Since the dawn of computers, learning how to code has become one of the most lucrative job profiles. We can call them geeks or nerds or whatever but it is an undeniable fact that people who know the art of coding are currently foremost in blue collar jobs or entrepreneurship. Technology Companies are at the helm of all the major revolutions happening, be it mobile phone, green revolutions (see Google’s Initiatives) or providing internet to the whole world hence making knowledge more accessible. Behind all this is some person furiously making code that works.
Even if we ignore the bigger impacts, anyone using the computer for a substantial amount of time has at least once felt the need to create an app for himself catering to his or her particular needs. The only problem is the learning curve that inhibits a person from pursuing the challenge.
As it so happens, coding which was once a daunting task, has become surprisingly easy in two respects.
- Internet provides tremendously useful material and platforms.
Today, I would like to talk about “Codelearn”. This is a site that aims to teach its users ‘Ruby’ without the hassles of understanding the environment to create for software to learn or create a program.
The concept of Codelearn is that the two major bottlenecks in a new person trying coding are-
- The hassles of installing the language compiler or interpreter and other required softwares.
- The time lapse in learning and making the software.
In fact, second might be the single biggest pothole in the road to becoming a programmer. It becomes very cumbersome to not been able to see any substantial effect in small amount of time. This is like any other art, be it music or even a foreign language. If one cannot practically use it one gets disappointed.
Codelearn tackles the first by creating the whole environment on Web. Thus, all a person has to do is join them and they can start programming. No hassles. The second problem is tackled in a unique way. Instead of teaching the theory, the user is pushed into making his first app. This means that when you are done with your first tutorial you have an app in your hand. The satisfaction alone of this will make a person go forward.
With a clean and pleasing interface, Codelearn does take a bit of fear out of coding. On the left are the various modules that are supposed to be learnt and then there is the Codelearn Playground. It is here that all the action takes place. This console is a blank space where a person is going to type his code and see the output.
The tutorial teaches step by step procedure which is implemented to see the desired output. The output is also given along so that a user can cross check.
Technically, Codelearn is aiming to teach Ruby on Rails. ‘Rails’ is a web framework developed in Ruby, so we can say that the computer language at work here is Ruby. But Codelearn makes it very clear that it is not mandatory for user to have any prior knowledge of Ruby to take the course.
Codelearn is a great place to start for someone who is new to programming. The approach is not just simplistic but also useful. It is even useful in some respect for a seasoned programmer who wants to just try out Rails.
Codelearn is not the only one who are offering similar “online IDE” based solutions. There is well know global site, codecademy, there is another India based site called programr, who offer range of languages (including Android, iOS development as well) that can be learned online.
What I like about Codelearn is their approach, in the way they allow users to learn the language. They handhold you every step of the way, and push you gently to complete an app, which ensures that the learner achieves something at the end of the course. Their “make an app approach” probably differentiates them from the rest.
Anyone interested in programming, especially Ruby, should definitely give it a try.