Ever wonder what writing, debugging & running a computer program is like? You know that those pesky computers are everywhere with many more coming. Most of us just use the apps that are on our smartphone or tablet — plus a spreadsheet or two. Most of us are users, not makers. Computers are really just things that we use — well, like a washing machine, or TV. Do we really know how it really works? Do we care?
We drive a car, but can you explain to your kids how the 4 cycle gasoline engine works? How about the gearbox (any stick-shifters still out there?) Do you care? and more importantly, would your kids even listen to your explanation? As long as “it” works. That’s enough.
However, those apps, machines, etc. have to be built by someone (probably by a team of folks). AND, maybe that building activity might be something you or your kids might end up being good at and choose as a career. (Almost unlimited opportunities — the technical revolution is moving pretty fast, with no end in sight).
Every computer has its own so-called “machine language”, albeit much simpler than a spoken one. However, using the machine language is so tedious that for most applications not practicable. That’s why we use a higher level language (there are “jillions” of them). But understand: whatever language we use must be translated into each computer’s own. Fortunately, the work has been done for almost all of the existing computers and languages — and works very well, often invisibly.
Back to the programming activity. Is it tedious? Sure can be. Geeky? Maybe. Creative? Yes, Satisfying? Definitely. When your program finally works, the feeling can be magical. (The best part for me, is that the computer can’t be influenced by how cool, smart, good-looking, or how wealthy you are. Knowing that you did it all your self is a great feeling.
My courses will be a bit different from what you find on the internet. I want you to experience the wonder and fascination of getting this computer thingie to do your bidding. If you’ve never programmed one, you will be unprepared for its total stupidity, and how precise your instructions have to be. No matter, think of it all as an adventure into a technical world that is very important now and will be even more so in the future.
Plus, you’ll get an added benefit. Learning how to do all of this will increase your problem-solving skills. Solving problems, fixing them when they “don’t quite work”, and developing clear concise solutions will start to become second nature.
Give it a shot. Click on the “Courses” tab and have at it. You’ll enjoy the ride.