Coding from Scratch! Sharing my experience in finishing an introductory course to programming

Disclaimer because this post needs it: I don’t have plans to become a programmer. After working as a business analyst, I have become more interested in software solutions that I want to try building something by myself for myself.

After five grueling weeks, hours of lectures, some quizzes and two projects, I earned my Coursera certificate in Code Yourself! An Introduction to Programming. Not a difficult nor remarkable feat for programmers out there, no doubt, but for someone who has an intensive and extensive background in Literature, with only a fond memory of basic high school python program, I was happy enough getting perfect marks in this short course.

The program was divided in easy chunks and I didn’t struggle keeping up with the schedule–only when I had projects to submit coinciding with the requirements I had to pass in my other class.

Scratch is easy enough to understand. I cannot proclaim myself an expert after only a few weeks and looking at the MIT website is enough for me to recognize my work barely counts as ‘good’ compared with projects of high-school or elementary students who use the same website.

You can check my work out for yourself by clicking the link below and if you’re interested in BETA-ing it, please go ahead:

If anything, the course has renewed my respect for programmers–not that it wavered but not all programmers are alike, if you catch my drift. Debugging my own program was infuriating and this experience says a lot. Before, I only dictated -er, translated- the requirements and in these five weeks, I had to manage and code my own programs, test them, release MVPs, extend them and debug when things go awry. The excuses I had resented receiving some months ago popped into my head in my own voice that it was so disconcerting.

Nonetheless, seeing my build working the way I wanted it to work was rewarding that the certificate was anything but ‘nice to have.’


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