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How to start coding as an Adult: Day 1

Alysha Dominico, CEO and Co-Founder of Tangible Words, does not know how to code. Today she's beginning a weekly journey of how to start coding as an adult using Hatch@Home. Here's Day 1 recounted for you:

 

Signing up: learn to code as an adult

It's day 1. I just paid and created my first Hatch account. I'm upskilling myself here as you might have seen on my declaration of why I'm starting to learn to code as an adult.

But I have an even bigger reason as to why I chose Hatch@Home as the place to start learning to code.

I chose Hatch because once I get my bearings on Hatch@Home - I'm going to let my 7 and a 1/2 year old son get started on learning how to code.

I know he's going to LOVE to be able to  make  Pokemon and Disney pictures on the computer which are some of the interest-based projects I've seen on Hatch.

For now, the hardest part of learning how to code was just getting started. So I did that today. I went to Hatch@Home and it was super easy to sign up. Then I had to get started. Here's what I learned on Day 1...

1. Inspiration for what can be achieved in learning how to code:

When I got started today, I took a look at the Hatch@Home levels of certification and I'm very excited about the concept that my son could learn to become a Jr Developer or Software Engineer before he is even in high school. 

For me, the goal is to better understand code so when I'm working with entrepreneur software engineers, I can better communicate with them, and help them design their SaaS products for greater growth.

The top levels of certification you can reach amongst Hatch's 25 Levels 

Hatch

2. How do coders take an idea and break it into code?

I now understand the process of taking an idea in English and how it is broken down into coding language.

Before today, I knew how to recognize code by what it was not: code is not a typed  English sentence.

When I started my first project "Hold a Ball" on Hatch, I was asked to code a ball on a page. I had no idea how to code anything!

So Hatch was like, "Cool: ok, let's break it down into pseudocode." 

Pseudocode was not a word I knew before today. But now I recognize pseudocode is the way real coders learn to code new ideas.

You see, pseudocode is when you insert the basic building blocks of code that you already know into the new blocks of code you didn't know. When you stitch the code you already knew together with the code you just learned, you can code the new thing you were trying to do. Pseudocode seems to be the way coders research solutions and solve problems.

So that's cool - but I still didn't know how to code from pseudocode as I do not know any code commands yet. So Hatch was like "Cool: let's break it down again."

Then they gave me all the basic code and I all I had to do was type what I saw.

Presto, I had coded a black ball on a green screen!

Then Hatch challenged me to understand which code commands made up each of the building blocks to get me there:

  • I learned I could change the numbers in he code command and change the colour of the green background to a new background colour. 
  • I learned I could change the colour of the ball.
  • I learned I could change the size of the ball.

Then Hatch challenged me to make a second ball. (You guys, I spent a while on this. I did all the Help and Hints but I didn't figure it out. Would you upgrade your Casual Coding membership to a Dedicated Membership to get weekly check-ins on your progress so you overcome obstacles like this faster?)

3. I could have success learning how to code even as a newbie coder

I persevered on this second ball challenge by leaving it alone for a few minutes. Since Hatch gives feedback on how you completed your projects and challenges, I decided to mark my "Second ball" challenge as complete, even though I didn't complete it. I had tried to insert the code the way I believed I should, and the Hatch Instructor would see the effort. So I marked that Challenge as Complete and moved on to a new Challenge.

This was apparently the right strategy because in the 3rd challenge I figured out how to add a second ball!

I'm still a total newbie, so I don't quite understand how it works; but somehow adding numbers right beside the MouseX and MouseY code made a  second ball for me.

I'm no magician or expert coder but look what I did today! 

Hold_a_Ball-1

 

Join my How to Start Coding as an Adult journey!  I'll be writing on Hatch's blog every week about what I've learned and setting goals for the future. Follow my progress by subscribing to the Hatch blog at the top of this page.

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