Friday, April 12, 2013

Codecademy Cadet

I don't know about you, but I go through waves of obsession with new subject matter every couple of months. Whether that be Angry Birds, BBC Sherlock, or food (I've never quite gotten over that last one). So, my latest spur-of-the-moment educational fling is learning HTML code/syntax. I had briefly mentioned it in passing to a fellow G+ser, stating it was 'Too hard and I would probably never find the time.'

Then, that stubborn mule streak in me kicked in and said, 'No way! You know you can do it & you are just too lazy to try... loser! You would prefer to eat banana bread and watch NCIS instead of actually putting something into your head, lamebrains!' I tend to ignore this voice by drowning it out, but that little spark of interest had caught on. 

When +Viking Ender put up a post about Codecademy in his stream, I decided I should check it out. That was like at 11:30 at night. At 1am I was wide awake, typing away, thrilled at the power I had just discovered. Do you like to be in control? I do... and html is pure control, building your own environment from the roots up. I felt like Flynn from TRON, just hoping that I would learn how to add background colors before I was sucked into the digital world. Really, it's super cool.

The program lets you take everything at your own pace, and you start doing hands on work right away. As you fill in the code on the left, there is a window to your right showing you if the formula was written correctly. There is also a full-screen view where you can see your work as if it were an actual web page. Everything is broken down into simple lessons, and as you go along you earn badges (pictured above), encouraging your progress. 

 (This is what I was working on by day 2 of html basics)

What's great about what I'm learning is that it will help me be able to do more with the blog, and possibly work on some web pages. One thing about my obsessions - I love doing it until it becomes work, then I can't stand it. Bad? Most likely. But, I'm probably just going to keep this skill at the hobby level, which is what makes Codecademy so great: it is free, which is excellent for most people who don't want to spend any more money on an education. Check it out! 

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