Jul 08 2012

Learning to Code, part 1

Tag:Cyn @ 10:22

I’ve decided that I want to learn basic pro­gram­ming, and I’ve decided to doc­u­ment my jour­ney here.

I already know basic HTML and some CSS. I don’t (yet) know HTML 5, but that’s going to be part of my even­tual cur­ricu­lum. I want to learn pro­gram­ming, though, not just freshen my web cre­ation skills. I know enough about javascript, php and SQL to get in trou­ble right now and use scripts oth­ers have cre­ated, but I can’t cre­ate my own scripts or make a use­ful data­base from scratch.

I started with Lifehacker’s Night School arti­cle Learn to Code: The Full Beginner’s Guide, which uses JavaScript and has links to addi­tional resources. There are four lessons and an adden­dum, and it serves as a pretty good intro­duc­tion to some basic pro­gram­ming con­cepts. I felt the need for some­thing a lit­tle more in-depth, though.

I was sur­prised by the admon­ish­ment NOT to use W3Schools in the Life­Hacker arti­cle. In fact, there was a link to W3Fools, “an inter­ven­tion.” I had planned to stop by there, so I’m glad to find that warn­ing. It’s unfor­tu­nate to learn that such a big site isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, though.

So, next stop: CodeA­cad­emy, which also starts with JavaScript. My only com­plaint here is that you don’t get mul­ti­ple exam­ples for each con­cept, which would help me (that’s just how I hap­pen to learn bet­ter). You learn at your own pace and the site awards lit­tle badges and such as you progress. It’s inte­grated with social net­works like Face­book if you want to give it access to your accounts on those sites.

Those will keep me busy today, and I’ll let you know how it goes using them in the next few days.

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