Day 196 – Free Code Camp

Hello Yearlings!

I know that this isn’t really a particularly “crafty” thing to post about, as you’ve all grown so accustomed to seeing from me, but this is what I did literally ALL day. Free Code Camp is a website that, as you might have inferred using your sizable brains and knowhow, teaches you the basics of coding. I know what you guys are thinking”Oh hell no, that’s too hard, I’m going back to knitting,” but bear with me here! Coding is an incredibly valuable skill that you can use in your everyday life and an excellent way to keep your mind sharp. It’s basically like learning a new language, but scarier because there’s no computer equivalent to the shop owner that inevitably knows enough English to make a sale and will work with you.

I too went into this endeavor terrified out of my wits at the prospect of breaking the entire internet, but I’ve found that if you find the right program (the one that lets you take it really really slow) then you really don’t have anything to worry about. For me that program was Free Code Camp. This post is not endorsed, I swear, I’ve just been trying to pick this up for a while and it finally began to click for me a little bit today and I’m super freaking pumped! I have tried basically every medium ever for learning to code; I’ve read books, taken tutorials from friends and even tried a couple of other programs but I’ve just always hit the brick wall of basic knowledge. Coding isn’t like knitting or crochet, the barrier to entry is much much higher and much more knowledge and training based.

In the case of coding Google is your friend. I repeat Google is your friend. If you’re stumped on something, no matter how basic, there is probably someone out there in a forum or on a blog that was just as stumped as you at one time and probably has a post about how they got ‘x’ thing to complete ‘y’ action. I don’t yet know if that’s actually how you speak code, but I do know how to make the background of a webpage blue.

When it comes to FCC in particular I actually skipped all of the “intro” stuff about joining the chat rooms and making a profile, because I hate doing that kind of stuff. If you’re like me you’ll want to skip right in to the actual coding itself and it lets you. The goal of FCC is to train people to get good enough that they can do volunteer coding for non-profit entities, which I think is actually awesome. Not only are you learning a cool new skill but you’re also expected to put it to use doing some good for the world. Who doesn’t love that? Nazis probably.

If you’ve got some previous coding skill and you’re just looking to brush up you might want to do Code Academy. They do a lot less hand holding and while it’s good for beginners, it’s a lot better if you go in with an actual idea of what everything does, unlike me who has the coding experience of an eggplant going through life as a quadruple amputee. Seriously, I know nothing about this stuff and it can be really trying and there’s a kind of focus on syntax that could only make all the grammar nazis in your life happy.

I spent literally every spare moment today working on this and learning coding and I will probably end up doing this all evening too, because I’m insane. Alex has been working on this too and is actually the one that recommended it to me, so it’s going to be helpful to have him around whenever I get stuck. I’m also hoping to get our roommate Stobaugh in on it since he’s been whining about not knowing anything about computers lately. Hopefully I will be returning to you all soon with great tales of my many coding adventures and expeditious victories (is that even proper english?)!

Lots of Love,

Maya

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