When most people think about coding, images of hack-athons depicted in Aaron Sorkin’s “The Social Network” or heist movie robbers cracking into a bank’s mainframe come to mind. People assume that coding is an esoteric skill that can only be acquired by geniuses. Nowadays, programs like Codecademy along with the easy accessibility of information on the Internet makes it easy for average people to easily learn coding basics.
HTML, or hypertext markup language, is the language that webpages are written in. HTML gives webpages their structure and allows coders to create titles, headings and subheadings, make a bulleted or numbered list, delineate paragraphs, put text in bold or italics, add pictures and links to their site and much more. HTML is coded using brackets to create sets of “tags” that serve as instructions for setting different parameters within a website. Tags are places around text or images in a page, to make the text or image do specific things. It’s more like a publishing language, or a set of rules for page layout.
CSS stands for “Cascading Style Sheets”. CSS can be considered as a series of rules or guidelines that coders use to effect and dictate display properties of elements within webpages such as text, colors and layouts. With CSS, it is easy to apply a set of rules to one or multiple HTML pages by embedding the CSS within the HTML page or a separate file. CSS helps with consistency and ensures that webpages keep information displayed in a proper format.
Codecademy is a great resource for anyone who wants to pick up some coding essentials without having to enroll in a computer science class. Here are some shots from my two-hour session on Codecademy.