Coding Day Camp

My First Coding Experience Ever!

Code Academy

Over the weekend, I used Javascript for the first time ever. Not only that, if was my first time ever learning how to code. To be quite frank, I was dreading the idea of sitting in front of some computing program and having to type out lines of code. Five minutes into my coding experience (Java Script via Code Academy) I couldn’t have felt more differently. I really felt like I was learning how to build things right in front of my eyes. For someone who has never spent any time programming, seeing the computer screen do the things that I told it do was invigorating. I hope that programmers who have been coding for a long time remember that first feeling when they entered their first sequences of code. After my first 60 minutes of programming, I did not want to stop. I kept wanting to learn the basics, and it made me have visions of programming my own website. I know it sounds redundant, but there is so much customization thats possible with coding at the palm of my hands.

Code Academy Badges

Code Academy was so great because they break all of these steps down in easy ways that allows people who aren’t very tech literate to still understand how to use a number of different programs. If you have any problems, Code Academy will check your work and offer suggestions as to where you might’ve had problems (assuming there are errors in your work). As I mentioned earlier, I was afraid to get into coding because I thought it would be too overwhelming. After my experience with Code Academy and Java Script, I think I want to go back for more. In our class, we have talked about the importance of knowing how to code. Now that I have seen it first hand, I couldn’t agree more. For any and all persons who are thinking of getting involved with coding I strongly recommend you visit Code Academy. I was a novice and I felt comfortable with the way the language was presented to me. Code Academy offers a number of different programs you can learn about, whether its HTML, Java Script, CSS etc. Whatever you are looking for you can probably find it at Code Academy. I recommend you try it for yourself, and I think you will have a similar experience to that of my own!

Coding Academy Experience

I had had no prior experience when it came to coding before I tried CodingAcademy. To be honest, I thought learning how to code was going to be extrememly difficult, but I was pleased to know that it is possible to understand by using basic math and reasoning.

I would definitely consider trying out other tutorials on the website. The tutorials are a great way to get started on coding and to forget about the fear that comes along with learning something that seems so complicated. I would definitely recommend it for everyone.

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code_camp = “Python”

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 10.06.35 AMWhen it comes to coding I am an enthusiastic beginner! As an aspiring computer science major, working on Code Academy is nothing new to me. This time around—because I have very basic practice in Scala and HTML—I figured, “what the hay” and tried something completely new: Python. Python is awesome. And while some of the different assignments made more sense to me now with a semester of CS under my belt, I thought the course was intuitive and well paced. Things like comparisons and Booleans may have seemed daunting a few months ago, but the course did a really good job of taking me through each step and explaining each action. I loved working with the tutorial, but I don’t think any online service will ever replace learning from an experienced and caring teacher, especially if you have absolutely no experience (like me at the start of the semester!).

I definitely plan to complete the Python course and I am really excited to take more beginner courses like Ruby and jQuery on Code Academy. While I really enjoyed what I’ve done for Python so far, I do think this is because I have had formal teaching in CS in school. Certain actions came easily to me because I have done it before. So if I were to recommend this to a friend it would most likely be one who already has some basic coding experience or one who is looking for a fun challenge. People should not be deterred from coding just because it seems like it is hard. Coding is fun and with the right teacher or course anyone can learn something new!

Codecademy Reunion

As a computer science major, I am familiar to the plethora of online coding tutorials and interactive sites. From Treehouse, to Khan Academy, and many more, there are lots of opportunities to learn code online. One of my favorite sites is Codecademy. Back in high school, I used Codecademy to learn basic HTML and CSS. I loved it so much, I even started to learn JavaScript over the summer. The easy to use interface, and great tutorials (which have some hilarious jokes too)  truly make coding a fun and rewarding experience. The easy to reach goals also encourage you to continue, and the things you are able to create are quite impressive.

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For this coding experience, I decided to play with JQuery, another web development language you can learn about on Codecadmy. I loved the interactivity and the simplicity of the language. Spending time with this website was such a happy reunion.

