What is Coding?

Have you ever wondered why you can text your friends from your phone or search the web from your computer? Do you ponder what brings video games to life or how you can do so much with a device that fits in the palm of your hand? 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re on the brink of jumping computer-first into the incredible world of coding.

But what is coding?

In simplest terms, it’s what makes software possible.

Creating Software Through Coding

You’ve probably heard the word “software” thrown around in computer classes or in technology stores. Software is the framework that tells technology what to do, whether that’s sending a text message to your friend, ordering a pizza through an app, or even flying an airplane. But what tells the software what to do and how to do it? That’s the art of programming, AKA coding.

Coding is the backbone of all software, from flinging furious birds on your phone to launching a spacecraft. The coolest part? Anyone can learn to code

Read on to find out just how coding works, what type of languages there are, and how to get started on your own coding adventure.

Coding Sounds Hard. Can Anyone Learn?

The short answer: yes! Anyone who wants to learn how to code, can. You just need the right resources, some free time, and a dash of patience. 

Exploring code can be an incredibly fun challenge that opens up almost infinite possibilities for creativity and problem-solving. All you need to do to start learning is:

  • Establish a basic understanding of how coding works (Hint: you’ve already started with this article).
  • Choose the best coding language for your ideas and passions.
  • Clear up some free time every week—or every day if you want to learn even faster.
  • Invest in a high-quality, comprehensive, and digestible online learning course.
  • Practice your skills by designing your own projects in the language of your choice.

Why You Should Learn to Code

Coding is a useful skill for everyone to learn. Whether you are an adult thinking about making a career jump or a curious kid who just wants to discover more, anyone can benefit from coding. 

The beauty of coding is that it gives anyone the power to create magic—with as little as a computer, an internet connection, and a comfy chair. By learning to code, you can bring your imagination to life through a video game, gorgeous media art, or creative simulation. 

Exploring code helps people of all ages develop valuable skills and traits like:

  • Self-confidence
  • Logical reasoning
  • Curiosity and exploration
  • Technological understanding
  • Creative problem solving
  • Goal-setting and a strong work ethic 
  • Tenacity when approaching difficult problems
  • Self-sufficiency and independence

Not to mention, this is a great time to be a coder—with high earning potentials and plenty of job opportunities out there, programming is an excellent career path to pursue in today’s day and age. Or, it can be a fantastic way to express your creativity in your downtime. Coding is challenging, enjoyable, benefits your mind, and expands the imagination. 

How Coding Works

Alright, so you’re sold on learning how to code. But you might be wondering how does coding actually work? How does programming tell the computer what to do? 

Just like when you talk to someone who doesn’t speak your language, coding has to be translated to the computer so it can understand what you are asking it to do. 

How to “Talk” to Your Computer

Computers “talk” using something called machine language, or binary code, which is represented by ones and zeros—with each 1 standing for “yes” or “true” and each 0 standing for “no” or “false.” These 1s and 0s store information in the computer’s memory

While it is possible to code using machine language, it is not recommended—writing like this would take an extremely long time and requires way too many lines of code to do anything. 

For example, just the word “Disney” in binary code is: “01000100 01101001 01110011 01101110 01100101 01111001 00001010” (converted using a text to binary tool). 

For most coding purposes, you don’t need such intricate control over the hardware you’re working with.

Low-Level vs. High-Level Programming Languages

So how does a person tell a computer what to do if they can’t write in machine language?

This is where coding languages come in. 

Coding programs, or languages, are what coders use to send instructions to their devices. The code is written using a programming language. Then, the code is “translated” through a compiler. Once the code is translated, the machine can understand the coder’s instructions and perform the task. 

There’s more than one way to talk to a computer through coding. The different coding languages each have their own set of characteristics and uses. These differences are called “high-level” or “low-level” coding languages. 

  • Low-Level – Low-level languages are closer to machine language, and require much more knowledge and training to wield properly. However, they also provide coders with far more control over their hardware and are better for creating high-performance programs.

  • High-Level – High-level languages look much more like human languages and are easier to  practice  and implement. They are great for coders that want to execute their ideas quickly and thoroughly, but don’t need as much granular control over their device.

  • Depending on what your ideas or projects are, several coding languages may suit your interests. 

    Common Coding Languages

    Since the birth of the computer science field, curious coders have developed a ton of different types of coding languages to choose from, each with their own capabilities, challenges, and benefits. 

