Boxy Boxing Coming Soon To iOS!

Boxy Boxing
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Announcing Wall West game studio’s latest mobile game – Boxy Boxing! Check out the concept art below.

Boxy Boxing – It’s a Knock Out!

Boxy Boxing
Boxy Boxing
Boxy Boxing Icon
Boxy Boxing Icon
Early Concept Art
Early Concept Art
Boxy Boxing Concept Art
Boxy Boxing Concept Art
Boxy Boxing Work In Progress
Boxy Boxing Work In Progress

Further Details

Probably the most fun boxing game ever!

Knock your opponent out to win. Simple.

2 players one screen.

Release Date

End of July exclusively on iOS!

#boxyboxing

 

*Game title and content subject to change before release.

Copyright Wall West Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.

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5 Step Guide to Becoming a Code Ninja!

How to Become a Code Ninja
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So you want to be a code ninja?

Let’s face it – who doesn’t want to be a code ninja? According to a recent Stack Overflow survey, 10% of developers identified themselves as ninjas! Funnily enough, more than 7% self-identified as rockstars!

That is kinda true, coders have become like rockstars, creating disruptive and innovative technologies in every sector.

For “normal” people, what coders do is like a black art and that is why I think many developers embrace this image and joke around saying that they are ninjas!

It’s like a funny concept in the developer world. It has even become embedded in the ninja definition!

Ninja noun

a person skilled in the Japanese art of ninjutsu.

 

informal definition

a person who excels in a particular skill or activity.

“the courses vary—you don’t have to be a computer ninja to apply”

Let’s jump in!

Follow my  5 step guide to becoming a code ninja!

How to Become a Code Ninja?

Step #1

Read my best programming language guide.

Step #2

Come up with an idea for a mini project. Keep the scope small and manageable.

It’s best to go for a smaller project that you can see yourself finish in a few days rather than a large project that you may fail to complete.

Keep it small and fresh.

If you are stuck for ideas, just start making a web page around a topic you are passionate about.

Pick a hobby or something you enjoy and code around it.

Step #3

Choose your language! Don’t overthink this step, just go with a language that feels right, you can always learn a new language in the future.

If you are unsure, start learning HTML because it’s ideal for beginners. No special tools are required.

All you need is a text editor and a web browser and heaps of motivation!

Step #4

Allocate a full weekend for your ninja training.

Yes a full weekend.

I know you have stuff to do but trust me you will need a full weekend to get started.

Clear your schedule.

Forget your chores.

Cleaning, cooking and laundry can wait.

Forget socialising.

You are gonna become a code ninja!

Step #5

Take an online course for your language of choice.

Start learning and working on your mini project right away.

Hack away at your code until you get results.

Feel the burn but take regular breaks. Take a break every 45 minutes or so, stay well hydrated. You may become engrossed!

By Sunday aim to have something to show for efforts.

It will be amazing.

Let me know how you get on!

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Best Programming Language?

Best Programming Language
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So what is the best programming language to learn?

You decided to start learning programming and then immediately hit the big question.

With so much choice, how to make the right one?

How to pick the best programming language and start learning?

A bit of research should resolve this, right?

Go and do a bit of Googling, and 2 hours later, you will be overwhelmed by choice and buzzwords! Too much choice starts to cause stagnation, confusion and maybe even a mild headache!

Sounds familiar?

This is by far the most frequent feedback I get from new coders. They have all the excitement, passion and ideas but simply do not know where to start!

Choice prevents them from making a decision!

It becomes a barrier to success.

Too Much Choice Can Be Overwhelming

Do you ever get that feeling of being overwhelmed when you go into a supermarket and want to buy something?

Maybe you want to buy some coffee. There are 100 different coffees to choose from and you feel overwhelmed.

Too much choice can be overwhelming.

There is so much marketing and noise. Too many brands jumping out at us for attention.

Coffee

When we go into an artisan coffee shop you simply ask for our favourite brew. I usually just ask for a skinny latte and trust that the coffee shop owner has stocked the best beans.

