So its a rainy Monday morning in London, I am half-way through a caffeinated cup of java, and it made me think: “Whats all this JavaScript and coding all about?

As I get more and more engrossed into the gaming industry, I think about the grass roots of it. So I decided to have a go at writing basic script.

I, like I’m sure some of you reading, will have had a look at JavaScript. Its basic ‘DOS’ style type, its semi colons, commas and numbers can be extremely confusing and overwhelming for first timers… especially in this ever polished and packaged industry where finding a tool to help could prove impossible or confusing; how will I even fathom an ‘Array’ to a ‘Boolean’?

Well I really didn’t have to look very far. I searched ‘help write code’ into Google and it came back with a site called ‘Code Academy’ (, a slick and simply designed site which teaches you the basics of JavaScript, HTML CSS, PHP, Python and much more while building projects as you work through it.

Once on the main page of the site you choose a learning language, it then displays 3 options in panels; ‘build your own galaxy’, ‘animate your name’ and ‘about you, build your own website’ all under the title; Learn to code while building a project. I dubiously selected the ‘animate your name’ option. You are then ‘enrolled’ on the particular course and it gives you an estimated time of completion; this course being 30 minutes, so I immediately thought sweet, a lot less time than I thought, that’s always a good start.

Basically, you have 3 windows: on the left there is a box, which explains step by step what you need to input and explanations of what it means, the middle box is the JavaScript input module and on the right is a preview window. All you have to do is follow the instructions from the left panel.  You are following them in 15 steps, in each step you are taking in information, which you are tested in future steps to acknowledge your understanding at the same time as being given reward badges as you progress. In this course you learn that, for example ‘A string can contain letters, numbers, spaces, and symbols. Strings are surrounded with quotes‘ all the way to ‘Then you connected those concepts together with variables, arrays, and an if/else statement to wire a program that animates your name‘. It really makes things simple, with its easy to understand language and simple explanations, within 15 steps, I created an animation, one that moves and bends when you roll your mouse over it!

I suppose, what I have learnt today is that, unlike my misconception, code can be relatively straight forward. Its like doing maths in a way. As long as you remember what the script needs you to input and where, you’ll be coding before you know it and with the help of sites like this one, code can be rather exciting to learn. There is so much more on the site, (which I will be experimenting with in the coming days). It lives up to its goals of teaching code and is like being enrolled into a real academy with a virtual teacher guiding you every step of the way.  Give it a try, you will be surprised with what you can produce!

Gary Mee

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