Friday, June 17, 2016

The Code Avengers Blog has Moved

The Code Avengers blog has been redesigned and relocated to a new home at https://www.codeavengers.com/blog

Check it out now, for lots of exciting coding related articles, news, and updates.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Inspiring kids to code in Ghana

Ghana saw the maiden edition of Code Camp Ghana, Junior session; a collaboration between Greencode Academy and Code Avengers from the 10th - 13th August 2015.

Promising kids, from all across the city, came to the camp to experience what Greencode Academy had promised would be a fun filled learning period.

The joy in coding

After a thorough orientation from camp tutors and handlers, all was set. The first day, the camp proved to be a hit amongst participants and their parents, with many expressing their joy that an event of this nature was happening in Ghana.

After the 'ice breaker' session participants were taken through the Hour Of Code and then divided into their various groups and assigned their tutors. During the 4 day period, participants worked through beginner lessons in HTML/CSS, JavaScript as well as some game development.

Many of the participants were new to the material but the tutors worked their very best and made the entire learning process at Code Camp memorable. Even breaks were a period of fun and continued learning.

The various groups battled it out in very stiff competitions amongst themselves and presented their final works to everyone as they received and answered questions from other teams and tutors.

The Experts inspire

Participants were also introduced to blogging by Ghanaian tech Blogger, Kojo Ampadu, as he walked them through the world of blogging and his related experiences.

Greencode CEO, Marcus Elendu Jnr, through videos, unveiled the tech world and the infinite opportunities.

This had many participants excited and inspired about future possibilities and what they could do to help their communities and schools.

The 'idea pitching' and interview session was full of fun and very enlightening, as many of the participants had no clue how to achieve their ideas, although, some have already selected projects to work on as they master the skills they picked up at Code Camp.

What's in store for the future?

All in all, the Code Camp in Ghana was a success and everybody can't wait for the next session which Greencode promises will be bigger and better than before.

Founding Team - (left to right) - Marcus Elendu Jnr (CEO Greencode Academy), Donatus Adjaayi-Tagoe (Code Camp Director), Abdul Aziz Tetteh (Code Camp Technical officer), Nathan Edward Siebu (Code Camp Director)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Learn how to fly with Python!

Over the past 2 years we have had tons of requests to teach new languages. But our most popular by far is... PYTHON

So why Python?

  1. Its one of the EASIEST and most FUN languages to learn!
  2. GREAT PRODUCTS built in Python include Quora, Pintreset, Instagram, Disqus, DropBox, YouTube etc. Even Google's web search spider was written in Python.
  3. It's used for WEBSITES (see Django), APPS (see Kivy) and GAMES (see PyGame).
  4. It has fantastic FREE MODULES that make it easy to do things like math, science and engineering calculations (e.g. SciPy.org), financial analysis etc.
  5. Many of our users were frustrated by other online Python courses—especially Codecademy.

Get ready to fly!

So strap yourself in and get ready learn Python 3 with Code Avengers.

http://codeavengers.com/courses

Why learn Python as well as JavaScript?

It's true that both languages can be used to create websites, apps and games, however, there are definitely cases where Python is more powerful!

A few weeks ago wrote Python code to analyse data for my PhD theisis (which I [finally submitted last month](http://blog.codeavengers.com/2015/04/how-not-to-write-phd-thesis.html) ) and it really did feel using a chainsaw, compared previous analysis I did with Java, Perl, and Visual Basic.

In my case, I love JavaScript for interactive web pages, but prefer Python for desktop apps.

Also, learning different languages really will help you become a better coder and to land a better job!

Try a free 10 minute introduction now!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

How to write a PhD thesis the hard way

Now, I'm not sure that I've ever heard a PhD grad refer to thesis writing as easy, but I'm guessing my experience was nastier than most. As a form of therapy and in case it might prevent future suffering for other thesis victims, I thought I'd share a few lessons learnt and words of caution from my rather tortuous experience.

If you dislike writing essays, you'll detest writing a thesis

I was one of those people who largely enjoyed school. Gym class was always my favourite class (if you exclude lunch time), but I genuinely loved Math and Physics, and to a lesser extent Chemistry, Accounting and History. However, there was one period of the day I dreaded: ENGLISH! I liked my teachers, by the subject matter just made little sense to my logical way of thinking, and writing just wasn't much fun. When I enrolled in a PhD 6 years ago, I knew that the fun of researching a topic I was passionate about would eventually be consumed by the dreaded thesis writing. I guess I figured I'd just suck it up and grind through it, which turned out to much more difficult than expected BECAUSE...

Building a business while doing a PhD part time is crazy!