This simplifies choice.

So if we cut down the vast choice and buzzwords into a smaller set of choices it becomes much easier.

How can we do this with programming languages?

The answer is actually very simple but not what you may expect…

Don’t worry, by the end of this guide, you will be much better informed to make this crucial decision quickly and easily. Moreover, I will also recommend to you the best and highest rated courses for your language of choice!

I will also help narrow down the best programming language choice to just 7!

Yes just 7 languages!

The choice will then be much easier for you to make.

The choice will be so easy and simple that you will be able to make it right away and with full confidence!

Keep reading to learn how to easily pick the best programming language and start learning today…

The Wrong Question

In most situations, the most pertinent question is almost always the wrong one. It is also the case with this question:

  • – What is the Best Programming Language to Learn?

Why is this the wrong question to ask?

This question is loaded with two major assumptions. Firstly, it assumes that there is actually a “best” programming language to learn. Secondly, it also assumes that this initial decision will have some sort of lasting impact on your journey as a programmer.

Both assumptions are false.

Let me put your mind at rest right away.

There is no such thing as the best programming language to learn. Moreover the first language you learn will have no lasting impact on your future as a programmer!

Common theoretical concepts occur in all programming languages. So any language you start learning will help you grow your generic programming knowledge, confidence and experience.

This will in turn make new programming languages much easier to get to grips with in the future!

In fact, most programmers will be proficient in more than one language. Most will have a favourite or speciality but a good programmer should be able to pickup a new language with relative ease.

Good programmers can get started quickly and learn more advanced features as their experience grows.

An experienced programmer, should have a general awareness of the capabilities of popular languages and be able to decide when a particular language is better suited than another when trying to solve a particular problem.

The language you should use in a particular situation will be largely driven by – what you want to develop.

The Right Question

Therefore, the right question should be this:

  • – What Do I Want To Develop?

An experienced programmer should be able to narrow down the language choice based on what they want to develop.

Don’t worry I am here to help guide you!

My top advice to you as a beginner is: to think about what you actually want to develop. Set yourself a project or a goal.

Then use this guide and allow me to help you make an informed language decision! Armed with your idea, pick the language from this guide and start learning right away, let your creativity drive your learning and your experience will grow in no time!

Do not stagnate!

If you are struggling to decide what you want to develop, don’t worry, I will also provide you with a few inspirational ideas together with appropriate languages you can learn – to help bring those ideas to life!

You really cannot make a bad decision here!

The only potential bad decision is to delay starting learning. Be decisive, get an idea, make a language choice and jump into coding! You can always change direction in the future and learn another language if needed.

I have seen this time and time again – people overthink the first step!

Remember learning new languages becomes easier and easier once you get over that first hurdle and actually start learning.

Let’s jump in!

From Idea To a Language

Simply use the table below to map an idea to a language and start learning to code today by doing it! Grow your experience by letting your creativity drive your learning and development.

You will be a great programmer in no time!

Start now!

Simple 3-Step Process

Step 1: Decide what you want to develop. Start with an idea.

Step 2: Pick your language from the table below.

Step 3: Start learning right away!

The biggest positive from this approach is that you remove the massive roadblock preventing you from learning.

Best of all, you can always learn another language in the future.

And it will be so much easier because you can leverage your experience and grow as a programmer!

It really is a win-win situation!

Mapping Your Idea To  a Programming Language

Use the table below to map your idea to a language…

From Idea To a Language

I have an idea to create…You need to learn…
A websiteHTML + CSS + JS
An iPhone appSwift
An Android appJava
Data analysis or calculation toolsPython
A game for mobile and consolesUnity and C#
A Windows desktop applicationC#
A Mac OS X desktop applicationSwift
A startup like Airbnb with a website and appRuby on Rails
I’m sill not sure…HTML + CSS + JS

7 Best Programming Languages

That’s the basics and you have right there – the 7 best programming languages for beginners. Let’s now explore each of the languages in a bit more detail and get a bit more familiar with them.

