So I did it… I spent two hours on codeacademy.com. Okay I’m hooked. I am finally on the section where you get to create your social network profile and I couldn’t get myself to stop. Finally, I told myself I was going to run out of time to do my makeup before class.
Two years ago, I took a computer science class to fulfill a GUR (general undergraduate requirement). I wasn’t interested in computer science in the least bit. It was taught by a professor who, if you had to guess, was exactly what you would think a computer science professor looked like. He talked and talked about things I didn’t understand without any enthusiasm and I tired to listen (I really did). Once a week we had a lab to practice coding. All I remember from the lab is that the TA (teacher’s assistant) would do everything for you. She didn’t know how to explain computer science and when we asked her a question she would just code it for us. Needless, I didn’t learn anything. I only spend two hours on Code Academy and I learned more than I learned in a ten week course.
So far the things that I have learned include:
1. Starting a page
2. Titles and headings
3. Creating new paragraphs
4. Changing font sizes, fonts, and colors
5. Adding pictures, adding links to pictures and just links in general
6. Creating ordered and unordered lists
While learning these things on Code Academy, I vaguely remembered some from computer science class. Code Academy made it easy for me to learn, as each page first explains the coding and how to do it. As you scroll down you then have to code. This allows you to practice the coding you just learned. The only critique I have is that the practice directions are often too detailed and tell you exactly what to do. I sometimes wouldn’t read all the directions to see if I had really learned what I just read about. Otherwise, I wasn’t learning and I was just simply following directions.
If you are having trouble with the coding there is a hint button that you can press for a hint. I pressed the hint button twice, and one of the hints was irrelevant to what I was looking for and so I had to go back two lessons. I was just having trouble with the exact coding, and had to fix my = sign to a : . Even going back two lessons didn’t change what I had already done in the current lesson and when I flipped back to my current lesson all my work I had done was still there. This was a relief because often in programs you can’t go back without deleting your current work. And that is so frustrating.
So you say why should you waste your time learning to code? After all that’s why there are those who major in computer science, and spend their Friday nights coding. Well, it is always a good idea to have some coding (even if it’s just basic knowledge) in your back pocket. It could help you out with your own personal ventures, or to have a better understanding of computer science. After all, as we get more into the digital age it becomes increasingly important to understand the fundamentals behind webpages, and digital media. Coding is a skill that can be helpful in all kinds of jobs. I would strongly recommend Code Academy. Not only will you learn coding, but it is actually a fun way to learn. Try it and let me know what you think… I promise you it won’t be a waste of time.