When I started building Code Avengers I did up a spreadsheet and it all seemed quite manageable. Keeping Sunday as a day of rest and setting aside 7.5 hours sleep per night (I wish!) leaves 100 hours per week to be divided as follows:
  • Exercise: 5 hours
  • Code Avengers: 60 hours
  • Thesis writing: 20 hours
  • Family time: 15 hours
  • Commuting: 0 hours
While this seemed reasonable, there was something I grossly underestimated. Building a sustainable business requires all of ones focus and attention. While I technically had the time to work on both, my brain really struggled to focus on both. Juggling a 70k word thesis with 100s of thousands of lines of code, along with marketing strategies etc. was a nightmare. I would set aside 4 hours to write my thesis... but all I could think about was Code Avengers! But it gets worse...

Starting a family and building a business while doing a PhD part time is insane!

A month after I started Code Avengers my wife gave birth to our first daughter, who I decided to feature as the star of the level 1 web course (they were the only decent images I had on my computer at the time). A couple years later we had our 2nd beautiful baby. Once again time wasn't the biggest issue, it was disruption of sleep patterns. Staying awake for more than an hour while working on my thesis was a massive challenge.

But, I guess it was worth it all in the end

Looking back, despite the difficult circumstances, I am glad I did a PhD. It enabled me to study something I am super passionate about (computer-assisted education) to a level of detail that there is no way I could have done if I worked in industry. And now that its all over, I'm actually somewhat glad to have experienced from improving my writing through writing a thesis!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

4 Keys to Learning to Code (without smashing your screen in frustration)

Anyone who says coding is easy is lying.

I am a calm person, but there are still times I get so frustrated when my code won't work that I almost scream!

Thankfully, the constant excitement and thrill of bringing ideas to life more than make up for the difficulties.

With that in mind, here are 4 tips to ensure you a pleasant journey as you learn to code.

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

Malcom Gladwell said, "Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good, its the thing that makes you good".

Simply watching videos and reading books wont make you a good coder. You need to practice writing code!

Code Avengers lessons and projects give you all the practice and feedback you need to master the fundamentals of coding.

Code Avengers tip

If a lesson is difficult the first time, we recommend you repeat it by clicking index in the bottom left corner, then clicking the lesson reset button.

2. If You're Stuck . . . Take a Break

If you've tried everything and your code still doesn't work . . . take a 15 minute break. There's a very good chance that when you come back you'll find your mistake immediately.

I know from experience this works!

Code Avengers tip

When you're stuck, don't forget to use the hint buttons that appear next to each instruction, and to study the example code and video explanations.

3. Embrace Your Mistakes

As James Joyce said, "mistakes are the portals of discovery".

Don't be afraid to explore and experiment, so you can learn from the mistakes you make along the way.

Code Avengers tip

If at any time your code gets seriously messed up, you can always press the reset button to auto-magically clean your code up!

4. Google is Your Friend

Even after 10+ years of coding, you wont know everything. Thankfully there's someone who knows almost everything . . . Google!

With the help of Google you can find the answers to many problems in tutorials, code references, and Q & A sites like stackoverflow.com.

Code Avengers will unlock the skills you require to make effective use of the wealth of coding resources available for free on the web.

Code Avengers tip

You don't have to remember all the commands all at once! Hundreds of code examples are just a click away with our interactive reference (click the link in the bottom left).

OK... enough reading... it's time for you to get back to coding, so you can... Unleash Your Coding Genius!

Return to coding with Code Avengers

Monday, June 23, 2014

What does a 17 year old have to do with the Code Avengers redesign?

While other kids are flipping burgers at McDonalds during their summer break, 17 year old Malik Kimbrel is pursuing his dream as web design consultant.
And, he just landed himself his first global client— CodeAvengers.com—the online learn-to-code platform.

At the core of Code Avengers is a mission to create the next generation of technology innovators.

So, when Malik followed his father’s “be a go getter” advice and contacted Code Avengers directly, the Founder Michael Walmsley, was only too happy to give the young designer the opportunity to redesign the platform.

Click here to check out the home page redesign

At first, Malik was worried that his age and lack of experience would count against him. But in their first Skype chat, Michael was blown away by his maturity -- well beyond his age.

“His story embodied everything our site was about; giving anyone with ambition and dedication the opportunity to learn life changing skills.

“After viewing his past work and his ideas for our site, I just had to take take a chance with Malik.”

Click here to check out the courses page redesign
P.S. We’re offering lifetime access for a limited time

So how does the son of a painter and waitress become an international web design consultant at age 17 years?

Born and raised in Georgia, USA, Malik parents have always had high expectations and push him hard.

“My dad stresses that I have to be a person who really seeks out what he wants with dedication and effort. Education is just the icing on the cake.”

“Dad says just being literate doesn't get you what you want, you have to be wise. There are people in my life who went to college and are so very smart, but never did anything with it.”

