Codeacademy: getting you started with JavaScript

Programming is an essential part of learning computers. You won’t be learning just about computer hardware — that’s what technicians are for. To be a computer “scientist”, you have to learn software and how to code. Though not in exactly in the “scientific research” category, JavaScript is one language you can use to learn about how to communicate to your computer. Codeacademy.com gives 8 easy interactive lessons for you to get started with the basics of programming using JavaScript.

Having had only a college degree and some basics of computer programming, I must say that codeacademy.com has a good interface for the user. Instructions are on the left side of the website with a big console in the middle. I don’t think it’s meant to be customizable so you can’t change it into your own console theme (green on black ala-The Matrix or plain white on black) but it serves its purpose. You can “Run” and “Save” and edit your code. However, I’m not sure if you need a compiler for JavaScript or it’s built in. Do you really just “Run” a program straight from code? Well, the console shows you errors so I guess it’s pre-compiled. But I’m just an amateur so I don’t think the person who’s trying to learn to code shouldn’t be thinking about that yet. And that’s a good thing.

In about an hour, I finished the “tutorial”. I was hoping for more lessons but alas, there were none. Codeacademy was hoping for more lessons as well and gave me a notification about writing lessons for other computer languages! I sure hope the community would grow and be of help to those who, just like me, want to discover or re-discover the joys of programming.

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