I will then show you some incredible courses! Read on!

Best Programming Language HTML

#1 HTML

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the standard language for creating web pages. HTML is learnt alongside Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript (JS).

HTML + CSS + JS

This combination is collectively known as front-end web languages.

HTML is the key language for developing content for the web.

HTML is very beginner friendly and you can get started working with HTML code in absolutely no time without special software or experience.

I highly recommend HTML as the default choice for beginners. If you do not have a strong idea right now, just start learning HTML.

Ideas will soon follow!

Once you have mastered HTML, move onto CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and JS (JavaScript).

Don’t worry I have a great course recommendation for all 3 and more!

Best Programming Language Swift

#2 Swift

Swift is a general-purpose programming language developed by Apple for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux.

The language is designed to work with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks and other code written for Apple products.

Swift is an ideal choice if you want to develop apps to run on Apple devices like iPhones, iPads and iMacs. Note that Swift has limited applications outside the Apple ecosystem of hardware.

However many of the concepts you will learn with Swift will still be applicable to other languages you learn in the future!

Best Programming Language Java

#3 Java

Java is a general-purpose programming language. It is an  object-oriented language which means that it is based on a particular way of modelling software as reusable components.

There is a slight theory barrier but once that is overcome you will be good to go.

Java is designed with the “write once, run anywhere” (WORA) principle in mind. This means that Java code can run on all platforms that support Java.

Java was originally developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems (which has since been acquired by Oracle Corporation) and released in 1995 as a core component of Sun Microsystems’ Java platform.

1995 may seem like a long time ago, but Java has been constantly updated with Java 9 only recently released. It continues to be a popular choice for many varied applications.

Importantly Java can be used for Android development!

Best Programming Language Python

#4 Python

Python is a widely used high-level programming language for general-purpose programming, created by Guido van Rossum and first released in 1991.

It is an interpreted language which means it does not need to be compiled. This makes development super fast and versatile.

Python has a design philosophy with focus on code readability. It has a syntax which allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than possible in other languages.

Python has become a popular choice in recent years. Often seen as a powerful scripting language it has become used in both large and small-scale systems.

It is particularly appropriate for use with mathematical and scientific applications.

Best Programming Language C#

#5 C#

C# is a programming language developed by Microsoft within its .NET initiative. C# syntax looks very similar to Java and again has a wide variety of applications.

It is the language of choice when developing applications to run on Windows.

C# can readily be used for scripting within Unity for making games!

Best Programming Language Unity

#6 Unity

Unity is a cross-platform game engine developed by Unity Technologies and used to develop video games for PC, consoles, mobile devices and websites.

Unity has been extended to target 27 platforms making it the game engine of choice for developing games for multiple platforms. This is really more of a software package than a programming language and has built-in support for scripting using C#. But hey, I love games, so it deserves a place on my list!

Consider learning Unity and C# is you want to make serious games.

Best Programming Language Ruby On Rails

#7 Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails, or simply Rails, is a server-side (or back-end) web application framework.

Rails is a framework, providing default structures for working with databases,  web services, and web pages.

It encourages and facilitates the use of web standards for data transfer, and mixes nicely with HTML, CSS and JS for display and user interfacing.

Ruby on Rails has grown in popularity over the last few years and some major web sites have been spun up using it!

Airbnb was developed using Ruby on Rails – making it a great choice for developing disruptive and innovative technologies quickly! Think of it as a super language for spinning up startups!

A Word About SQL and JS

Some surveys include SQL (Structured Query Language) as a language alongside programming languages I have listed so far.

I think this is wrong unless your focus is to solely work on databases (e.g. work as a database administrator). SQL should be learnt in the context of another language when that software needs to talk to a database.

Similarly JS (JavaScript) should be learnt together with HTML. It should be learnt alongside or after HTML. In the list above, when I say HTML I really mean the 3 key web technologies that all go hand-in-hand, namely – HTML, CSS and JS!

