What is Coding?

Coding academies. Coding bootcamps. Learn to Code.

You hear the word coding so often in the news today, but no one ever seems to define it. You know it has something to do with computer programming and what makes computers run, but what does it actually mean? Here’s one definition of code to get us started at unpacking all of this:

the symbolic arrangement of statements or instructions in a computer program, or the set of instructions in such a program.

That’s a good start. It’s a set of instructions that essentially tells a computer what to do. And the word arrangement tells us that the order of these instructions is important too. Let’s take the Skillspire website as an example. You see that black bar across the top with the Skillspire logo? That’s all driven by code. Someone had to write the code to tell the website how big and what color the bar should be and then there’s more code to tell it to use the image of the Skillspire logo and put it on the left.

Do you want to know what the code looks like? This website is built using both HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and CSS (Custom Cascading Stylesheet), but we’re just going to focus on the CSS today because that defines how things are displayed on a website. Let’s take a look at the word BLOGS at the top of the page you’re currently on. Here’s just some of the code that makes that look the way it does:

.top_site_main .page-title-wrapper h1, .top_site_main .page-title-wrapper h2 {
colorinherit;
margin0;
line-height54px;
text-transformuppercase;
font-size48px;
font-weight700;

padding-left25px;

The first line has a lot of words in it, but some of those words make sense, right? Essentially BLOGS is the title of this page. H1 and H2 stand for Header 1 and Header 2, which is just a way of defining what exactly all your headers (titles) and sub-headers will look like. All the rest of those words tell the website how to display the word BLOGS. The color is “inherited” from a previous set of instructions, the margin is 0, and the size of the line is 54 pixels. The next line, text-transform:uppercase, tells the website to display it in all capital letters. Then, we move on to font.. It is 48 pixels tall and with a weight of 700 – the higher the number is, the more bold the text will be. The padding is similar to the margin, and this is all about where the word BLOGS appears on the page.

The other thing you might notice around these words is the punctuation. Coding uses a lot of punctuation as part of the instructions – everything from different types of brackets <> () {} to things like commas, semicolons, and colons. Does it matter which one you use? Absolutely? But how do you know? Is there a way to understand computer programming for beginners?

That’s where we come in! Skillspire offers a 16 week class in Full-Stack Web Development that will teach you everything you need to know to build a website from the ground up. We’ll cover HTML, CSS, JavaScript and a whole lot more. Learning to code is like learning a new language and we have first-class instructors that will teach you those new languages. Come join us!

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