Learning the Skill of Coding

In this week’s class we learned a little about coding. Coding? Yes, I was as clueless as you about what it meant. Coding means the ability to read and write a machine language as well as to think computationally. This new type of language is becoming an important skill to have among the younger generation. In the article This is Why Kids Need to Learn Code, Doug Belshaw argues that there’s at least three important reasons why kids should learn to code: They are: problem-solving, (digital) confidence, and understanding the world around them. Coding offers students a new way of thinking and can engage them in logical thinking. It can also be incorporated into the curriculum through subjects such as math (shapes, patterns, problem solving, etc.), art (repeating patterns to make a particular drawing), and digital literacy (language of coding).

With my limited understanding and experience with coding, I decided to learn what it’s all about. There is a global initiative called “An Hour of Code” which promotes people (especially kids) coding around the world. On the website, there are interactive lessons on how to code, tutorials that teach javascript and other programming languages. 

I participated in the Artist Hour of Code which was not as hard as I thought it would be. There were 10 stages of puzzles to complete and each stage required you to create move blocks (codes) to create a certain pattern. Each stage introduces and teaches a new way to code, create different patterns or new programming tools.

The first stage was quite easy but it got more difficult as I progressed onto the next few stages.

After learning to create simple shapes like the square and the hexagon, I was tasked to create a drawing by repeating certain steps. These next few stages got me to think about which direction and the degree in angle I needed to move to create a certain shape or drawing. It was a little frustrating at first but as I experimented and finally got the hang of things.

With the introduction to using new tools like repeat command, the function programming tool, learning to compile steps to create different shapes, I was able to make my own creation.

Finally, after completing all 10 stages I received my Hour of Code certificate that demonstrates my understanding of basic concepts of Computer Science.

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