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Welcome to Code School: Let's Learn How to Code!

Updated on December 9, 2016
Rachelle Williams profile image

I'm Rachelle, a.k.a "TheMotleyChick," a lover of eclectic but ordinary people, situations & topics and I love sharing helpful resources.

I'm creating this collection of pages to act as a repository for everything I learn on my journey/project to learn to code.

I want to start off by documenting a firm understanding of what "coding" is, why it's important to learn how to code, and exactly why knowing how to code can have a positive impact.

The ultimate goal of this project is to learn the traditional coding foundations, HTML, CSS and Javascript; from there, the sky is the limit!

Don't worry if you've never heard of HTML, CSS or Javascript, it's perfectly fine, you don't need to know a single thing at this point. So, let's get to it...

What is Computer Code?

I know this might seem elementary, but it's probably one of the most clear cut explanations of what is computer coding. Forget about the fact the video is designed for children and let your mind absorb the key points in the video below:

Basic Computer Coding Details

Computer code is basically the letters, numbers and symbols the makes computers operate, not just traditional computers, but every type of computer...from the computers that make watches work to the computers that run space shuttles. Computer code comes in many languages, and learning how to code is just like learning another language.

The term "computer coding" is interchangeable with the term "computer programming," because programming and coding mean the same thing. Now, stay with me here, because I know the concept of computer programming might sound intimidating.

Today, computer programming is not the same as it was yesterday...well it is, but newer programs have grown by generations, and they are much more easy to master; let me explain:

A computer only understands machine language. Machine language is the boring 1s and 0s we all associate with computer programming. Yes, one needs to be something short of a genius to create and manipulate this type of code. My hats off to those geniuses who can and have mastered that level of coding, but that ain't the stuff we need to learn, and hallelujah for that!

The super smart computer programmers of yesterday have already done the hard work of laying the basic foundation of computer programming. Computers are already exceptional at running at the base level, or the level that requires machine language.

Today, most of us only need to learn the languages that run on top of, and far removed from machine language programs. Thankfully, these programs are easy enough to learn....other countries teach this stuff to elementary and middle school aged kids on a regular basis.

But, why is it important to learn how to code or what's in it for me, you ask? Keep reading...

Why Learn to Code?

Now that you have a better understanding of what is computer coding, here's are a couple of reasons why knowing how to code can positively impact your life:

1) Learning how to code will give you the POWER to create whatever your mind can imagine

3) Learning how to code will strengthen your INTELLECTUAL CAPACITY and your ability to SOLVE PROBLEMS

2) Learning how to code can get you PAID!

Creative Power

Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and YouTube were all created by people who knew how to code, their ideas came to fruition, because they straight-up coded them into existence.

Yes, Bill Gates (Microsoft), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google), Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim (YouTube), are all smart, typically nerdy, computer programmer type dudes. The companies these guys have built are exceptionally successful, but there are regular folks doing amazing things with computer code.

Have you ever heard of David Karp, Laura Roeder, Jules Coleman, or Jeri Ellsworth? No, of course you probably haven't heard of any of those folks. These people all had an idea, and they each turned to code to try to bring their ideas to fruition.

David Karp created Tumblr, a hugely successful blogging platform. Laura Roder created Edgar a popular social media site. Jules Coleman taught herself how to code, quit her job as a city worker and founded a profitable cleaning booking website. And, Jeri Ellsworth taught herself how to code in high school, and now she works as a computer chip designer and inventor.

Those individuals are ordinary people...regular folks like you and me, not traditional computer programmer type geniuses, but learning how to code enabled them to breathe life into their creations.

Strengthen Problem-Solving Skills

It is well documented, that learning to code sharpens your ability to solve problems, not just tech problems, but problems in general.

Bill Gates once said, "I think everyone should get a little exposure to computer programming, because it really forces you to think in a slightly different way, and it’s a skill that you can apply in life in general, whether you end up in computer science or not."

Learning to code will strengthen your ability to think critically, and who among us doesn't need that skill?

Coders Get PAID!

And last, but certainly NOT least, learning to code can get you paid. If you search the pages of any of the big job sites you'll find pages and pages of high salaries for coding professionals of many different languages.

Visit the websites of Coding House, App Academy, or Ada Developers Academy, and you will see that the graduates of these coding boot camp programs are all earning upwards of $80,000 a year. These programs only last 6 weeks to 1 year, and EVERYTHING these programs teach can be self-taught, and there are hundreds of free to inexpensive platforms on which to learn.

Preconceived Coding Notions

When you think of computer coding/computer programming, what do you mostly think of?

See results


So, I'm going to stop here for the week ending 12/11/2016. Your homework for this week is two-fold, first think of an idea for a type of website, web app or phone app you think might be useful or helpful for matter how silly, difficult to build or crazy you think it might sound.

Consider this, Joel Comm is a guy who created an IOS app that earned millions of dollars just by creating fart sounds, that's it, that's all, it doesn't do anything else (IOS is the software that runs iPhones).

In contrast to Joel Comm, Allyson E Cote created a website called Maternova. Maternova simplifies the process for doctors, nurses, and midwives to track innovation and to buy technologies and kits. This process simplification site positively impacts the lives of over 180,000 impoverished women and newborns.

Your final piece of homework is to watch the following video and Believe that YOU CAN learn to code, please DO NOT count yourself out this early on in the game, because you think you can't do it it...I promise, this will be like cake...not as easy to swallow as cheesecake, think of it more like pound cake, a little harder to swallow, but STILL CAKE!

The Week Ahead

Next week, you can expect to learn more about the World Wide Web, so you can gain a thorough understanding of the vast universe where most code lives. Of course, not all code lives on the web, you just learned computers operate on programs, and these programs are created by code. However, the computer code we will be learning is web based, so what better way to kick off this project than to learn about the web?

Start thinking about the type of projects you'd like to create, and please share them in the comment section. I can't wait to hear what you come up with!


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