(updated for 2018)

Question: What’s the best way to begin learning computer programming?

There are a plethora of resources out there online to learn computer programming… The question we get quite often here at the DAE in Westchester County is: “Where do I start?”

First of all, we LOVE code.org. It’s a great place to start. In fact, that’s where we typically begin! The Hour of Code is a great way to learn the basics of programming without having to learn all the complicated “jargon.” (Read the blog of my first hour of code HERE.) With these simple to follow interactive puzzles you’ll begin to understand the fundamental principles behind coding:

  1. Events: trigger the code to run based on user interaction
  2. Loops: Repeat forever, a specific amount of times or until a goal is reached
  3. Conditionals: using true and false to make decisions
  4. Variables: manipulating data by storing it in a category you define

Games like Code Combat are a great way to get your feet wet with some of the new language. Then, you can begin programming small things like calculators and games in Python or Java, using sites like KhanAcademy or Codecademy. Check out this AWESOME BLOG comparing all the different e-learning websites that offer an introduction to programming.

How did you or your child begin learning how to code? Let us know in the comments.

Learn more about STEAM classes, camps & workshops at thedae.com.