    While there are more coding languages out there than you can count on two hands, here are four of today’s most common coding languages: 

    • CSS
    • HTML
    • JavaScript
    • Processing

    CSS and HTML

    CSS and HTML are vital building blocks for any coder’s programming toolbox. Both are used to modify, define, and improve the formatting, functionality, and design of web pages and browsers. They are easy to learn and incredibly fun to use, making them perfect first “languages” for novice coders.

    JavaScript

    Not to be confused with Java, JavaScript is often used in tandem with CSS and HTML. Creative coders who enjoy playing with design and user-interaction love this language—it is the language most often used to control how users interface with the visual elements on a web page. When people talk about “front end development,” they are typically referring to the interplay of CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. 

    Practicing how to use these two programs can be incredibly powerful and liberating. Furthermore, JavaScript can be used to create games, data analysis algorithms, and mathematical simulations.

    Processing

    Processing is very different from the rest of the languages on this list because it is highly visual and incredibly simple to use. Processing can be considered as a much more artistic medium than a traditional coding language. You can use it to create stunning graphics, interactive media art, and breathtaking data visualizations.

    Processing is a language that creates beautiful results fast since it requires minimal steps between idea and final product. That’s why Processing is an excellent language for quick prototyping, visualization, and experimentation. 


    Which One Should You Choose?

    To decide which coding language is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

    What do you want to create with your code? Need some inspiration? Take a look at the list below to get your creative coding gears turning: 

      • Websites
      • Games
      • Databases
      • Simulations
      • Graphs
      • Animations
      • Media art
      • Data visualizations
      • Hardware/tech projects

    How quickly do you want to start creating projects? If you want to start running code as quickly as possible, you should probably begin with a higher-level coding language. If you’re invested in a deeper understanding of computer science, maybe a lower-level language is right for you.

    Here is a general ranking of the aforementioned programming languages, from easiest to hardest (or, more accurately, highest to lowest level):

    1. HTML & CSS
    2. Processing
    3. JavaScript

    By answering the two questions listed above, you will be able to choose the coding language that sparks your curiosity and inspires you to start learning. 

    And remember, you can always learn more than one coding language. In fact, Disney Codeillusion helps you discover how to use all four of the above languages with their curriculum.

    Where Can You Learn How to Code?

    Thanks to the internet, coding resources are available everywhere. Unfortunately, from expensive boot camps to extensive college programs, these resources are often over-priced and difficult to access. While there are free resources online to choose from, these courses often lack essential lessons or are simply too complex and unengaging to follow. 

    Luckily, there’s a coding program that costs less than a coding bootcamp or coding course, but is just as comprehensive: Disney Codeillusion.

    Discover the Magic of Coding with Disney Codeillusion

    Disney Codeillusion is an immersive online coding program that makes it easy for users to practice vital coding concepts through step-by-step guidance from some of your favorite Disney characters in a Role Player Game (RPG) setting.

    This program breaks up the incredibly complex field of coding into easy-to-understand lessons, even for the most novice of coders. Thanks to hints and nudges from new and familiar characters, you’ll never stay stuck on a problem, and you’ll always explore something new. 

    What Will I Learn With Disney Codeillusion?

    Through the 125 interactive lessons currently available, you can discover how to use the following coding languages. They are:

    • HTML
    • CSS
    • JavaScript
    • Processing

    From these lessons, you can gain the skills to create:

    • Super fun games
    • Breathtaking media art
    • Exciting animations
    • Your very own website

    With Disney Codeillusion, learning to code has never been more fun and enchanting. This online coding adventure allows you to team up with some of your favorite Disney characters as you journey through beautifully-illustrated scenes from fourteen Disney original movies, like:

  • Frozen
  • Big Hero 6
  • Tangled
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Little Mermaid
  • Zootopia
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Lilo and Stitch
  • …and more!

  • With the help of characters like Baymax and Ariel, you will engage in essential coding skills quickly and effectively. The lessons are only about 30 minutes long, and each one builds off the other, which means you’ll be able to remember and practice your new skills with ease. Thanks to more than ten years of coding education experience behind this incredible learning program, nothing can stop you from becoming the coder of your dreams. 

    All you have to do is sign up.

    So, what are you waiting for? Discover the magic of coding today, with Disney Codeillusion’s free trial!


    Sources: 

    Career Karma. Easiest Programming Languages to Learn in 2020 – 17 Easy Coding Languages. https://careerkarma.com/blog/easiest-programming-languages-to-learn/


    Convert Binary. Text to Binary Converter. https://www.convertbinary.com/text-to-binary/


    MakeUseOf. What Is Coding and How Does It Work?  https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/what-is-coding/


    Processing. Processing. https://processing.org/