Friday Coding Club defaces the BBC News website


In which I try not to giggle at rude news on the BBC website

One early morning we were just chatting, and the subject of my own experience of learning to code came up. I must have described it in incredibly fun terms, because everyone in the office declared they’d like to learn too. I had no choice but to organise a weekly lunchtime coding club so I could share what I know. I’ve also invited Lighthouse’s tenants and students who attend their MA in the building to join us.

The club is aimed at complete beginners, and even though a few people here have had a little bit of experience making or editing websites I hope they can still have lots of fun with the rest of us.

I’ve explained a little bit about what happens behind the scenes when you visit websites and gave a quick overview of HTML. Everyone looked at real examples of it in the wild using X-Ray Goggles, which allows you to edit the code of the site you’re looking at on the fly. This led to inevitable defacing of BBC News website and Lighthouse’s programme page. Possibly my proudest moment as a teacher.

Once we got making simple websites out of the way I want the participants to try out programming in Ruby, write simple programs that pull in some interesting data and do stuff with it. Maybe build their own Twitter clone? Maybe simple electronics with Arduinos? I’ll be adapting the pace and the content based on feedback from previous sessions, so I don’t know exactly what we will be doing yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be fun.


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