Girl programming and basic programming tutorials

girls can code

Coding (programming) is absorbing and potentially lucrative. Coders always get jobs, sometimes in the game industry (awesome), and there’s a welcome increase of women in the field. Take your first steps towards becoming a programmer…

Do you ever get mad at wilfully ignorant folk who say that girls aren’t good at doing stuff with computers? If you read this article carefully and follow the magnificent guidelines:

  • You’ll be able to create funky name generators, games, programmes that will arrange your computer folders, programmes that will help you with your homework…
  • You’ll feel much more confident in IT and Maths classes
  • You’ll meet lots of nice, intelligent people
  • You’ll understand how computers work
  • You’ll have fun doing something productive

Sounds good. So… What’s programming?

Programming is basically a way of telling your computer what to do. Imagine that you speak one language and your computer speaks another language. You don’t understand your computer’s language (unless you’re a freak who dreams in binary) and your computer doesn’t understand your language. But there’s a language that both you and your computer can understand, and it’s called a programming language. There are lots of programming languages (they were made for different purposes); some of them are extremely hardcore and complex while others are relatively simple. I started programming in pascal and now I’m using python. However, I think that python can make a nice first programming language. Programming languages are made of words and signs and before you start programming you will have to learn the grammar (syntax).

Okay, now you know what programming is. Yay! You’ll probably have to read some more material to get familiar with certain geeky terminology (go to the library and explore the computer science department or search the internet for geek-friendly sites like www.howtogeek.com/ ) but that depends on your current tech knowledge.

How to gain your code monkey skills:

1. Try to find a nearby programming course (schools, libraries or universities usually offer such courses)

2. Use online tutorials (The official site of your chosen programming language should have some good tutorials… And, of course, Google is your friend.)

3. Download the programming language you’re going to use if it’s not already installed on your computer.

4. Practice! All those beginner exercises might seem boring but you must master the basics first.

And before you toddle off and start coding, here are some DOs and DON’Ts for the aspiring programmer.

Geek/programming – Do

– Ask your schoolmates if they can code. Real people can explain things better than online tutorials.

– Talk to your friends about your newly-discovered passion. They might like to try it too.

– Read tech mags. I know, it sounds terrible but geek mags usually contain heaps of geek humour. And that’s just amazing.

– Join online geek/tech forums. Getting in touch with other programming people is always a good thing.

Geek/programming – Don’t

– Give up just because a programme you’ve written doesn’t work.

– Show off in front of geeks after you’ve been programming for a week.

– Be scared of computers. You know, computers like smart people like you!

So, that’s it. If you don’t have problems with logical thinking and creative ideas, you’ll do just fine. And even if you don’t become an ubergeek, you’ll have a very useful (often quite impressive) and potentially lucrative skill. Now head out into the horizon and geek out!

Geek programming links

Geek online humour (geek online cartoons officially rawk)

  • http://xkcd.com/ – Beats everything else pretty much hands-down. A webcomic of romance,sarcasm, math, and language.
  • www.computerjokes.net/ – Geek humour site
  • www.twolumps.net/ – Okay, it’s not about computers but my guy geek friends just love it! And it’s about cats!
  • www.penny-arcade.com – Equal parts comics and commentary, Penny Arcade features the lovely Tycho and Gabe

Getting the geek tag is the easy bit. Now learn to code.

Jade Raymond moved from games programming to producing XBox 360 ubergame Assassin’s Creed. She is worshipped on 5 continents.


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