Anyone Can Code!

As a critically acclaimed fictional chef once stated, “Anyone can cook!”

Chef Gusteau’s words….not mine.

I’d like to take that statement one step further and propose that if anyone can cook, anyone can code. Cooking and coding actually have a lot more in common than one might think. When you’re creating a program or baking an apple pie, there are a few things to keep in mind as you begin these processes.

The first thing is to learn the basics. You can’t bake an apple pie without knowing the proper techniques that baking a pie requires. If you don’t know how to mix the ingredients for the dough together or preheat an oven, you can’t make a pie. The same goes for coding. If you don’t know how to declare a variable or troubleshoot, you can’t create a functioning program. Therefore, cooking and coding both have foundational concepts that you need to understand before diving right in.

The second thing is to maintain your creativity. Creativity is the next step for those who already have the basics down. Although there may be a set recipe for baking an apple pie or set guidelines for coding a program, it’s always good to keep an open mind. That way, you can customize the recipe (say, you want to add some honey to your apple pie) or program (you want to create a function that hasn’t been generated before) to meet your needs. Creativity isn’t a requirement for cooking or coding, but it can elevate your skills in these two areas to the next level.

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The final thing is to expect frustration. How many times have you attempted to cook a dish and the results turned out to be a big flop? (The answer for me is too many to count!) Somewhere along the way, something went wrong. It might take you tens, even hundreds of tries to finally get it right. However, practice makes perfect. With cooking and coding, the more time you spend learning from your mistakes and practicing your techniques over and over, the better you will become.

Whether you’re well-versed in multiple programming languages or you have zero experience in programming, there are many free online resources to help you improve your coding skills. Here are some resources to help you get started on your coding journey (though I’m afraid you’re on your own when it comes to cooking!):

Codecademy – Offers free courses with projects and quizzes to help you learn the basics of languages such as HTML, Python, etc., along with intermediate/advanced courses for those with a pro membership. It’s a great place to start for beginner coders!

Free Code Camp – Teaches coding basics and provides hands-on experience with projects for nonprofits.

Coursera – An online course library with free courses taught by university professors, and these courses span a variety of subjects. It has a variety of intermediate/advanced programming courses for those who want to build on their skills.

edX – Offers several courses that teach various coding languages, as well as courses with intermediate/advanced coding topics and applications.

Khan Academy – Provides many comprehensive videos and interactive coding exercises that are easy to follow.

So let’s do this thing. Get out there and start coding!

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