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code2Following on from my last blog post “How you can begin to Code“, by now you should have been getting to grips with a good level of basic coding using games to help you learn to code.

So where do you go from here? Most of the initial links I listed used a scratch type of game to help you learn, but how can you transition over to another language such as Python.

At a STEM event I met up with the author of a programme called “edublocks” and got chatting to their team. I was impressed by this application and its capabilities that allow you to move from Scratch to Python easily using a block method similar to scratch.  This helps with the Python Syntax by presenting it as a set of drag and drop blocks.

edublocks can be found at edublocks.org and allaboutcode.co.uk

This makes the transition from Scratch to Python easier to understand and opens up the opportunity to start coding in Python quicker than using the standard Python language. This is achieved by dragging blocks from the Toolbar to the workspace to create the code. You can look at the code behind the blocks to see what the real Python code is and then run the code to see the project you have created.

You can follow the latest developments on the edublocks/allaboutcode twitter feeds:

If you want to continue to learn using the gaming method then CodeCombat will present you with a next set of challenges, coding you way through various levels of dungeons using Python, JavaScript, CoffeeScript or Lua (Game Scripting Language). Choosing a hero and coding them through various scenarios and engaging with several monsters on the way.

Learning to code doesn’t have to be entirely game based. You can work through various online courses and videos that also have the benefit of forums an tutor help. Coursera run several courses from basic Python to using Python for Data Science:

https://www.coursera.org/courses?languages=en&query=python

The main thing to remember is that your not alone in trying to learn a language. There are lots of great places for help and reference available. If your stuck then there is always your favorite search engine. Entering in an error code or syntax question, should point you to an answer through the online manuals, or someone having that issue or requirement before.

One good source of information to book mark is “Stack Overflow” which is a site where programmers ask questions and help each other out. It contains a great search engine, so always remember to search a question before you ask one.

Keep practicing and coding. Set yourself simple challenges to code and then move to more complex challenges. The more you code, the more you learn.

 

 

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