How’s the coding?

codecademy I have done about 15% of the codecademy course on Python. I plan to speed up a bit when I am on summer holidays and need to find something to do when it is really hot. I don’t suffer from the heat but you do need to stay inside and you do need things to take your mind off it sometimes. Coding is perfect because it is very absorbing. I have just completed the date/time section. I have done some syntax basics and then some strings. Coding has reminded me I have to be totally perfect ,exceedingly accurate and meticulous. There is no margin for error, no room for mistakes and it teaches me to be utterly logical and pay attention to detail. It really is all in the detail. One colon in the wrong place and it all falls apart. Confuse a colon with a full stop and it all falls apart. Codes simply will not work unless you have them perfectly accurate. Codecademy teaches that really well. At this stage I am taking small steps, am being guided and then encouraged to think for myself so I can put the learning to work. I could do with an easy look up menu to check certain aspects of coding. I need a glossary or menu so I can see quickly how to set the code. If I did it on a more regular basis some things would stick better because it is about habit and repetition. I cannot do that yet . I am happy with the fact codecademy puts each lessons in a small package so there is not too much to take on in any one sitting and it means I can still pursue it when I am busy. That is important with coding. It is easy to get swamped until you are on familiar ground and so gently getting yourself into it is a good approach in my opinion.

Baby steps coding

reminderAny serious coder will laugh but that’s okay. They would also realise it has taken me plenty of effort and dedication to get to this first useful step in coding. I have been sitting here absorbing all my coding lessons and finally the cogs are starting to work, the penny has dropped and I can actually see my way clear to doing some things by myself without just copying or following instructions. That, though, is a basic lesson in coding. Don’t hurry. Don’t try to skip over things, lean heavily on those who know, do as you are told and follow instructions! Don’t expect to know what you are doing until the light comes on.Then…you get to the moment where you can do something by yourself. Something practical and useful. You can actually transfer knowledge and apply it. I have understood 95% of what I have been learning. I have had to go back over things and I have had to come back to very disciplined thinking. Now, apart from doing the things I copy, I can now think for myself and apply some knowledge. We really need to look at computer literacy in a hard headed way to sort out what it means to be computer literate, especially if we plan to teach coding. So, I can now quickly make myself a desktop text file with text in it.

How did I do this?

1. Press Windows x
2. Select Command Prompt from the menu which pops up.
3.Mine comes up with C:\Users\CathyW>…yours will come up with your user name
4. At the > type cd Desktop and press enter
5. It will now say C:\Users \CathyW\Desktop>
6. At the > type echo Whatever you want to write as text here >reminder.txt and press enter
7. You can call it happy.txt, cathy.txt…whatever you want.

You will now have a file on your desktop with what you wrote. For me it is a reminder.txt and could have been any other type of text file like a doc. It means I can write myself a quick note, get some ideas down quickly, create a file to work on later. I don’t  have to wait for software or sites to load. Easy!

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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