Have you heard anyone talking about learning how to code? Maybe one of your friends knows how to program, or maybe you’ve seen someone write some weird words on their computer and it’s made you wonder what they’re doing.
Coding has become all the rage lately and is widely portrayed in the media with the (stereotypical) shows such as Silicon Valley that shows off what life might be like for app developers that live in California. There are also shows like Bones that give an inside look at the amazing work that women can do with computers, and science in general.
It isn’t just TV that’s tapping into the coding frenzy though. Retailers all around the country have tried to profit off of the “learn how to code” movement, including Barbie who produced a Computer Engineer Barbie. The real highlight about their production, however, was the spinoff Barbie book “Feminist Hacker Barbie” produced by Kathleen Tuite.
Here are a few reasons why you should dive into computer science
First, learning how to code is just one of many options. If you’re already convinced, you’ll likely need the tools to get started. What do these look like? Well, you’re in luck! There are a variety of places and tools available for you to get started learning how to code on your own online.
As a beginner, it is recommended to start with a tool such as Scratch, which utilizes block programming to introduce the logic of coding. Tools that use block programming allow you to drag and drop the different pieces together in order to form your completed code. What is particularly great about Scratch is that it allows you to remix projects created by other Scratch users along with having its own online community where you can interact with other users.
After getting a grasp on block programming and the underlying logic behind coding, it’s time to move on to a programming language where you’ll be writing the actual code. My suggestion is to start with a language like Python which is easy to dissect as its syntax is very similar to the English language making it not only very readable and simple to understand, but also easier to piece together and learn.
Python is only one of several programming languages and ultimately the choice is yours. Keep in mind that there are pros and cons to each programming language which you will discover as you learn more about code. If you are interested in learning more about each of the languages that are available to you, here is a quick informational sheet with descriptions.
So how do you start coding in your programming language of choice?
Truly, the options are endless! Below is a list of options that offer online tutorials, games, and videos to teach you how to code in a variety of languages.
P.S. check out your local library and other media spaces, as well as Meetup to see what coding classes are being hosted near you!
Also published on Medium.