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Thread: For learning to code, is Codecademy and / or Khan Academy worth a shit?

  1. #1
    Pan_Sonic_000
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    For learning to code, is Codecademy and / or Khan Academy worth a shit?

    For reference:

    http://www.codecademy.com/
    https://www.khanacademy.org/

    I've dabbled with code in the past, primarily to teach myself generative art via the use of Processing. I picked it up pretty easily, though it's been a good minute since I last did anything with it.

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    Worth a shit?
    To/for whom?

    All value IS subjective, isn't it?

    Nowadays the term `coding' seems to cover a pretty broad range.
    Generative `art' seems a pretty small niche.

    I'd like to see more coding done in `the arts' ... to much of it is done by dweebs and dorks for PROFIT rather than aesthetics, personal use, or both.

  3. #3
    Utisz's Avatar
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    What programming languages are you thinking of learning and what's your motivation to learn programming?

    Hobby or professional?

    (I don't know about codecademy or Khan. :/)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Utisz View Post
    What programming languages are you thinking of learning and what's your motivation to learn programming?
    Fuck THIS noise!
    What outcomes and side-effects to you DESIRE and how foolishly willing or lazy are you to allow `programmers' to put the cart before the horse?

    Also ... how naive are you to allow `programming languages' to displace programming paradigms and algorithm-data_structure pairings as more-figural in your artistic processes?

    Warning! If you allow the `programming' dorks to use THEIR language they can and WILL displace all that is artistic and aesthetic with soul-sucking abstraction of which philistine math weenies and computer scientists are both capable and PRONE.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pan_Sonic_000 View Post
    For reference:

    http://www.codecademy.com/
    https://www.khanacademy.org/

    I've dabbled with code in the past, primarily to teach myself generative art via the use of Processing. I picked it up pretty easily, though it's been a good minute since I last did anything with it.
    No, they're not worth a shit. If you already have a basic understanding of programming and the ability to research and learn on your own, then you don't need to waste your time.

    This coming from someone who did a lot of both because he was bored at work, but was too on edge to get any serious work done.

  6. #6
    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notdavidlynch View Post
    No, they're not worth a shit. If you already have a basic understanding of programming and the ability to research and learn on your own, then you don't need to waste your time.
    Does it help you learn style in these basics? Seems like learning how to think in a new idiom (HAR) is worth slogging through a tutorial or two. I still do weenie beginner tutorials for music for the same reason.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuck View Post
    Does it help you learn style in these basics? Seems like learning how to think in a new idiom (HAR) is worth slogging through a tutorial or two. I still do weenie beginner tutorials for music for the same reason.
    There's nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn't use codeacademy for it (and definitely not Khan academy - they don't offer much anyway).

    Take a regular beginner tutorial, break it apart into dozens of chunks, make it hard to navigate back and forth, reference, or progress through the chunks, then make it even more repetitive, mindless and boring. You'd end up with a codeacademy lesson. Oh, and require that people create an account, login, etc just so you can track their "progress" and give them little badges.

    This kind of thing is designed for average people who don't learn too good, or people with a crippled sense of self-efficacy.

  8. #8
    Ciao for now jamesgold's Avatar
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    Code Academy is great for absolute beginners, but don't stay with it too long.

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    Utisz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gps View Post
    Fuck THIS noise!
    What outcomes and side-effects to you DESIRE and how foolishly willing or lazy are you to allow `programmers' to put the cart before the horse?

    Also ... how naive are you to allow `programming languages' to displace programming paradigms and algorithm-data_structure pairings as more-figural in your artistic processes?

    Warning! If you allow the `programming' dorks to use THEIR language they can and WILL displace all that is artistic and aesthetic with soul-sucking abstraction of which philistine math weenies and computer scientists are both capable and PRONE.
    I'm not really sure that I understand most of your post, except that you're endorsing learning programming paradigms and algorithms/data structures before programming languages.

    I think that both have to be learned side-by-side.

    I think the basics of programming are best thought through a mix of practical code exercises and teaching abstractions. For example, to learn the basics of loops or recursion, using loops or recursion in some code exercises seems to be the best way to reinforce that. Learn by doing. Then you can begin to abstract cases in which one is preferable over the other for yourself before being explicitly taught some patterns.

    For code exercises, you need to learn the syntax and libraries of a given programming language for them to actually run. It's probably best to stick to one language to start with, which will probably mean sticking with one "paradigm" (imperative/object-oriented, declarative/functional/logic, ...). But the best way to teach a paradigm is to teach a programming language that uses it.



