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Learning to Code

January 16, 2012

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For those paying close attention to technology news, it’s hard to escape the recent emphasis on coding and education.

Like math, science or even language, coding is a learned skill that has many applications. Most of them involve creating something, which is a foreign expertise as of late. As we’ve seen the collapse of the finance sector, many are rethinking the trends in education.  As I studied classics in college, I can attest that my grasp of syntax and semantic range does little to improve daily life (of course, I can make a case for the other side as well).

In the science-math category is coding.  This is how everything digital is built and it’s what’s at fault when software doesn’t work.

More and more, computer science classes are popping up in schools.  When I was in school, I was always afraid to try the CS classes for fear of negatively affecting my GPA and, it seemed, coding was for the boys….

Well, times are changing.  Since coding is like learning a language though it requires no mastery of authentic accent, one can learn simply by sitting in front of a computer.  And that’s where Codecademy comes in.

Codecademy is an online resource for interested people to learn how to code.  It’s a free program focusing on Javascript (at least at the start) that promises proficiency.

Jumping on the resolution bandwagon, Codecademy started ‘Code Year,’ where participants are sent a weekly course that leads them through the basics (and not so basics) or coding, so by the end of the year they will actually be able to create something.

The program caught on quickly and nearly 350,000 users have signed up to participate (myself included).   Reinforcing the importance of keeping coding in America and New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has also signed up for Code Year.

This weekend I sat down to do my first lesson, expecting something that wouldn’t force me to flex my muscles for too long.  Welp, I was wrong.  The first lesson took me over and hour and the LAST exercise has me stumped.

I’m about to embark on Week 2 and look forward to learning more.  I am not confident I’ll make it through the whole year (this is hard!), but I’m looking forward to trying.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. William permalink
    January 16, 2012 8:41 pm

    On a scale of 1 to 10, rate the irony of writing “I can attests” in a sentence about the superior grasp of syntax one gets from studying in the Classics.

    • January 16, 2012 8:43 pm

      Oy. Copy editing isn’t a strong suit, clearly.

  2. Ellen Cayer permalink
    January 21, 2012 1:12 pm

    Great blog post…let us know how week 2 goes!!

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