Web Design Training Update

We have updated the Web Design Training to include a Web App based on the Who’s With Me? Scratch project. The purpose of this project is to provide a political quiz for voters to get to know the down-ticket candidates on the issues and who agrees with them most.

You will notice that when you go to our GitHub repository there is not much there.  While I may contribute some ideas for it, I would like to see what ideas you may have for it and how you would implement those ideas. Are you up to the challenge? Who’s With Me?

Not So Fast Luddites. You Can Put the Robot Smashing Hammer Down Now.

While I would recommend reading Player Piano and learning to code, the economic effects of automation may be over-estimated by science-fiction writers and fans of the new automated menu at McDonalds. Libertarian blogger Garry Reed suggests we consider all the possibilities and reminds us that the future has not been written. Whether or not it will be automated, the future will be written by you.

What the Heck is Coders for Liberty Again?

While I have gotten off course a bit with my armchair political strategy diatribes, the main purpose of this site is to promote coding education and outreach. While our training may appear to be mostly just a portal to other coding education resources, we also provide some entry level projects for beginner coders to contribute to.

While some seem to be kid stuff, such as our Scratch projects and Minecraft Burning Man, learning how to program on Scratch and Minecraft are valuable skills for coders interested in our long range goal of community outreach and forming coding clubs.

While I would recommend that people who are learning coding because they want a coding job to skip to level 6 and go directly to FreeCodeCamp, the Khan Academy website does offer a nice collaborative environment to both learn from others and help others learn. Thus we included it our training and created an animated meme project on GitHub as a capstone project for level 4.

Although it is (currently) at the end of the training, our Android App may be the easiest project to contribute to. You don’t even need to download Android Studio. You could just fork it on Github and edit the files from the Github website. Add arguments to the string resource page and then add your strings to the array on the Main Activity java file.

While it is easy to get lost in the syntax when learning coding, the most important skill when learning to code is teamwork and collaboration.  The training path suggested on our training page was developed with collaboration in mind.

As you learn, it is also important to apply your skills to some kind of project to reinforce and retain that knowledge and develop problem solving skills. Even if you do not contribute to our projects, be sure to find a creative outlet to apply your skills to and enjoy your coding adventure.

The Foos Leaving the Fire

We have previously recommended the Amazon Fire tablet for young coders. However, the best coding game for the Fire tablet, The Foos, will no longer be available for the Fire tablet and will no longer be free. CodeSpark is developing CodeSpark Academy to build on and replace The Foos that will be available on Android, iOS, but will not be on the Amazon App Store. While there are still other coding games at the Amazon App Store such as Scratch Jr., Run Macro, and LightBot, The Foos was my personal favorite.

Sadly, this is one of the issues you run into with proprietary software. You cannot always use the software you want on the hardware you want to run it on. Sometimes, even software that already runs on the hardware you want to run it on will no longer work on the hardware. Richard Stallman would not endorse either The Foos or Amazon Fire.