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Why I like coding? by Anita Bandhakavi, GA

What is coding?

There are many different types of coding. Binary, hacking, and web development are just a few types. The type of coding I do is web development. Web development is the code used to make websites. The most common language is JavaScript paired with HTML and CSS. HTML is the first language. It provides the basic structure such as buttons, text, and containers called div’s. CSS is used to style. CSS can style color, size, position, images, and more. Then JavaScript is used to make the website more interactive. With these 3 elements a lot can happen.

How did it start?

I was 10 years old and I wanted to learn how to hack websites. Movies feature kids hacking into enemy servers to stop a bomb from erupting or hacking into a game to change the dynamics. I thought this was so cool! So the next time I went to Barnes & Noble, I demanded my dad get me a book on JavaScript, one of the 2 languages I knew existed. My dad showed some skepticism because most “hobbies” my brother or I had lasted 2 weeks, but coding stuck for me. At first, I wasn’t very consistent with the code because it was hard and I couldn’t do anything cool yet. Eventually I got to the HTML section of the book. I didn’t think the book explained it well, so the next time my dad, brother, and I went to the bookstore I returned home with an HTML book in my hands. The book was very descriptive and taught me more than I could imagine. Soon I was changing the color of a button when you hovered over it and creating scroll-through websites, and even though I wasn’t hacking into websites for philanthropic purposes, I was pretty happy with my new hobby.

My only formal tutoring

I am mainly a self-taught coder. I buy books and watch youtube videos to learn. I did get some 1 on 1 tutoring classes during one summer. My dad decided to get me some classes and I was ecstatic. At first, I loved the classes. The tutor used a website called CodeHS and I was learning very quickly. He would make a slideshow about the topic I was covering and I would complete tests to prove I knew the topic. When I completed the HTML, we moved to JavaScript. I didn’t know much JavaScript, but I did know that it didn’t include making a dog move on a grid. I wasn’t learning any real JavaScript and I was getting upset, but I didn’t want to confront him so I stayed quiet. The last section was Python. I thought maybe this would be a good course. But the only concept they taught was the python turtle, a program for drawing. The course didn’t always teach real concepts for turtles. Sometimes it just made up concepts that didn’t exist. Finally, I decided to discontinue the classes. This was a huge experience because I learned I could teach myself better than a tutor with qualifications. I could prove to everyone that you don’t need experienced tutors to help you. I became extremely motivated to learn, to prove to everyone I could accomplish.

To sum it up

Some days I want to give up. My brain tells me that I will never be good enough. There are a million people better than me. Why bother? Yet, no matter what, within a half-hour of those negative thoughts, I am coding something. The code is embedded within my heart and brain. Every free morning I have, I code. Every daydream I have is partly about code. Writers get writer's block, I get coder's block. I want to learn more and more every day, and in my heart, I know one day I will do something great for the world. One day I will accomplish something great!

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