I’ve been getting back into software development recently. I started taking a look around the different places you can go to for online courses, namely Coursera, EdX, Pluralsight and Udemy. There is a whole set of courses about Java and Android development on Coursera so I thought I’d give Coursera a try.
Initially I wanted to see how Coursera worked and I didn’t have too much time spare so I just took the first course that looked fun. This happened to be Code Yourself! An Introduction to Programming. The course is for people new to programming and aims to teach them to think programmatically. It does this using the Scratch programming language, which is a GUI based drag and drop web based tool.
The course was fun and I would probably be the perfect introduction for early teenagers or people who are completely new to programming. I enjoyed the course and have to say it appeared to have a high production value. The lecture was engaging and everything you needed to go through the course could be done a £150 Chromebook (my desktop was out of action at the time, so I used the Chromebook for everything) so as far as accessibility goes its pretty good.
I passed the course with a distinction and while I doubt I’ll use Scratch for much in the future I did have some ideas about using it to put something fun together with my children when they get a bit older. I imagine they would find it really funny if we took pictures of their bodies and used them as sprites :).
Next up is a higher level Java course on EdX.