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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