What About C++ and PHP?

I would highly recommend that C++ is tackled after you learn a language that is highly suitable for beginners like Java.

C++, in my humble opinion, is a hard first language to learn because the programmer needs to be aware of more low-level details like memory management which a language like Java will seamlessly handle for you.

PHP is now considered by many to be slightly dated. It can be easily picked up if needed once you learn HTML, CSS and JS as a nice easy server-side technology. PHP is still widely used but is starting to give way to cooler, feature-rich alternatives like Rails.

What About Language X?

There are other programming languages out there but these are the 7  best programming languages to start learning now. No doubt about it, start with one of these and you will be well on your way to becoming a coder!

Pick one and start learning today!

You can always add another  language to your arsenal later on.

What Does the Community Say?

I analysed last years Stack Overflow survey to find out!

It was the most comprehensive developer survey ever conducted. Here are a few interesting figures captured in a tasty infographic.

I gotta be honest the winner for me was clear – front-end web technologies.

That is HTML, CSS and JS.

Now It’s Your Turn…

So there you have it. The best programming language choice narrowed down to just 7 of the most popular languages out there!

Follow this simple process to make your well-informed choice.

Start with an idea and then let that determine the language to start learning.

Jump in, start learning and coding right away.

Don’t overthink it, because that will only hinder your progress.

One language is a clear default first choice – HTML.

So if you are not sure – just start with learning HTML.

Check out my top recommended courses for each of the 7 languages below!

Good luck!

Recommended Courses

From Idea To a Language To a Course

I have an idea to create…You need to learn……with a recommended course
A websiteHTML + CSS + JS
The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0
An iPhone appSwiftThe Complete iOS 10 Developer Course
An Android appJavaThe Complete Java Developer Course
Data analysis or calculation toolsPythonComplete Python Bootcamp: Go from zero to hero
A game for mobile and consolesUnity and C#Complete Unity Developer
A Windows desktop applicationC#C# Basics for Beginners
A Mac OS X desktop applicationSwiftThe Complete iOS 10 Developer Course
A startup like Airbnb with a website and appRuby on RailsThe Complete Ruby on Rails Developer Course
I’m sill not sure…HTML + CSS + JSThe Complete Web Developer Course 2.0

Take one of the recommended courses and become a ninja… err I mean coder TODAY!

To your coding success,

Alex

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Website Structure Explained

How to Make Your Own Website Tutorial
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Website structure is really important to get right from the start. This is the seventh module in the How to Make Your Own Website Tutorial.

Website structure is often overlooked by new web developers and as a consequence their websites can later become painful to update and maintain. Moreover changing website structure at a later stage is a big process because all relative paths will need to be updated! Such big restructuring updates often introduce bugs and broken links. So setup your structure from the outset and stick with it.

In the previous module, we built on our HTML and CSS knowledge by learning how to add social media icons to your website in order to help build social media following. In this module we will be covering how to setup the ideal website structure.

Watch It On YouTube

Coming soon!

Website Structure

So far we have learnt the basics of HTML and CSS. Our examples have been limited to one web page, a few images plus a stylesheet. However a real website will be made up of many web pages all linked together, dozens of images and several stylesheets. So the question is: how to organise all this into a clean folder structure?

There are many approaches to structuring a website and I will be showing you my preferred setup. Feel free to define your own or improve on mine. The key is to set this up from the start and stick with it.

The reason I want to cover structure in detail is because it is often overlooked in web development tutorials. People learn HTML and CSS syntax and are then at a complete loss how to put a whole website together.

Setup a folder structure on your local machine as follows:

  • site
    • assets
      • css
      • fonts
      • img
      • js
      • lib

Usually I would place the site folder into a project folder in Documents. So for example for LTCL my site folder would live in Documents/LTCL.

