Overview

Just as there are numerous languages for humans, computers also have a set language that tells them what functions to perform or how web pages should look. This language is called coding. If a person not trained in coding looks at this language, they wouldn’t know what it means or what it is meant to do. However, a computer programmer is proficient in coding language and can quickly understand the code, what it is telling the computer to do, and where there may be issues within it. Coding can be used to create anything from computer programs to video games and is an exciting skill to delve into.

 

Getting Started

HMTL, CSS, and JavaScript are coding languages mostly used on websites. Each language allows you to create visually appealing, easy to use, and interactive websites.

 

HTML & CSS

One Stanford University lesson states that HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is used to create simple things like fonts, colors, graphics, and hyperlinks. While this is not a computer language, it is a set of “tags” that are placed around an image or text. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and is used to create the presentation of a website, as in fitting content to different sized screens and printers.

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JavaScript/JQuery

JavaScript is used when you place interactive elements into a web page, such as a video or game. Using JavaScript allows visitors to interact on your website without dealing with constant downloads of videos from your website.JavaScript is also used to make polls. JQuery is also JavaScript, but simpler to use. The official JQuery website states that it makes working with the interactive elements within an HTML document much easier and adaptable to various types of browsers.

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Getting More Advanced

Once you have mastered the basics of coding language, there is a large array of more complex coding to take your program, website, or game to a new level. Some programs are completely free to download, re-work, and use.

 

PHP

The Mathematical Association of America explains that PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor and is a general purpose coding language. PHP works like JavaScript but is easier to input and maintain. It is used to add basic interactivity to your web page and is usually for the web server-side of development, such as scripting and applications. You will not need to provide headers or other control codes, and it can be written in a single line.

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Python

According to Wikipedia, Python’s language is easy to use and is ideal for prototype development and other simple tasks. It is similar to Ruby. However, it is not as complex when it comes to its coding. Python’s coding is very matter-of-fact and is probably the easiest to learn. Python can be used with any operating system, such as MAC OS X, Windows, or Linux. It has a large standard library of code that supports common tasks such as connecting to web servers or reading and modifying files. Python is used for testing microchips at Intel, powering Instagram, and making games with PyGame.

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Ruby

Ruby was created by blending the coding languages of several programs to make a new language to balance functional programming with imperative programming, according to the Official Ruby Website. It is object-oriented, which is based on objects instead of functions and procedures. Ruby has a flexible coding language where you can remove or edit parts of Ruby without causing issues. It can be more challenging to learn as the coding language can be manipulated easily. It is also a completely free program to use. Ruby is best used for creating web applications.

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C/C++

C is a high-level programming language that was created in the 1970s. Originally, it was used for Unix programs but can now be used on various platforms. C++ coding language was built from C language. Both syntaxes are almost identical. However, C++ has object-oriented features to it which make it easier to use. Most software programs are written in C++.

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Additional Resources for Kids

It is never too early to begin learning how to code!

 

Additional Resources for Teens and Young Adults

Code Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Computer Programming and Web Development