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Education Programming

Rise of the Online Code Schools 98

Barence writes "When it comes to programming, the classroom is moving online. A new wave of start-ups has burst onto the scene over the last year, bringing interactive lessons and gamification techniques to the subject to make coding trendy again. From Codecademy — and its incredibly successful Code Year initiative — to Khan Academy, Code School and Udacity, online learning is now sophisticated and high-tech — but is it good enough to replace the classroom? 'We are the first five or six chapters in a book,' says Code School's Gregg Pollack in this exploration of online code classes, but with the number of sites and lessons growing by the week that might not be the case for long."
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Rise of the Online Code Schools

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  • by Runesabre ( 732910 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @11:16AM (#42093945) Homepage

    I've been in the game development industry for 18 years now having had the honor of being a major part of great projects like League of Legends and Ultima Online. My original training from the university was COBOL on big iron mainframes but as soon as I started coding professional, I knew I wanted to be a game developer. The public Internet was only accessible if you knew a local ISP and could get your Trumpet Winsock or equivalent configured correctly, Linux was just a quirky, novel whisper, Windows was still 3.11 and a TERRIBLE gaming platform, game publishers controlled the funding (and thus controlled the developers) and games were, for the most part, sold in boxes at brick and mortar store.

    Despite having only had one semester of C in college (and never even heard of C++), I would rush home each night to hack away learning game programming from Andre Lamothe's Tricks of the Game Programming Gurus on my Gateway P90 (The Cow!) and landed my first job pretending to know C++ with a crappy demo I created for the interview.

    Fast forward 18 years. Nearly unlimited bandwidth and online distribution capabilities, cheap hosting, many open platforms (from the point of view you don't have to get Publisher buy-in or permission) like Windows, Mac, Linux, Facebook, Android, iPhone for which to develop and run games. High quality game engines, tools and backends are available (Unity, Allegro, SDL, Apache, Glassfish, JBoss, MySQL, Flash, CSS/Javascript, etc). Even funding is now democratic and open with Kickstarter and YCombinator and not gated by publishers. The only limitation is one's ability to inspire people with a great idea. And for those wanting to delve further into hardware, we even have Arduino.

    For me personally... I'm on the verge of launching my own personal cross-platform MMO built from the ground up that will run on just about any and every possible comuting platform on the planet and have the potential to reach anyone and everyone around the globe. I never would have dreamed that was possible 18 years ago! It's breathtaking...

    Truly an amazing time to be an aspiring engineer!

  • Yes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Murdoch5 ( 1563847 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @11:33AM (#42094099)
    The teacher is dead. More and more we see that the best way to learn is by doing, having a teacher or prof stand at the front of the classroom and ramble on for hours is not an effective way to learn. When it comes to programming, you need to take a hands on approach, sitting in a chair and listening about how you should write code and how you should structure code will never be as effective as sitting down and programming.

    When I learned C we had a prof stand at the front of the room and ramble twice a week for 2 hours, I came out of that class knowing 0% of the C language. I didn't start learning it until I sat down and started to program. Think about trying to teach a student about embedded programming without having them sit down and write embedded style C. I would be surprised if many / any students get there first, second or even third project to work out of the gate. Now instead take the same student, give them an Arduino and tell them to make a motor run, in the same amount of time that you will teach them on the board, they can have a little motor running and they will have acquired a million times as much knowledge.

    Would you teach a chef to cook by having them sit in a classroom and never touch an oven? Would you have a firefighter learn to put a fire out by never having them hold a hose? It's pretty clear and obvious that learning by doing is a far more effective method of learning then the old outdated method of sitting there where your talked to.

The moon may be smaller than Earth, but it's further away.