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CodeMaker: Your Key to Understanding Digital Products for Non-Programmers

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CodeMaker is a course that claims to give you a deeper understanding of how digital products are constructed and how they function through learning about the fundamentals of coding. The course is taught by Peter Brownell, an experienced software developer and the founder and CTO of CodePositive.

I attended one session during my Easter break in late March, and even though I have attended an intro to coding course before which covered HTML, CSS and Javascript, I still learned a couple of new things from this course. It also strengthened my knowledge of coding fundamentals.

The day started off with a condensed history of computing and the web. Unless you've taken up computer science 101 or something similar, you will still probably pick up something new. The session covered topics like the abacus, the early days of a computer through to the early days of what a program is, and how patterns, AI, binary and the Internet came about to be. It's probably one of the best intro to computing and web sessions that I've ever been to.

Following that, we were introduced to the bare basics of computer input, the binary code aka. strings of 0's and 1's. I can't say that I can replicate what Peter said during the session or that I have grasped the concept fully but it is still very interesting to know as it has contributed to my understanding of computers a bit more. Now, it was finally time to dig into what a website is all about! We had an intro to HTML and CSS and played around with Mozilla Thimble to see what the various HTML and CSS lines of code did as we added them onto the page. This is probably the point where I could still follow, and then things started to get a bit more challenging.

After tackling HTML and CSS, it was finally time to get a sense of what Javascript and jQuery is so we whipped out JSFiddle and started to break down an example of Peter's code. We got into playing with Google Maps data coupled with the Twitter API to create a map of where people's tweets are located. It was pretty cool but unfortunately, I was barely following by this point. However, it did give me a better understanding of the basics of how this is all done and enhanced my understanding of digital products.

Overall, I would think that this course is tailored for beginners as it assumes no prior coding knowledge. However, it is definitely a bit fast-paced and geared for those who are more curious and are open to tinkering with things as they learn about them.

When we were left to play with HTML and CSS on Mozilla Thimble and Jquery on JSFiddle, we were pretty much left to explore the different concepts that we found interesting. Therefore, I would recommend this course to people who have a bit of initiative and are a bit self-directed. CodeMaker does what it says on the tin though, you will definitely come away with a better understanding of how digital products are made by knowing the bare basics of code.

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