Monday, August 19, 2013

Learning to Code

It is never too late to learn. I tell my student this, my children, anyone who will listen. Today: I listened. A couple educators I know through this and that were starting an online book club of sorts - they all decided to enroll in a course at www.codeacademy.com and then meet back online to share what they'd learned.

Ok, first of all, this is some insane 21st Century evolution of my grandmother's knitting circle. My Grandma used to get together with her friends once a week and "Knit." I don't know that she ever finished as much as a sock in all the years she shoo'd us out of the house so, "the ladies could have some privacy." I was only 9, I had no idea why they needed privacy to knit, especially in the one room in the house with a TV, needless to say, I played outside. These 21st Century trail blazing educators aren't sitting around a room full of rocking chairs, they are logging in from all laptops all around the world, sharing a laugh over what they are learning in the cloud.

These educator friends of mine, not a one of them knows a thing about writing "Code." For those of you, like me, that didn't even know what Code meant, it refers to Computer Code: the language that allows our computers to make all the magic. So, I figure that if these characters are all going to jump in and become programmers, I think to myself, "Hey, I'm game to learn something new," so I go to the CodeAcademy, which is FREE, so my wife will allow it, and I enroll.

Within minutes, I am writing code. I click here, and type in some gibberish  and out pops some cool dialog box that says, "Look Here." It reminded me of my old Commodore 64, plugged into my dad's TV in 1981. As I start to get down the rabbit hole of this coding thing, I start to get hooked. I can see the gibberish starting to make sense, I think I can finally see how those cats in the Matrix can see the girl in the red dress. Coding is just another language.

It was like a firecracker popped right there in my head. Boom! I get this!

Now, I only took one lesson, and I certainly didn't learn how to do much more than make my computer say hello, but I think I will stick around and see if this online knitting circle produces a sock. If you have an hour: go to the CodeAcademy: I am hoping to knit an entire sweater.