Thoughts and Tips about Programming
Episode #9 of the course Coding сoncepts with Scratch by Alan Cohen
The past eight lessons introduced you to many different coding concepts. When I began to learn to code, it seemed like a lot of information. It took time and practice, but soon, I began to feel comfortable.I learned to not get nervous but to take small steps: code simple programs that I could fix when the program didn’t do what I wanted it to do. As I gained confidence, I began to code longer and more complex programs.
Plan, Then Code
When I was a beginner, I started to enter code right away. I learned, however, it was best to plan first and then code. As we did in one lesson, start by writing a list of steps in plain English that explains how to code your program. When you list the steps you need to do, you make fewer errors, and when you review your list of steps, you find errors before you code.
Break Your Code into Small Parts and Test
When you need to code a program that performs many tasks, code the first task and test it. If the program does not do what you want it to do, it is easier to fix because you only have to focus on that single task. Next, add the second task and test. If the program does not do what you want it to do, you only need to focus on that task. Continue this method until all tasks are coded and working.
Play and Make Mistakes
The best way to learn how to code is to play. No matter what you do, you cannot do any harm. The worst that will happen is that the program will not do what you want it to do. My first programming professor told me that computers do what you tell them to do, not what you want them to do.
Play and make mistakes. Take the programs from this course and change them. If you make a mistake, if the program does not do what you expect it to do, see where the mistake is, think about it, and make the necessary changes.
Learning to Code Takes Time
It’s natural to want to learn quickly, especially when you are excited about what you’re learning. Like anything worth learning, however, it takes time. You don’t become a rockstar musician or a five-star chef quickly. The same is true with coding. Don’t become discouraged. Click the Help button on the Scratch site to get help. Take your time and have fun.
Recommended video course
Code Yourself! An Introduction to Programming on Coursera
Learn to Program with Scratch by Majed Marji
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