My first Javascript sketch


I know it doesn’t look like much, but I’ve been looking around for a way to learn Javascript and I’ve just been plowing through all these different learning sites and suggestions. I did CodeAcademy, which was nice, but there can be super steep learning curves from section to section and sometimes I would make it through a lesson only to wonder if I was just a trained pigeon, pecking squares.

Then I did Lynda for a while and that was nice too, but sometimes it was so dry that I’d swear I was paying attention, writing down notes and then realizing I had no idea conceptually what just happened.

Did WW3, Codepen Tutorials and Random Whispery Youtubers, all without much effect.

Then I found Coding Rainbow, I love this guy ( Daniel Shiffman) because his teaching style matches my frenetic, concept-hopping learning style and all of his whiteboard scribbles, cheap green screens, tangents, malfunctions, distracting asides, etc., add up to a way of learning that sticks in my brain. I pledge to Patreon him when I make it through a couple courses. I just wish the Intro to P5.js was in focus, it kind of offends my prissy video production assistant sensibilities.

function setup() {


function draw() {

// ellipse(130,130,200,200);

Robot Classes for Adults

small, plastic white robot in front of a computer screen with computer code displayed.
Finchy the Robot contemplates his sub routines.

I recently presented a class on using Finch Robots, those slightly unnerving looking wunderkinds from the folks¬†BirdBrain¬†Technologies. The robots are a fun way to learn how sensors and servos work in conjunction with Snap. Boy-o-boy do I love Snap. It’s an interface that scales up or down depending on the age of the user. I’m a crotchety Gen Xer and I love using level 4 just to play with stuff.

Anyway, my students were particularly interested in programing the robots to interact with each other using the sensing blocks. They also enjoyed programming the little guys to respond to keyboard input to make the robots “fight” each other.

I made a little movie of a fun exercise that shows how to program simple Javascript concepts like “Else” and “If Else” statements