Coding Academies Are Nonsense

Stephen Nichols:

In more than 20 years of personal experience with coding, interacting with kids trying to learn code and observing users learning GameSalad, I’ve noticed that the vast majority of folks hit a wall early in the process. Academies like Code Academy boast 24 million+ users, but have few success stories, likely for the same reason. Most people fall off the wagon because they don’t understand the mind of the computer and, as such, find translating their intent into programming language hopelessly difficult.

Put succinctly, coding is writing text files in foreign languages containing instructions suitable for an absolute idiot to follow. Unlike human readers, computers cannot infer meaning from ambiguous text. So, to code, one must become very good at deconstructing problems into their most basic steps and spelling them out for the idiot box.

Apps of any appreciable complexity are constructed with a tremendous number of text files. As an example, just our GameSalad Creator app consists of 6,972,123 lines of code spread over 41,702 files. That’s equivalent to a book with 116,202 pages.