  • site – contains all the top level HTML files
  • assets – groups all the required media files referenced by HTML files
  • css – all your stylesheets
  • fonts – contains your fonts
  • img – groups all your images, this folder may also be organised using sub-directories to add another level of hierarchy
  • js – all your Java Script files
  • lib – keep this for 3rd party content that you want to include in your website

This folder structure will make it super easy to publish too. We will simply upload all the content in the site folder!

Website Structure

 Use Relative Paths

With the structure setup as above in your HTML you should use relative paths as opposed to absolute paths. Remember that a relative path is a path to a file with respect to the current directory. So to reference images use:

<img href="assets/img/myimage.png">

Exercises

1. Setup a website structure for your website you created so far in this tutorial series.

2. Setup a basic index.html file, images and stylesheet.

3. Change all paths to be relative paths.

Summary

That’s the end of “Website Structure Explained” module. We introduced a simple but effective website structure. Next time I will be showing you how to actually publish your website online.

Next Module: Publishing Your Website (coming soon)

If you have any questions or comments please use the form below!

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How To Add Social Media Icons To Your Website

How to Make Your Own Website Tutorial
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Adding social media icons to your website is an easy way to make your website look great and help build up your social media following. This is the sixth module in the How to Make Your Own Website Tutorial.

Last time, we introduced CSS and saw how it can be used to style our web pages. We learnt that CSS is a separate language to HTML and how the two go hand-in-hand to allow us to create beautiful looking web pages. In this module, I will show you how to add social media icons to your website and make it stand out even more!

This technique can be used not only for social media icons but indeed any type of icons.

Watch It On YouTube

How To Add Social Media Icons To Your Website

The easiest way to add social media icons to your website is to use a free 3rd party library of icons! I highly recommend Ionicons and Font Awesome Icons for this.

How To Add Social Media Icons To Your Website
How To Add Social Media Icons To Your Website

Using Ionicons

Ionicons is  packaged up as a zip file which you can download here. Unzip it and what you need are the css and the fonts directories.

To include social media icons in your website you just need to reference the CSS in your HTML code as you would any other CSS file:

<link href="css/ionicons.min.css" rel="stylesheet">

Once you have referenced it in your HTML file, use the Ionicons website to find the icon you want to use. To use any icon the HTML tag to use is shown below:

<i class="icon name"></i>

Then simply replace “icon name” above with the actual icon you want to use. For example, to use Facebook:

<i class="ion-social-facebook"></i>

We can add inline style to make it larger:

<i style="font-size: 50px;" class="ion-social-facebook"></i>

Let’s add a Twitter and YouTube too. And let’s add hyperlinks! Note how I applied the style to the div element. In the supporting video I went a step further and split this out to our CSS file.

<div style="font-size:50px;">
  <a href="https://www.facebook.com/learntocodelondon/">
    <i class="ion-social-facebook"></i>
  </a>
  <a href="https://twitter.com/learncodelondon">
    <i class="ion-social-twitter"></i>
  </a>
  <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgB1DA8uNnpSWPKHQDWqRWw">
    <i class="ion-social-youtube"></i>
  </a>
</div>

Let’s now build on our RetroSkatr example from the previous modules and add social media icons to the bottom! Check out the CodePen below. Take a moment to see how it all fits together.

See the Pen EWPvww by Learn To Code London (@learntocodelondon) on CodePen.

How To Add Social Media Icons To Your Website
RetroSkatr With Social Media Icons
Exercises
1. Apply icons to the web page you created as part of the exercises in module 5.
2. Experiment with adding different icons into your web page.
3. Challenge: Try embed Font Awesome Icons in your web page!

Summary

That’s the end of “How To Add Social Media Icons To Your Website” module. It was a quick one, but illustrated a key concept of including 3rd party icons in your web pages. Next time we will cover how to organise your website assets to make them easy to manage! This is in preparation to publishing your website online! Oh and by the way don’t forget to follow us on social media using the icons at the bottom of this page! 🙂


Next: Website Structure Explained

If you have any questions or comments please use the form below!

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