The Coding Game: How To Code?

KUALA LUMPUR:
At the start of 2012, a very unlikely New Year Resolution was introduced to my list: to learn how to code.

The interest to pick up some basic game coding skills came about when I became really excited by the news about Codeacademy’s initiative Code Year.

If I were to keep to my promise and fulfill the resolution, one year down the road, I could have been on my way to build my first app (application) by now.

This is how I am now in Codeacademy, an online platform where budding programmers interact, taking baby steps down the programming path.
 
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Why bother learning programming, you ask? For those not in the know, programmers and technical co-founders are currently in demand.

Not that I plan to pursue a career in the technology startup sector any time soon.

However, I do think that there is merit to consider picking up programming, similar to how one chooses to learn foreign languages such as Korean, Japanese, Spanish, French and the like.

If you are wondering which platforms are available to learn basic programming skills, there are plenty of them around – Codeacademy, Treehouse, Code School, Udemy, Coursera, etc.
 
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There is value to learn basic programming skills because while I convey my thoughts through words and text, similarly, programming language enables us to ‘create’ and project our ideas into something that people can interact with.

The most wonderful of all is that there is no lack of ideas – what we lack of is the environment for breakthrough ideas to thrive.

The internet provides a perfect environment and platform for cross-pollination of ideas.

At the same time, the internet is ideal for experimentation and validation of your ideas through the existing open-source platforms and projects.

In my recent trip to Silicon Valley in the United States, I had the opportunity to meet several brilliant startup founders and programmers.

The two co-founders of Bloc, Roshan Choxi and Dave Paola were among those that I had a chance to interact with.

Roshan and Dave envisioned rebooting education, currently working on filling in the gap that will empower individuals to learn programming in a more effective way: through a 12-week apprenticeship.

Bloc may not be the only startup working on online education but I am deeply impressed by the fact that they are working on providing solution to a persistent issue.
 
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If I have not convince you enough of why I think we should all consider to learn programming (at least the basics), check out what this brilliant 12-year-old has achieved by taking basic coding courses on Codeacademy and began building apps after two to three months.
 
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This is the kind of story that gets me going. I sincerely wish that he will keep at it and become a successful programmer one day.

To find out more about Bloc and the startup story of Roshan and Dave, catch “Life in the Valley: The Digital Gold Rush” on Saturday, October 5 at 9:30pm.

Writer’s Note: While the phenomenon where females are less likely to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics than their male counterpart persists, this episode also sets off to explore technology founders and programmers’ view on dating and how a few of the founders I met determined to solve online dating.