I encourage everyone to join Codecadmy and start learning today. You might even find yourself enjoying it so much that you will end up finishing the lessons in no time!

Coding Day Camp: Python

Prior to this assignment, my experience with coding would probably lie somewhere on the scale between beginner and intermediate, but probably way closer to the beginner side. I am currently in Intro to Programming, in which I have been learning how to code using the program Processing. I’ve heard that Processing uses a bit more difficult language than Python, so I decided to try learning Python this time around to see what the similarities and differences are. It started off easier than I thought it would be, as many of the logic concepts and syntax were similar to that of Processing, but as I continued it got to be a bit more complicated. The logic was starting to get a little confusing, but the examples in each step really helped out a lot. I especially liked the way in which the lessons were set up to relate to practical situations in which you can use coding in real life, such as going to the grocery store or planning a trip. Many people think programming is only useful for people who build massive, complex software programs, but these tutorials showed how you can incorporate it in your own everyday life.

I definitely want to continue this tutorial and start tutorials for other programming languages through Code Academy as well. I felt really motivated while doing this and continued coding past just 90 minutes; I think I’m 40% of the way through completing the Python tutorial. I looked at the profile the website creates for you, and I liked seeing how many badges I had earned and noticed that they have a “streak” count, showing how many days in a row you’ve been coding. I want to try coding a little bit each day so that streak doesn’t go back to 0. I would definitely recommend Code Academy to my friends, my parents and my siblings, even if they don’t know they are interested in learning to code. Many kids take keyboarding tutorials in school, but very few take coding tutorials, so if they want to learn how to code it is a skill they have to learn on their own later, and this is a perfect way to do so. I think people with very limited coding experience or none at all can still learn from Code Academy because it explains everything very clearly and you cannot move on to the next lesson until you’ve correctly coded each step within your current lesson.

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Coding Day Camp: Ruby!

Introduction to Ruby!

Introduction to Ruby!

I do not believe I have ever sat down and learned a lick of any computer language. Or if I had some time in the past, I was unaware that I was “coding”. All I remember from computer class in preparatory school was a lesson plan which incorporated a program that had a turtle on a white canvas. In this program, on the right hand side of the screen, there was a bar of tools and a box for typing in commands to make the turtle do actions. For example, I would tell the turtle to take ten steps forward, turn ninety degrees, and walk forward twenty steps. I just remembered speeding through the lesson so that I could play the Sonic Underground game. Honestly, I remember that game and collecting rings more than the computer lesson, unfortunately.

I really did not have any expectations when deciding to tryout coding through codeacademy.com. I just thought it would be a challenge learning a new language as it is with all languages. After completing one segment of the “Introduction to Ruby” course, I am confident that it is doable—it just takes time and effort on my part. During the process, I had to retrain my logical thinking patterns to the Ruby language, I did have questions and wondered if I was able to do more sophisticated commands but my coding showed up syntax error when I did. Baby steps, it is just the beginning! What this lesson taught me was that programming language has many rules that follow certain logic. Once that logic is grasped the whole language can be mastered with tremendous amounts of practice. This site made it so easy, especially because of the user-friendly interface, to learn that I immediately texted my brother, who is one year younger than me, and told him to learn any programming language he wanted! I definitely feel the urgency to learn some coding and I was apprehensive at first because I did not start earlier with a formal computer class at Trinity, but this process was easy enough and I certainly will continue with the lessons during my spare time. It is absolutely free so why not? God bless the people who created this brilliant website.

First Time Coder

Coding screenshot

Starting out the coding lesson, everything was new to me. I had never before attempted to code. The tutorial I chose was HTML & CSS, because it seemed just a tad bit more familiar than the others were (I had seen “HTML” before…somewhere).

I actually found that the programming language was easier than I had imagined it would be. In the HTML course, the instructions were pretty straightforward and had helpful hints to enlighten me along the way. Much of the terminology was pretty literal and obvious like <head> or <body> for headings and body paragraphs.

