Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 13th Apr 2012 20:21 UTC
In the News Six-month-old web site Codecademy claims you can learn programming through its online tutorials. The free modules on JavaScript are now available. The site also allows anyone to post their own programming courses. The site has good funding, but question is: can you really learn programming this way? One blogger enthuses that Codecademy's approach "looks like the future of learning to me," while another slams it saying "Seriously? Wow, bull**** badging and sh**ty pedagogy wins the day in ed-tech investing." What do you think?
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Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Sat 14th Apr 2012 19:57 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

Who cares if it makes somebody a guru coder or not, it's probaly not meant to make you a professional coder.

Back in the 80's computers came with a manual which included how to program in BASIC. Turning on a computer allowed you to start coding at once. These days you don't get a manual, let alone (easy) access to a programming language. Even the most stupid users back then could at least write the 2 famous BASIC lines involving the PRINT and GOTO statement.

Just being able to code a little bit at least gives you some insight that computers don't do stuff by magic, but by code. Too many people seem to think computers are alive and some days can have a bad mood. They don't: what a computer does has a reason and that reason is created by code.

I did a lot of coding back then, because I wanted the computer to do certain stuff (or just out of boredom). Now I don't because now whatever need I have someone is bound to have put up some freeware that does what I want.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Morgan on Sun 15th Apr 2012 22:37 in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

My first computer was a TI-99/4a at five years old, which came with programming guides and within a week I had a great little infinite-racer type game coded in. I borrowed heavily from the source materials but I made some significant modifications once I understood what the simple code was doing. I also had access to Atari, Apple, Commodore, TRS-80 and Amiga computers growing up, with programming tutorials for their various versions of Basic and other simple languages.

Yet despite such resources back then, I will never be a programmer by trade, no matter how much education and trial-and-error I go through. I'm terrible at math beyond general algebra and geometry; trigonometry and calculus are simply above my abilities. Does that make me stupid? Of course not! My talents simply lie elsewhere. Sure, I can bang out the occasional Bash script or PHP script, but those are more about logic and task-oriented concepts, things I am great with.

I have found that my true talents lie with hardware hacking, statistics and databases, creative and technical writing, and general problem solving. That means I'm a great bench tester, computer/electronics repairman and general IT go-to guy. But ask me to code you a new app component for your project and I'd be lost. I have reached the pinnacle of my programming abilities from real world experience, and no amount of education would help me become a better programmer.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Mon 16th Apr 2012 04:42 in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

So you're un untalented crappy programmer, just like me.

I also don't think we'll ever become clever coders, but fixing stuff like trigonometry can be done:

http://www.khanacademy.org/

I helped me relearn the basic sin/cos/tan stuff.

Reply Parent Score: 2