How did you get started with programming?
I started programming in the beginning of January 2013. I’m originally from Brazil and got married in November to my American girlfriend. During the paperwork process I couldn’t work or study so it was the perfect time to learn to code.
As my first project I decided to do a formula calculator. It’s a calculator that allows the user to solve math formulas quickly and even has a few different color-themes. I released the free app in Google Play store in the beginning of June.
How did you make the jump from Codecademy to building real life applications?
The jump was hard. Especially when I started using a code editor and had to compile code. When I started reading documentation and seeing guides online I realized that besides some small differences the code structure was always the same. All the programming languages have logical iterations, loops and variables.
Sometimes if I felt overwhelmed reading API documentation I would go back to lessons on Codecademy and refresh my memory. The courage to move ahead came from these lessons. In the exercises you basically build a program, a small cash register, a game and so forth. I realized if I was able to understand the logic and create it within the exercise, building a bigger software would just take a little more time.
What are your future plans for coding?
I will keep improving my app during college or every time I learn something new and exciting that I can add to it!
I already added two more sections on my app since the release. I also want to listen to the suggestions my users have.
How do you see Codecademy fitting together with other learning methods?
I will be starting a degree in Computer Science at Oklahoma State University next fall. I see Codecademy fitting very well on my CS degree, as it allows me to get a quick access to learning a specific language or an API. I am also founding a Google Developer Group in my city to bring together experienced coders and beginners. One of my coworkers already joined my group. I recommended Codecademy to him and he is loving it!
What is your advice for someone just getting started on coding?
Don’t ever give up and don’t get intimidated by how big or complex some programs are. Everyone started with writing “Hello World”. Start with a small project. Once you’re done, try to think how to improve it. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned happened when I was reusing code, or adding features to an already finished project.