Talkin’ Tech: Modern Multilinguals

Let’s talk about technology. Since the invention of the wheel, tools have become more and more complex – and today it can be hard to keep up! In the “Talkin' Tech” column, we will discuss the ever-changing trends in the modern digital arena. From artificial intelligence to Zuckerberg, join Austin in examining all things tech from our vantage point in the 4th industrial revolution: the imagination age!

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at coding? Coding, or computer programming, is the way we talk to computers and tell them what to do. It is like learning a second language to translate your ideas into binary ones and zeros that a computer can understand. It might sound like a lot of work but it can be simple and fun!

The best place to get started is with a block-based coding language, like Scratch or’s “App Lab.” Block-based code is smart because it takes lines of code and makes them look like “Lego” pieces that can be snapped together. While you’re simply putting blocks of instructions together, in the background a block-based app is actually writing the code that goes along with each block, as you can see in the next graphic.

After learning a block-based language, think about what you want to do. Would you like to code a robot, an app, a website, a game, or something else altogether? The answers to these questions will help you identify a specific computer language to learn. Computers are not going away so you might as well get fully acquainted!

There are thousands of different coding languages available, and picking one is like picking out clothes to wear. Depending on your purposes, you will select what best suits you. For example, if you are making a game, the C# (“C sharp”) programming language would be a great choice. Designing an iPhone app? You want the Swift programming language. All of them are seamlessly translated (or compiled) into binary ones and zeros, so the choice is yours!

Today, coding is everywhere, and it is quickly becoming an important skill in the current job market. Have questions and/or want to learn more? Stay tuned for related virtual learning! Check our website for details.

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