Coding ABC’s (it’s easy as 1,2,3)

Throughout the past semester I have learned to accept the statement, “Anyone can learn to code” at face value. There is plenty of evidence that suggests this claim to be true, especially with all of the online coding programs such as code academy.  In class this semester, we have discussed how even young elementary age children are able to learn coding basics, just as they learn the alphabet or how to tie their shoes. However, despite the semester long discussion concerning the importance of introducing the basic principles of coding to girls and women in particular, I was still extremely hesitant to make an account and begin coding at codeacademy.com. Before taking this Women in Technology class my misinformed perception of coding stemmed from my minimal understanding of technology. This misconception was supplemented by my extremely stereotypical association of coding with a restrictive culture of computer geeks who stared at screens all day long typing in an enigmatic language called code. Long before I knew what code really was, I determined that I simply wasn’t coder material, nor did I think it was possible to understand something so complex on my own. Although have a completed less than two hours of coding, I am finally cognizant the reality of what coding actually entails.  After spending the last two hours learning the basics of coding with HTML, through the hands on instruction in the Code Academy program, I have de-mystified the concept of the fundamental code language and realized that I too can learn to code.

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 7.29.53 PMThe Code Academy program has numerous features that makes it extremely accessible and informative. For starters, it is free, which allows anyone to test it out for him or herself. Secondly, the concise step-by-step directions makes it easy to write the lines of code step one part at a time. This feature makes the overall task less overwhelming, especially when the steps get more complicated. Additionally, there are hints and supplementary explanations provided in case something is confusing or too complicated. I was a frequent user of these clues, because my first attempt at writing code was far from flawless. Not only is the program instructive, but it also encourages you to continue on with the lessons. Now that I know for myself that coding is truly something that anyone can learn, I will definitely continue to deepen my understanding of coding basics with the Code Academy program and encourage others to do the same.

Much like our discussions in class, my recent coding epiphany represents just the starting point for future growth in the field of technology. Although the coding program and the challenging real-world situations, such as the Gamergate conflict, are likely to get more complicated as technology continues to develop , the only way to find a solution is to address the problem. Coders and non-coders, males, females, kids, college students, CEO’s and high school dropouts all around the world must open their eyes to the realities of technology in our world today. I believe that everyone should try out this or another coding program because it creates a foundation for understand all forms of technology.  Such technologies increasingly define the way we live, interact with others, learn, and improve our everyday lives. I am certain that my new level of coding proficiency will only continue to enhance my overall perception of the technologies that are intertwined with my everyday life, and I hope that other “non-coders, like myself, open their minds to the language of code through the Code Academy program.

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