Learn to Code

Code Academy- Python

I made a Code Academy account last year for my Essential Information Technology class. We were instructed to complete the HTML & CSS section, but because of the deadline I felt like I ended up rushing through the last few tutorial sections and did not get as firm of a grasp on the language as I could have. Python was definitely more difficult than CSS, but still manageable. I believe that this website is an incredible asset to anyone wanting to learn about coding. As far as tutorials go I would say it’s much more hands on and accessible and aims to help people not only manage different coding languages, but actually use, apply, remember and truly learn them. While I would only recommend the website to family and friends who I think are interested in coding, I think tools like this should definitely be utilized in classrooms. However, I think it is essential that teachers using Code Academy realize that students will pick up the language at different paces and should be conscious of making sure kids don’t see the course as a race against the clock or against one another.


CodeAcademy

Coding Day Camp!

coding day camp

Prior to this Coding Day Camp, I would place my level of expertise at the intermediate level. I used Code Academy in my Essential Information and Technology course during my first year and, when I signed on for the camp, I realized I was about 48% through the HTML & CSS section. Despite this progress from my EIT class, I had not been on the site in a while and was a little scared to dive back into coding. Surprisingly, once I began navigating the site again, the coding language was easier than I remembered. I also really appreciated the hints that were offered during every exercise. The only time I used one was when I was having issues with the image. When I realized I was coding correctly, it gave me a confidence boost and I then concluded the issue may have just been either the url or simply because the image did not show up in the preview mode.

I would definitely consider completing this tutorial and starting another one. Not simply because it was easier than I remembered, but mainly due to the knowledge I have gained in this class. I now have a new appreciation for coding and see how valuable it is to be skilled in this area. There is a huge opportunity for coders in the work force and practice on this site may be the key to an amazing job in the future.

Considering my dad, sister and brother all work in the tech field, I would love to recommend it to them to see them go back to the basics. On the other hand, my mom needs a lot of help when it comes to technology so I would love for her to experience the site to see if she finds it either useful or interesting.

I believe this site is a great place to begin. It is informative and fun but, most importantly, encourages you every step of the way. This is crucial because consistent motivation is necessary whenever you are stepping into new territory and trying something new. I especially like the badges the site awards you when you finish a section (like the one shown in my screenshot). These awards not only make you feel accomplished, but they make you want to keep improving and learning more which is the exact mentality that we desperately need more of in this field today!

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.