You are at a Justin Bieber concert, and you hear this lyric ‘Lace my shoes off, start racing.’

Suddenly, Bieber stops and says, ‘Who wants to race me?’

I coded this little snippet as the introduction to a choose-your-adventure game.

Why? It was a part of a game that I was designing on CodeAcademy. I am taking a course in Instructional Design at the University of Massachusetts Boston. We must complete 5 self-directed learning challenges and of the options is learning how to code.

I already completed training in HTML and CSS. I am not a programmer but can get by. I use it a lot in running my Teacher PD website, Guildway.com. I figured I wasn’t going to build a website from scratch but the CodeAcademy training gets me by. I know enough about it to copy/paste code that I want to work.

The other coding language that I primarily work with on my website a lot is JavaScript. JavaScript is an pretty versatile language for building web-based interactions.

In my two hours, I ran though the basics of Javascript. These lessons included working with variables, strings, and console.log. I have to be honest, it was challenging. More challenging than CSS or HTML. Mainly because Javascript can provide computations. By comparison, it is pretty clear to me what CSS and HTML do. I can read and figure out both. Javascript, on the other hand, can provide if/then scenarios. Computations, like my scenario I was developing with Justin Beiber’s concert. The user is going to be able to choose a pathway forward and Javascript and provide the next choice.

Learning Javascript is almost like learning a foreign language. I know that CSS and HTML are coding languages as well. But Javascript felt different. I felt like I could memorize CSS and HTML and get by. I don’t think I can just memorize Javascript and get by. I feel like I need to understand what the coding in Javascript actually does in order for me to use it effectively.

I am going to continue my work with Javascript in the coming days and see if I can’t become a little more experienced with it.