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Why I'm learning to code - Beginning my coding adventure

I am a retired educator.

Just at the start of the Covid Lock Down here in New York State, my feet started to go numb. Long story short, I now have numbness from my toes to my hips in both legs.

What the heck does that have to do with coding, you ask? Well, prior to this neurological problem I was an avid weaver and seamstress. However, my studio is upstairs, and I can’t climb stairs now. Our house is too small to move my studio downstairs so I was depressed and bored. After moping around for a few months, I saw something on TV about an app that teaches kids learn to code. I thought that might be fun to try.

I started with Swift Playgrounds, the app where you guide a little character around a scene and have him pick up gems and toggle switches. I learned about variables and constants and functions. However, I kept thinking, “Ok, when I type Character.move the character moves forward, but what’s in the move function that tells him to move? How did they write that code?”
I finished all the lessons and challenges and never found out.

That’s when I found the free books on the Apple Developer website. I started with Swift IOS Fundamentals. The lessons were pretty good, but often confusing. For example I would type the exact code shown in the book and get an error. There was not enough explanation in the book to help you figure our your mistake. While searching for an answer to a problem, I came across CodeWithChris. I watched one of Chris’ lessons and was blown away.

Those of you who are not educators may not realize what a great teacher Chris is. Hs delivery is slow enough to let you replicate what he’s doing. His voice and delivery are encouraging; they make you feel liken you can really accomplish making an app. Finally, his explanations are so clear. You not only learn what the correct code is, but why it needs to be uses. The “why” is what I found missing from a lot of the previous lessons.

So far I am really enjoying my coding adventure. I have completed the War Card Game
App, and I have a GitHub account. I am working on the lessons for the Recipe App, which is helping me develop and app for weavers to track their weaving projects. Of course, there are still frustrations with vague error messages, but the Community is wonderful.

So all in all, things are great. My brain is occupied again, and I don’t have time to mope!

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