Give coding a go for Computer Science Week!

Hello Processing! are encouraging complete beginners to start coding with a free hour-long tutorial, as part of Computer Science Education Week.

Our guest blogger Sammy Maine dived in head-first, and she reports back on how she got on.

Hi, I’m Sammy Maine. I write for a design website focusing on inspiration, tips and tutorials for established designers, as well as those simply interested in the world of graphic design.

I work with a team of coders, and seeing the difference coding can make to the website itself is often unfathomable. In the current working environment, I think it’s extremely important to ‘move with the times’ and gain as much experience of noteworthy and sought-after skills as possible. I say this not just because it will improve your personal CV, but because (especilly working on a website as I do) it will allow you to better understand what goes on behind-the-scenes and then be able to contribute to group discussions.  

I was never a whizz with computers at school, so the thought of blindly approaching coding does fill me with dread. This week marks this year’s ‘Computer Science Education Week’, which encourages people with no experience of coding whatsoever (such as myself) to take-part in a free, hour long tutorial to learn some of the basics.

Processing is a programming language, development environment, and online community initially set up to promote software literacy within the visual arts, and visual literacy within technology. It’s a free and accessible program designed to help people learn to program, and today there are tens of thousands of students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists who use Processing for learning, prototyping, production and fun.

Landing on the Hello Processing! website, the tutorial begins almost immediately, and you’re faced with an excited teacher giving you the low-down on what you’ll be learning in the next hour. Over the course of 60 minutes I learned how to draw shapes, how to colour shapes, how to move shapes and how to use the mouse to initiate interaction with the images I had created, all by simply typing in a few simple lines of code.

It was a really simple process, with the introductory video to each section proving easy to follow and often entertaining. The teacher was clear and thorough and I found it really easy to complete each task that he asked of me. The tasks will take you an hour if you use his example coding text but if – like me – you’d like to experiment a little on your own, be prepared to be sucked in for a little longer.

I’d really recommend this tutorial if you’ve never had any experience with coding before. It’s suitable for any age and your coding is even saved afterwards, so you can go back and continue to experiment. For those that might find working with code a little pedantic, this hour-long tutorial moves quickly and kept me interested throughout. Hopefully I’ll be a coding wizard before I know it!

Try the Hello Processing! tutorial

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