Learning a New language

Coding is an essential part of our world with the massive expansion of technology around the world. Coding has allowed people to start in their garage and expand that company into the most used search engine in the world and one of the largest companies in the world. As we move into the future coding is going to become even more essential as technology becomes even more intertwined in our lives and our jobs. As a part of that a large push has sprung up to teach young children to code and get them excited about it.

A screenshot of the codeacademy web developer course

To understand this I decided to learn web development through code academy. I have a little coding experience having taken Computer Science 20 and 30 in High School and 110 in University. I also have a little understanding of website design having used WordPress and Wix to build sites but I have never coded a site nor have I used Javascript, or HTML two of the most popular languages for web development.

Screenshot of introductory video to codeacademy web development

I liked that they started with an introductory video giving you a brief explanation of what you will learn.

Screenshot of codeacademy html lesson

Next they taught me what HTML is and why it is important for the web. I liked that codeacademy was not just saying here’s a thing now learn it. They were explaining why it was important and how it is used.

Screenshot of codeacademy HTML Lesson

I found the lessons easy to follow but also engaging and it seemed like I was making good progress and not having to do a lot of things over and over again just to make sure I understood them.

HTML

I find HTML to be a very user friendly language with the use of elements and using common language for a lot of things. One example is that you type <body> and anything in there will be contained within the tag will be displayed on the screen. Like the body of a book. It also uses <p> to indicate paragraphs which is straightforward and easy to remember. The last part that I find very intuitive is when the body or paragraph should end you type </body> or </p> to indicate the body or paragraph being closed.

Screenshot of HTML editor on the codeacademy website

It also has a feature that a lot of HTML editor have where if say you mistyped </p> and it isn’t actually closing the paragraph it highlight that there is a missing part so it is easy for you to find and fix. If you want to see more of what I learned about HTML head over to my learning project post.

Is coding important?

Based on what I wrote at the beginning of my blog post you can probably guess my opinion. However it’s not only important because technology has become so ubiquitous but also because many of our jobs are going to require at least some level of coding. A good example is biology. Typically most people would think of biologists as tramping through fields, working in lakes or oceans or working in a lab. However, there is a whole field of biology called bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is about using software and scripts to understand biological data. Since we have been able to sequence DNA at a rapid pace with next generation sequencing technologies this has generate massive amounts of data. Bioinformatics is about developing scripts and programs to understand and sort through this data.

This is only a single example, but now more than ever many jobs are being replaced by ones that require some level of coding experience. Teaching it to children at an early age and allowing them to continue to develop and grow is important for setting them up for the rest of their life.

One thought on “Learning a New language

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