    In any case, why a person wants to learn programming is equally important under the basic assumption that their time is a finite resource. For example, there are higher priorities for someone who wants to do Web design and build Web applications than learning Prolog or Brainfuck. Yes, ideally every programmer would have some experience of a broad mix of programming languages and paradigms, and would be able to program a Turing machine to do the job, but these things have an opportunity cost.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utisz View Post
    I'm not really sure that I understand most of your post, except that you're ...
    I was eschewing the whole mentality which your text exemplified.
    Many artists are PROCESS oriented in a way which both INCLUDES and even REQUIRES their participation in the CREATION of not only visible/artistic side-effects but necessary emotional rewards which keep their PERSONAL, CREATIVE processes going and flowing.

    My mention of data-structure algorithm PAIRINGS was a pot shot at the dumb-ass Western propensity to separate and compartmentalize in ways, say, Australian Aborigines typically do NOT.
    I recall a test administered in which these dumb ass testers were expecting the Aborigines under test to respond as STUPIDLY as the testers.
    Rather than group utensils together in one group and foods together in another group, those tested grouped the utensils used with the foods best used-with.

    I saw the same dumb-ass behavior in my computer science classes in college: one class on algorithms, another SEPARATE class on data structures ... and DUMB-ASS Niklaus Wirth expressed this dumb-ass artificial separation via the title and thesis found in his book "Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs"
    WRONG!!!!
    The Lisp camp KNOWS that data and algorithms are two manifestations of THE SAME THING.

    When computer science dorks MISrepresent the suchness available through digital processors they impose their fucked up framework via their natural language explanations AND their ideology-impregnated programming/scripting languages.

    Many `artists' experience both LIFE and their artistic processes as a Gestalt ... a holistic whole.
    This world view is antithetical with the compartmentalized categorical discrimination pervading the formal sciences and those who malpractice them.

    I `get' vector graphics and how they might be used via `line art', calligraphy, and drafting.
    How would I apply vector graphics toward generating water color paintings ... as if a priori there were some correspondence ... or some way a water color painter COULD use vector graphics to further the artistic processes involved in producing water color paintings?
    Because I'm NOT a dorky computer scientist I simply would NOT.

    What I notice most when interacting with mathematicians and computer scientists, as so-called `formal' scientists', is the HUGE emphasis on left-hemisphere, right-handed SEQUENCE-ORIENTED `thinking' which is antithetical with right-hemisphere, left-handed, left-sighting eye ALL-of-a-WHOLE processing which may not even qualify as `thinking' or `cognition'.

    I was `switched' from left-handed to right-handed as a kid ... but not from left-eye to right-eye; I still sight guns and cameras with my left eye.
    I notice a HUGE difference between the way I operate and how those with dominant brain-hemispheric processes operate: Way-to-sequential or way to airy-fairy/flaky/artistic.
    I've written -- as one member here has characterized it -- `damned good code' as well as won kudos for poetry and sculpture.
    In BOTH cases my corpus collosum gets a work out sending signals and patterns back and forth between hemispheres.

    In ALL the programming and firmware engineering gigs I've had ALL of the `programmers' have been INTx ... without exception.
    The INTJ and INTP 5w6 types BORE THE ASS OFF of ME ... as well as operationally constrain my artistic expressiveness with early-binding languages and asinine notions that assert that data structures and algorithms ARE two different beasts.

    I don't want such DORKS manifesting their dorkiness with/upon right-hemisphere-dominant `real artists' any more than I appreciated their dorky influence on ME when I worked among them professionally.

    For starters I'd recommend that EVERY `real' artist ONLY consider DYNAMIC programming languages which can implement multiple paradigms.
    The dumb-ass Object-Orientation `fashion' still has academic comp sci in it's grips .... *yawn*.
    Fuck Java and c++. Fuck 'em BOTH!!!
    Would I want objectification migrated across `artistic' genres ... as if comp sci WERE `an art'?
    Fuck NO!!!

    Keep the fire walls UP!
    Do NOT let objectification manifested by philistines POLLUTE `the arts' ... other than (post)industrial arts manifested by philistines FOR philistines.

    So, yeah, I've functioned as a programmer/scripter.
    Though in THIS thread I've functioned as artsy snob and CRITIC acting on behalf of `artists' and `the arts'.
    Keep your fucking paint-by-number comp sci bullshit on the `formal sciences' side of the fence, if you please.

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