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What coding class should I take: Programming is like learning a new language #makereducation

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Great read from Victoria Fine on Slate that discusses learning code in and out of the classroom.

That’s when the first light bulb went off. I started to learn that, unlike my math classes of yore, almost any answer for the quandaries of writing code was online, and instead of being considered an act of cheating or plagiarism, you were encouraged to build off of the work of others. So I began to Google.

Obviously, Google was not unfamiliar to me. I could Google-stalk with the best of them. I had long prided myself in being able to background check anyone, and to be able to find any source information for anything or anyone. (For journalistic purposes only, clearly.)

In the world of Googling to code, the principles were the same. Like any good Google query, a successful answer depended on asking the right question. “How do I make a website red” was not nearly as successful a question as “CSS color values HEX red” combined with “CSS background color.” I spent a lot of time learning to Google like a pro. I carefully learned the vocabulary of HTML so I knew what I was talking about when I asked the Internet for answers.

Once I got the answers, it was all matter of sequencing the code I found in the right order to make it work. I started spending a lot of time looking at other people’s code to see where mine was right or wrong. There wasn’t a single way to things correctly—every coder was a little bit different, but there were basic principles to follow that made your site function correctly.

Read more.


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