Monthly Archives: May 2014



I’ve been trying to improve my coding skills sporadically over that last year or so. Mostly I’ve used Codeacamedy to do this.

It’s basically a MOOC, and I’ve found that on the whole it’s a pretty good way to boost coding skills. There are ‘tracks’ that you can follow in various languages, plus a load of one off lessons you can take. So far I’ve done the HTML/CSS, ¬†Javascript and most of the Ruby tracks. Next up will probably be JQuery.

The lessons are built around an interactive coding environment where you are set tasks to write, or complete, bits of code and then run them. If you get the right result you progress to the next lesson.

It’s not perfect though, I’ve found several examples of lessons where code is technically correct but doesn’t pass because the Codeacademy validator is expecting a different solution. It is also fair to say that some of the lesson instructions are a bit confusing.

Thankfully each lesson is supported by a Q&A forum which is pretty active. You can usually find an answer there if you’re stuck, or ask a new question if you need more help.

The other thing I’m finding having completed a couple of tracks is that it’s a bit hard to translate the theoretical learnings into practical applications – particularly with Javascript. I suppose it’s a case of thinking of a project you want to try and then trying to apply your learning to it. That be something I try before too long, and before I forget everything I’ve learnt.

All told I highly recommend Codeacademy for upping you coding skills, and it’s all free!

24 things for 2014

I have finally started doing 24 things this year, I thought is used to be 23 things but we must have added one.

I’m doing it through QUT were I work an evening shift as a casual reference librarian. We’re using Yammer as the platform, but a recent thing was about blogging and writing for the web.

This prompted me to resurrect my domain, set up a blog, and start recording some of the recent PD activity I’ve been doing. This is probably my 10th blog (at least), which is embarrassing. If I write that down then hopefully it will mean I stick at this one. It’s not going to be updated every day that’s for sure, but hopefully somewhat regularly, when I have something interesting to report.

We shall see…