Coding For Dummies
The ability to read, write, and understand code has never been more
important, useful, or lucrative as it is today. Computer code has forever
changed our lives. Some people can’t even make it through the day without
interacting with something built with code. Even so, for many people, the
world of coding seems complex and inaccessible. Maybe you participated in
a tech-related business meeting and did not fully understand the conversation.
Perhaps you tried to build a web page for your family and friends, but ran
into problems displaying pictures or aligning text. Maybe you’re even
intimidated by the unrecognizable words on the covers of books about
If you’ve previously been in these situations, then Coding For Dummies is for
you. This book explains basic concepts so you can participate in technical
conversations, and ask the right questions. Don’t worry — in this book I’ve
assumed you are starting with little to no previous coding knowledge, and I
haven’t tried to cram every possible coding concept into these pages.
Additionally, I encourage you here to learn by doing, and by actually creating
your own programs. Instead of a website, imagine that you wanted to build a
house. You could spend eight years studying to be an architect, or you could
start today by learning a little bit about foundations and framing. This book
kickstarts your coding journey today.
The importance of coding is ever increasing. As author and technologist
Douglas Rushkoff famously said, “program or be programmed.” When
humans invented languages and then the alphabet, people learned to listen
and speak, and then read and write. In our increasingly digital world, it is
important to learn not just how to use programs, but how to make them as
well. For example, observe this transition in music. For over a century, music
labels decided what songs the public could listen to and purchase. In 2005,
three coders created YouTube, which allowed anyone to release songs. Today
more songs have been uploaded to YouTube than have been released by all
the record labels in the last century combined.
Accompanying this book are examples at www.codecademy.com, whose
exercises are one of the easiest ways to learn how to code without installing
or downloading anything. The Codecademy companion site includes examples and exercises from this book, along with projects and examples for