My name is Adam and I am a wannabe-web and app developer, currently taking part on the Ladders Software Development course. If I am honest, out of all the courses for coding I have been on, the Ladders course is the best for me. Rather than sitting and having someone tell you about coding and taking you through how to build a library system in Java (something I did and was extremely bored during), Phil, our mentor, gives us a lot of independence and freedom so we can learn in our own way.

We began the course by learning about something very dear to my heart, web development. I have had some basic coding experience in the past but nothing like what we began learning about here. I had missed a week but Phil was good enough to take 5 minutes out to catch me up before we moved on to more advanced and interesting things. In our first session we learnt about Javascript (the language that stops you from having to refresh your entire Facebook when one of your friends posts about the holiday in Devon they had six years ago). This is one of the few languages that I didn’t have any experience with, but it was interesting to learn about and the PowerPoints that Phil had prepared for us were very explanatory to beginners like me.

With Javascript we made a quick website which allowed us to navigate around a room without having to refresh the page. While it may sound simple, to the uninitiated it is extremely confusing. However, as mentioned Phil is a brilliant teacher who broke it down to a level that I could understand.

After lunch is when the real fun began. We started learning Python, and to do that, we got to make a game. Context: I am a massive gaming nerd and I wanted to make games when I was 17. The game was extremely rudimentary but it was fun to make. We each made our game a little differently. I, for example, made my spaceship move all around the screen and gave it weapons to destroy the asteroids (the game was a basic version of asteroids from the 1980s).

I think learning about Python through making a game is a great idea because I could see what I was changing rather than seeing different text on the screen and being confused as to why I was doing what I was doing. It was a visual representation and it was glorious.

Session 3 was another learning session. We were introduced to Jquery, a type of language that cleans up Javascript. I think learning Jquery was beneficial as websites constantly use Javascript and Jquery and considering I want to develop websites for a living it’s really great to be introduced to this.

After that was lunch. Now this isn’t technically about the course but I am putting it in anyway. I had the best Chinese food of my life at lunch time. In Campus North (which is where we ended up again) they sometimes have people come in to cook. I just happened to be there when they had the best Chinese street food ever there. For £5 (well worth it) you choose 4 ingredients and a type of noodles and they cook it in garlic soy sauce. I know that sounds basic but I had to ring my friend and tell her, it was that good!

After lunch we learned about Flask in Python. Setting up a web server sounds terrifying to me and I honestly thought to myself “no, you are an idiot and you should stick to building basic stuff that people can use really easily.” Boy, was I wrong. It was incredibly simple to do. We messed around with adding messages to a website. I really enjoyed this because we could be a little bit daft but we still learned a lot in the process.

The reason that I have enjoyed these sessions is because it is what I want to do. I want to learn to make websites and games and web servers and other stuff like that. I want to be able to go into that sort of job. Phil, all credit to him, is an excellent teacher and I am looking forward to doing my final project to show what I have learned.

The next week was our Software Development company visits, so stay tuned!