There were 10 of us (8 gals, 2 guys) from a variety of backgrounds but all with the common thread of not really having much to do with code. Seb took us through some basic drawing commands (using HTML canvas, not that it made much difference what we were drawing on) and the first hour or so was spent making wobbly aliens. In fact, have a look at mine. (works best in Chrome). Better than that, I (mostly) understand what I wrote to make it happen. There was a lot of experimenting and happy accidents throughout the course. As an example, when I made that alien, I edited and re-edited several commands to work out why the circle I drew was the size it was, or why it was a random colour or opacity and then scribbled down lots of notes.
The thing that was so good about this course was not only was it very visual – you could see the results of what you had just done, then and there – but it was a great way to learn the building blocks of programming slowly, being able to ask dumb questions and finding others nodding along too. Being a nerdy child, I learned to code in Basic when I was around 5 and was pretty darn competent age 9 or so (before someone told me that girls don’t code and I was letting the side down). I was delighted to find the stuff lodged in the back of my brain – dusty and ignored for a couple of decades – were still relevant, things like loops and arrays and variables. Though the syntax and language was different the fundamental stuff seemed to be the same. Not that this gave me much of a head start, as Seb’s examples were really clear and almost everyone was ready to throw in their own ideas and tweaks in no time. Every new tweak elicited an ‘oooooooh!’followed by some frantic cog turning to work out why what had happened did happen.
As for my next step, I’ve bought a book on Processing and I thought I might give Corona a poke about. That and my blog will soon have a big, blobby, random rainbow particle system for a background. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
And just to show how easy it is, Seb made this adorable video: