College students lead coding workshop for community

Level one: learning the basics.

“I always got into this game called ‘Mario Maker’ where you make your own levels, and something about  making levels really got me going,” says Adam Woodbeck, Coding Workshop Student.

Every time you tap a screen or click a button and something happens as a result, you’ve interacted with a programmer’s work.

“I was messing around on Google, and I hit -right click and you scroll down and click ‘inspect’ and it shows all these codes, and I was like, ‘Well, what’s this?’ and I looked it up, it was something about coding,” says Braden Eggum, Coding Workshop Student.

The strings of numbers, letters, and symbols can be overwhelming.

“It doesn’t really look like English, like something you could understand, right?” Divyaa Kamalanathan, Minot State Computer Science Student, explains to a young coding student.

But Javascript, Visual Basic, C++ .. they’re all coding languages that work just like the language we speak.

“The syntax, or the grammar, of all coding languages may be different, but if you know how to do one, you can do everything else,” says Kamalanathan.

And that’s level two: speaking the computer’s language.

“It’s not as intimidating as it seems. It’s not as mystical, it’s not as magical. You know, when you watch TV and you see the hackers and they seem to be doing something super complex and complicated, difficult, it’s really not and a lot of it is jargon and nonsense anyway,” says Kamalanathan.

Level three is problem solving.

“Pseudocode, what it is, is it’s going to remind you -as a programmer- the steps you’re going to take,” explains a Minot State Computer Science Student to a younger coding student.

Coding is just instructions for the program on what to do when you perform an action like clicking a mouse, but the industry is always changing. Updating with the next, newer, better option.

“I would say even within the next ten years, we’re going to see computers that look nothing like the computers we have today. And programming that looks nothing like the programming we have today,” says Kamalanathan.

Tomorrow’s progress all depends on today’s creativity and problem solving.

Minot State’s Computer Science Club is offering two-day workshops to help programming make sense for everyone. The next one will be offered in the Spring.

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