Image: Andy Samberg smiling happily in crowd. Source: reactiongifs.com
It has been done. I have finally gotten a decent grasp on very basic coding. I am overjoyed. For years, I have been telling people that “my brain just doesn’t work that way” and using that as an excuse for not learning, but today I had a breakthrough!
I logged into Code Academy and started the first introductory activity in the program: learning HTML and CSS: part1. And I was surprised by how easily I was able to grasp the concepts in the lessons. They were simple step by step activities that provided notifications telling you if you’ve done the right thing, where your mistakes are with red highlighted text, and how to fix them. Every step of the way, the exercises give in depth descriptions of what needs to be done in every step of the activity and why as well as how to do it. Best part of all, after each activity, there is a short 9 answer quiz that tests the knowledge you have just learned, keeping it fresh in your memory for future use!
I find that many tutorials show you how to do something, but neglect to give you explanations as to WHY each step needs to be accomplished. Code Academy gives you a column of content to read before entering the necessary code. In the brief reading for HTML and CSS part 1, it explains how HTML works, what the necessary components are for each part of your code, what each part does, and what is should look like. The activities use both text descriptions and visual representations and explanations to help users to effectively learn to code.
Here are my results:
I didn’t get a perfect score on the quiz, but considering I knew little to nothing before this attempt at learning to code, I am quite satisfied with the results.
I learn best through doing, so I definitely appreciated that it was very interactive. I find that I only learn halfway through reading about something, and I know that many people are the same. It is comparable to going to class and taking notes. I could just go to class and listen, but I would only retain approximately half the information. I think Code Academy is a great took for anyone to use! Coding is such a valuable skill to know in today’s world and work force, so it it relieving to know that it can be so easy to learn.