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Coding 101 – Building a website in a day

21 March 2016 | About a 3 minute read
Tags: Academy, Coding 101, software development


At AND Digital, one of our core values is learning. Our ANDacademy is entirely focused on upskilling both our own people and our clients. There’s a real culture of knowledge sharing within the company, in fact, it’s even one of our bonus missions this quarter!

A little while ago, our Academy Lead, Lisa, approached Brian, Miguel and I as Product Developers, and asked us to plan, deliver and run a new course for our people – Coding 101. The aim of this course was to give some of our colleagues in non-technical roles an insight into what we do day to day, and to have a bit of fun while learning.

We decided we’d split the content into three sections: Brian would cover some historical context  and theory behind what the group would be learning, I would introduce coding in HTML and CSS, and Miguel would take on an introduction to logic in JavaScript. Over the following weeks, the four of us worked together to devise a plan for the day, a course outline and the content for each of our sections.

Last month we delivered the very first Coding 101 to a group of our colleagues as a pilot session. It was a whole-day session, with the goal of having each person create a simple website by the end of the day. We were pleased to say the feedback from the group deemed it a real success!

 

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We use the process of making sandwiches to explain if statements and loops!

Brian kicked off the day with a run through of the history of computing, from the abacus, right through Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing and all the way up to the modern computing we use today. He then introduced the concept of programming and markup languages, which led onto the next part of the course – writing some code!

I had wanted to help the group members build their own website, so in true cheesy children’s TV show style, I pulled up one I had made earlier. Using  codepen.io I then took everyone step-by-step from their very first <html> tags right up to building their own webpage. We then gave people free rein to make their pages their own, adding new elements, changing colours, and personalising whatever they wanted.

Lastly, in Miguel’s section he introduced some JavaScript to the attendees, with everyone working through coding problems together and discussing solutions. This section focused primarily on helping everyone get their heads around the logic of programming and how to think more like a computer.

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Our new developers get cracking!

Throughout the  day we included some fun activities, games and challenges to encourage engagement and to bring learning through related activities; we tried to make the games as creative and innovative as possible, and they went down a treat right after lunch!

The aim of the day was not to try and turn our colleagues into coding converts, but to give them an overview of what it is a developer does, let them put themselves in our shoes, plus have some fun with it!

This was just the pilot of Coding 101, and is just one of the courses the ANDacademy offers. There is a real emphasis to keep everyone learning, and for me, was one of the main reasons I took this role as a Product Developer within AND Digital. Learning is so important, especially in an ever changing environment like technology, so it’s great to work in a company that not only acknowledges this, but actively embraces and encourages it.

Want to know more about the courses we offer? Check out our Academy page .

 

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