Why bother with code?

Why bother with code?

Code is scary. Code is hard. Code is worthwhile.

In an increasingly technical world, it’s hard to escape the apparent dominance of code—and, more broadly, of thinking technically. But to so many, code seems either too daunting or too difficult to approach. Why is this? Is this view appropriate? Is code really as scary and as hard as we assume it to be?

Through examining my personal and ongoing journey through learning to code, and proposing a question-oriented process, I attempt to break down the myths surrounding code that portray it as an exclusive art. The end result? A reminder that code isn’t particularly special, and that learning it is simply a matter of training ourselves to solve problems, using a new medium.

Originally presented to Sheridan College’s CCT260 and CCT360 classes, in May 2016.

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Lucas Cherkewski

May 18, 2016
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Transcript

  1. Why bother with code?

  2. Why bother with code? Playing with, failing at, and learning

    how to code
  3. What is code?

  4. Code is…

  5. Code is… scary?

  6. Code is… scary? Code is… hard?

  7. Code is… scary? Code is… hard? Code is… worthwhile?

  8. Is code scary?

  9. 500 000+

  10. Major industries embracing tech

  11. Movie portrayals of code

  12. It’s reasonable to feel that code is scary

  13. Is code hard?

  14. Code is (literally) an unfamiliar language

  15. We try hard to learn, but walk away confused

  16. Even with practice, it can be difficult

  17. I struggle with
 code, too

  18. Is code worthwhile?

  19. Yes!

  20. Thinking technically is valuable

  21. We can solve our own problems

  22. We can work with better coders

  23. Knowing code enables us to work in a technical world

  24. None
  25. A history of code, play, and failure

  26. My own website Slow improvement

  27. None
  28. None
  29. None
  30. None
  31. None
  32. Work with/for others Always an imposter

  33. None
  34. None
  35. None
  36. None
  37. None
  38. None
  39. None
  40. Personal projects Fun failure

  41. None
  42. None
  43. None
  44. None
  45. None
  46. None
  47. None
  48. What is code, really?

  49. VS The Product The Process

  50. Process > Product

  51. What is code? A problem solving process

  52. What are some practical examples of code?

  53. Google search

  54. None
  55. None
  56. None
  57. Formatting text

  58. None
  59. None
  60. None
  61. None
  62. None
  63. =

  64. = <b>

  65. Building spreadsheets

  66. None
  67. None
  68. None
  69. None
  70. None
  71. None
  72. Who can code?

  73. None
  74. Only nerds, definitely.

  75. Only people gifted with awesome coding power, definitely.

  76. BAH.

  77. Anyone can code.

  78. Anyone can code.
 (If you can
 problem solve.)

  79. Anyone can code.
 This is a good thing.

  80. Why so many questions?

  81. None
  82. Socrates

  83. Socrates: Not just an old dead guy.

  84. Questions are key to learning to code.

  85. None
  86. Socrates died for your questions.

  87. How do we code?

  88. The Process

  89. 1. Research

  90. 1. Research 2. Explore

  91. 1. Research 2. Explore 3. Create

  92. The key is iteration.

  93. 1. Research

  94. 1. Research 2. Explore

  95. 1. Research 2. Explore 3. Create

  96. Iterate,
 Iterate,
 Iterate.

  97. Demo Research, explore, create (and fail!)

  98. Why bother with code?

  99. Code is scary and hard, but worthwhile

  100. Code through research, exploration, and creation

  101. Do it again and again

  102. Thanks!

  103. Thanks! Thanks! lucas@lucascherkewski.com @lchski