At an early age, Malik was inspired to learn web design. He used it as a way to express his feelings and channel them into something useful.

“I've always been a fan of Steve Jobs and his ability to make technology marketable. I think he did quite revolutionary things for his time on earth.”

“I want to do great things myself, like Steve Jobs.”

Click here to try one of Malik’s redesigned demos.

“However, I was also having struggles in my life. I didn't have many friends and felt like an outcast in school because I am quite quirky.”

“I wanted to prove something to people.”

Malik began learning website design using online resources and books at age 13.

“I would download video courses and study for up to five hours per day from the likes of Lynda.com and w3schools and just mimicked what everyone else was doing until I developed a style and rhythm of my own.”

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Continue to read how Malik discovered Code Avengers...

“Last year I got more serious and continued learning HTML, CSS, JavaScript and JQuery using Codecademy. I thought these resources were great.”

This year Malik’s teacher asked him to help tutor their web development class.

Malik says tutoring in the classroom was a different story to learning online yourself. Many students responded quite negatively to the web development class and struggled to stay on task.

They were just taking the course to get the credit and weren't interested in web design, or at least they thought they weren’t.

Malik says:

“The teacher initially used Codecademy. But when everyone said ‘this stuff is boring’, she searched for alternatives and made the switch to Code Avengers.”

Click here to visit the Teachers Page

“Students have short attention spans but the game-like environment of Code Avengers held their interest and actually got them working! It was simply amazing.”

Malik’s teacher June Campbell remarked:

“One of my students had an 8% [grade] in my class as of March 15th but got so excited and competitive about Code Avengers that he finished 2 weeks ahead of the class. I consider this ‘turn-around’ a minor miracle.”

Did you know? We offer special pricing for schools. Click here to find out more.

Malik was excited by what he witnessed, and felt the site had the potential to make a huge impact globally, but needed a visual design that matched the quality of lessons.

He believed he could make that happen.

Malik has been working part time for Code Avengers since April 2014. The experience has helped him to continue to develop his skills and progress toward his dream of becoming a world leading designer.

The new look design just went live in June", but Malik has already begun working on a fresh design for 2015. He is also working on Code Avengers design courses to help educate more budding designers.

After graduating high school, he can’t wait to join the Code Avengers team as they travel around the USA running Code Camps, so he can share his passion for web design with kids all over the country.

Malik's story is indeed an inspiration to us all.

The education revolution is finally here!

We’re glad to be a part of it.

Still not seen the redesign? Click here now.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Student Success Story: Kyle McKay (Entrepreneur)

Learning a new language is challenging, I should know - shortly after high school, I lived El Salvador for two years. I was soon immersed in a new language and culture I knew little about. Learning to code is a similar experience, but with the fun and intuitive lessons, Code Avengers helped accelerate my coding skills and launched me into developing my own website.

So Why To Learn to Code?

Coding is the language of the 21st century, and those that know it will get farther ahead than those that don’t. It seems like many the great entrepreneurs of our age know how to code, or at least they know the basics. I knew that if I wanted to fulfill my dream of being an entrepreneur, I needed to learn the basics of coding.

Why Code Avengers?

Initially, I started to learn code using another popular website, but found myself losing interest and never finished the lessons. When I first started coding with Code Avengers, I was surprised at how much fun it was to code. The lessons are well thought out and build upon each other. A feature I have really come to love is the notepad which allows me to take notes during the lessons and have easy access to them in case I need to look something up in other lessons. It’s been little details like these that have made Code Avengers so awesome!

What has been the most challenging part? How did you tackle that?

The most challenging part of learning to code has been to keep going amidst frustration. As with learning any new language, you will mess up, and there will be times you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. It was very similar to my experience learning Spanish. My advice is to take a step back, do something else, and come back to it later. Also, to learn Spanish, I literally had to immerse myself in the language. Find ways to immerse yourself with code. Do the lessons multiple times, find other resources to help you practice and find ways to apply the things that you’ve learned. When I started building a website, I found learning to be a lot easier. Real life application solidifies the concepts you learned.

What are You Doing with Your New Skills?

On one of my return travels to El Salvador, I met several people interested in starting their own business or growing their current business. However, they lacked the education and resources to take themselves to the next level. I applied the things I learned in Code Avengers to start the front-end development of my website shortly after my return (http://universidademprendedor.net). It will offer video tutorials from subjects ranging from sales, to accounting and finance, funding, business development, etc. It's still in the works, but it has been a great opportunity to apply my coding skills and I will soon be able to give back to a people and culture I have come to appreciate and love.

So…What’s Next?

I plan to keep learning how to code and working on my website. I’m looking forward on learning new skills and applying these skills until I become just as proficient and confident as I am in Spanish, and hopefully, change the world!