Coding 3 - Text Based Programming

So in week 3, we want to touch base and introduce you to text-based coding languages. If you've progressed through the first two weeks of coding exercises then, well, you're actually still not ready for a text-based language yet (haha, sorry) but we need the foundation to be there for something to aspire to if you're older and looking for a real challenge. That being said, in my opinion, there is never a wrong time to learn new things. Especially if you're going to work hard at it.


Here Is A Link To A Good Article Explaining Text-Based vs Visual Based Programming


I was told a long time ago that learning a coding language is the same concept of learning a new language in general....like Spanish. It's very true. If you think about it from that perspective it makes a lot of sense and provides you with realistic expectations when beginning. It's hard and requires consistent use and work just like learning a new language. Only instead of talking to other people, we will be communicating with a computer. If we speak to it incorrectly, it won't understand us.


There are billions and billions of coding websites/videos/tutorials/and more out there that will teach you coding and programming. I am in no way a subject matter expert on coding or where or how to begin. I do know all of our kids have started coding using the Blockly style of programming. When I say "all of our kids" I mean all the ones I've worked with personally or worked with in elementary schools and in talking with teachers. We always started coding with EV3's, Dash robots, Microbits, Scratch, Hour of Code, and more..... Here is what I am personally going to use with my kids to help transition from a visual code to text-based code. You can read all about it in the link and see if you think it's a good fit for you. I always try to find really good, free programs and this is one of them. There are, of course, hundreds of paid programs out there.


Microsoft Small Basic




One resource most visual-based programming platforms have now is the ability to switch between Blocks and Text Programming with the click of a button. See the image below.


This is from the MakeCode platform and is a really great feature. It's extremely helpful to get a quick glimpse of what you just built with blocks. Makecode is a great resource for learning to code robots, games, microcontrollers, circuits, and more.

MAKECODE


If you are taking the journey into text-based coding, I wish you nothing but the best of luck. It's certainly a necessary next step in the overall STEM world we're growing up in.


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