I would actually like to continue using this site and take a crack at building my own website. I found it to be extremely helpful and it could be a potential skill for future employment. The instruction is pretty plain and easy to understand. I would definitely recommend Code Academy to anyone who is just starting out, especially for my friends who already have some sort of understanding when it comes to computers. It might be little difficult for my parents to understand because there is already an expected level of computer knowledge. For my parents and others like them, they may want to start out with a computer literacy class first.

Coding Day Camp: Java

When first told that I would have to try to attempt coding, I was a bit nervous. As someone who has not coded a day in her life, I was worried that I would fail epically in the assignment. I thought that coding with any programing language was something that required a certain type of intelligence, something that I did not posses. None the less, I knew I had to complete the assignment, so I created an account on Code Academy, and started the tutorial on Java.

To my surprise and delight, I was not only able to complete the entire tutorial, but also completed it without very little problems. Code Academy did an excellent job walking me through all the activities, while still ensuring that I was still learning the program. In fact, after I completed the first tutorial on Java, I felt tempted to start a new tutorial on another language. Code Academy was able to challenge my views on who is able to code, and what coding is about. No longer was coding a scary field that only a few gifted individuals were able to learn, but something that everyone (including a novice like myself) could potentially thrive in. I would highly recommend Code Academy to anyone who wants to learn to code, but does not believe that they can.

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Commencing Creative Coding on Codeacademy

This isn’t my first rodeo. I’m a computer science major who else well versed in the ways of code. Codecademys target audience is most definitely not aimed at users such as myself.  However, I did see how it might be extremely helpful for users who have never written a program in their life. The step by step instructions and lessons were very clear and covered some of the basic programming fundamentals quite well. The wide variety of languages and frameworks in which they offer tutorials/lessons is impressive as well. I did a few sections of the Javascript tutorial. I’ve never written much javascript before, but from what I can tell from this experience, it’s fairly similar to most other object oriented languages out there.

My biggest question is who comes up with these dialogues?

My only gripe is how all of their tutorials are too detailed. Codecademy is only geared towards brand new programmers. While it does that job very well, it’s rather tedious if you are just trying to pick up the basics of a second or third (etc…) language. I remember trying Codecademy my freshman year to check out some Java in addition to the Python I was already learning and, even then, I found it quite slow paced and boring/off-putting. Granted, this is just my personal opinion since I would much rather just start getting my hands dirty and figure it out on the go. I do think that being able to investigate and figure something out on your own (so you can start running without learning to take the baby-steps every time you want to try something new) is a very integral part of computer science in general!
Basically, if someone had never coded before, I’d highly recommend they step through an entire course on Codecademy. However, after they get that intro experience under their belt, there are better learning resources out there that can teach you the same things faster. Nothing beats a real person helping you along the way either!

My Experience with HTML

As someone who has never coded before, I was a little intimidated by this assignment. Despite everything we have talked about in this class, such as how we should encourage people to learn how to code, or how some people taught themselves to code with much simpler and lesser resources, I anticipated that I would struggle with this assignment. I was actually pleasantly surprised. I chose to work with HTML and I found that the instructions made the assignments very easy. I found myself excited to go on to the next steps, because learning something as simple as being able to place a link in a picture through HTML, felt like a step forward to creating bigger and better things on my own. I look forward to trying out the other tutorials, and I hope to share this resource with anyone who will listen.

The most rewarding thing about this assignment was realizing that coding doesn’t have to be an inaccessible form of literacy. While I know I’m not ready to create my own website just yet, I look forward to learning how. This resource makes this an approachable way of learning. When I began the tutorial and found that it was very easy to follow the instructions, and the feedback helped me fix whatever wasn’t right, it was really enjoyable. The instructions were very straightforward, and I think it would be a great place for beginners to start.



HTML Basics Badge from Codeacademy.com