Learning to Code

I’m teaching a coding course this autumn, and looking for materials to help explain to non-coders that whilst programming can be magical, it really isn’t magic.

I’ve chosen Ruby on Rails for the course because I want people to win at getting something working and fast.   One of the great resources I’ve found is “the Bastards Book of Ruby” http://ruby.bastardsbook.com/about/, whose “about” section I’d encourage every aspiring non-programmer to read.  Especially this quote: “if you had spent that hour just copying-and-pasting, dragging, clicking, redoing the times that you didn’t properly drag-and-click, you’ve only gotten better at…just copying-and-pasting.

Coding isn’t magic. Most of data science isn’t magic. But they do both need practice and determination to become natural to you.  Not everyone needs their code or science to be magical; if you don’t, then an hour or a day’s training will set you on your way. But if you do, put in the time and do as much practice as you can: it’s worth it.