Simply Coding Review

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

I have an insatiable lover of technology in my house... But he's only eleven years old. He's been begging for coding resources, and has checked out library books on coding as much as possible. But without any real structure or instruction, he's been limited to fiddling with his calculator and trying to figure stuff out on his own. Thankfully we were given a membership to Simply Coding, and while the technology desire hasn't been satiated, it finally seems to be finding real direction thanks to our Coding for Kids Annual Membership.

This is really something that John Paul has been doing entirely independently, because I'm always busy working with the other kids when he's finished his work for the day and is allowed to work on his coding. He graciously allowed himself to be interviewed, and answered all my questions about the program below:

Me: What kinds of things have you been learning in your coding program?

John Paul: Web programming, i.e. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (he then proceeded to correct my capitalization of all these acronyms).

Me: What concrete projects have you worked on so far? Is there anything you've done that you can show people?

John Paul: I was going to start a website, but then I sort of set that idea aside, and now I'm working on a Pong game in JavaScript.

Me: What did you work on using HTML? Weren't you making some sort of web page with a banner and a link to your blog?

John Paul: I didn't do a link to my blog, but I was making sections of the page.

Me: So you learned how to change font size, how to insert pictures, that sort of thing?

John Paul: Yup.

Me: What about CSS? How is that different from HTML?

John Paul: So, there are three different types of CSS in a document: inline CSS, which is basically just CSS within tag elements, internal styling, which is CSS enclosed in <style> tags, and there's external styling, in which you import a CSS document.

Me: What do you actually use CSS for? 

John Paul: You use it to add style to web pages, you can specify background color, borders or divisions of the page, font size, font weight, font face, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...

Me: Wait, I thought that's what HTML was for...

John Paul: CSS can be contained in HTML documents.

Me: Did you learn all this through Simply Coding?

John Paul: Most of it, I learned some through books I got from the library.

Me: Are you hoping to continue with the work you've been doing in Simply Coding?

John Paul: Maybe not the web page, but probably Pong, I still need to figure out how to add some AI (artificial intelligence) to the top paddle...

Me: About how long did each lesson take?

John Paul: I don't know... Videos were ten minutes, tops.

Me: But then you would often be working for an hour or longer...

John Paul: I had to tweak the HTML documents until they were just right.

Me: So what is happening right here?
John Paul: The instructor is demonstrating a Pong game in JavaScript.
Me: Is your instructor pretty engaging and entertaining to listen to?
John Paul: Yeah.

Me: Can you jump around from lesson to lesson, or is the progression linear?
John Paul: It's linear, although you can jump back to sections you've completed for reference, or if you're unsure about something.

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