challenges.

Once you've completed a README, you should click the "I'm Done" button on the right:

Readme not done

When clicked, 'Started Reading' will change to 'Completed', and the "Next Lesson" button will light up, allowing you to proceed:

Readme done


For the majority of curriculum on Learn, we will introduce concepts to you first through a README, then reinforce those concepts by having you apply what you've learned in a lab.

Seeing as this lesson is a README, you're now done and ready to go to the next lesson. Click the "I'm Done" button and proceed to the next lesson.

Happy Learning!

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