Types of coders you’ll meet along your road to code!

Coders are the coolest people on earth. Each one comes with his/her own swag and distinct characteristics. In fact, I believe, there should be a dedicated field of sciences just to study them! No kidding, check out and decide for yourself.
Which one are you?
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  • The ‘Jugaad’ innovator: They live by their anthem ‘Get sh*t done!’ They will understand and fix your problems fast. They won’t care about code quality or indentation and will use duct tape if they have to but will always find a fix to the problem. Nevertheless, they actually write good code from time to time and are happy when other people refactor their code – as long as it works. Oh yes, statuary warning: THEY HATE PERFECTIONISTS!.
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  • The Perfectionist: This one can spend days on a task that takes a couple of minutes for Jugaadu guy but the resulting code is impeccable. His logic, codes, and indentations will put you to shame. Trust me, you never want this person to do your code reviews.
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  • The wise sage: He is the wise one with years of experiences in his pocket. He has seen it all and his advice is never to be ignored. He would cost 10X times a newbie but is an asset to the company. In a case of deadlocks, you seek wisdom from this great saint!
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  • The Code Nazi:He/She suffers from a serious case of code OCD and will frown upon your disorganized coding ethics. They won’t stand anything extra or less, just the right amount. They unquestionably prefer tabs over spaces and would have memorized the company’s style formats by heart.
  • Ctrl+C<->Ctrl+V: This copy-paste coders are mostly newbies who code ‘coz it’s cool! Shortcuts to everything is his first love and he would thank his seniors every day for backups and code versioning systems they left behind.
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  • The Coding Ninja: This one is our favorite! An absolute rock star who tries out new editors, frameworks, build tools, programming languages, and keyboards. He has that zest to learn and is really keen on trying out the latest stuff. He strives towards excellence and believes in learning by doing. Such coders are the explorers of technology and creators of the future. The one, we want you to be! Code like a ninja, be a Coding Ninja!!
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Be a code genin!

Codegenin_BLOG1A Genin is an inception rank in a Ninja’s career. A Genin is sincere and completely dedicated to the pursuit of his code. With great perseverance and discipline, a Genin ultimately evolves into a Coding Ninja. The evolution of a Code Genin to a Coding Ninja is an adventurous journey and every new challenge enhances their problem solving abilities as well as levels up the coding skills. Challenges make a Genin’s life interesting and overcoming the challenges is what makes them an ultimate Ninja.

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So how do you become a Code Genin?
You code and code and code! Complete our challenges and tests and make your spot on the leaderboard. Now, what’s a leaderboard? Well, it’s nothing less than your report card. It tells you where you stand among the other Genins. This doesn’t only infuse that competitive spirit in you but also makes you ready for the real time battle of the coders.
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A challenge always comes with a reward
Remember your school days? The first three top rankers of our classes used to win medals and shields for their highly meritorious performances. Similarly, the top three Genins will walk away with hefty cash prizes. More than the cash it’s the honor that you earn among your fellow coding mates making yourself closer to the designation of the Ultimate Coding Ninja.
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How it works
It will be a continuous evaluation process based on the challenges you solve, the problems of the day and other practice question sets. The leaderboard will be published bi-weekly and the top contenders will be chosen based on their performance in the challenges.
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Getting prepped up?
There is no substitute for hard work as they say. Solve as many questions as you can. Complete the challenges, take the tests and viola! Your hard work will definitely pay off.
It’s a fun learning by doing marathon where the winners take it all. What’s interesting about this format is that everybody here is a winner. Why? The spirit of the competition unleashes your full potential and as they say, more challenges = better skills.

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Are you ready to ride this ROAD TO CODE?

Computer Education for children: Recycle Bin is better than Trash Can

Coding-Ninjas_BLOG1Being a Mathematics and Computers enthusiast, I advocate early computer education for children, but being parent to one curious mind and educator to several curious minds, I want them to see what they are doing, why they are doing what they’re doing and where they are heading. I don’t want to serve them building blocks on a platter, instead I want them to choose their blocks judicially and learn to create on their own. They are blessed to be born in a time where technology is a given. What we learnt in our 20s and our parents are still struggling to learn, they are able to decipher in minutes. They are agile, they comprehend problems in their own unique ways and gadgets are their new toys!

Fear lies within

There was a group of 8th grade boys who came to me around 2 years back to learn JAVA for a year-end exam they had to write in 5 days. When asked for their course, they handed me their notebooks with some 20 odd hand-written programs. The questions starting from WAP… and programs starting from public static void main () {…}. And then, right from opening bracket to closing bracket, everything between the lines was learnt by heart, verbatim. There wasn’t any logical differentiation between ‘=’ and ‘==’, or a “,” and ‘;’ or ‘for’ and ‘while’ or ‘do-while’ loops. For all the excuses, there was just one justification “Our Sir told us this way!” There was no excitement or learning in this method.

Those 5 days were like right from scratch to the level they could write programs logically, without mugging up and they did well in the exam. But what happened next was disturbing. I asked them to write their codes on computer because eventually that’s where codes are meant to be written, not on papers. There was 10 minutes silence in the room and 20 minutes persuasion to go back to paper-pen, their hands trembled and finally they convinced me to copy their hand-written codes for that day! I agreed. But when it turned into compile-time and run-time errors and syntax errors to top the list, things got very interesting. Rectifying our own mistakes and learning from them, is a gift we give ourselves. The earlier we learn from it, the better we get and that much farther we can go.

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Discipline is an Art

How beautiful it is to move into kids’ time-space and teach them the way they learn! Let them comprehend that while preparing their 2-minutes Maggie noodles, or their daily chores schedule, they can lead to something big like ALGORITHMS. How messy their noodles could be, or how chaotic their day could be if they skipped or re-ordered any of the steps. SEQUENCE IS IMPORTANT. How being in discipline can produce better algorithms and being smart and punctual can produce OPTIMIZED ALGORITHMS in time & space.

We are part of a vicious cycle

We need to make them observe the fact that our real lives are programmed too, either by ourselves or by nature. Once we start receiving those signals, we start finding PATTERNS in them. Why do their nursery rhymes end with similar rhyming words? Why do their dancing moves repeat the steps, why do they have to follow the same routine everyday and suddenly what happens on Sunday? Why do patterns break? How does the multiplication times table follow certain patterns, how does day and night follow a pattern or for that matter, water-cycle or butterfly-life cycle? When they learn these patterns, they tend to be inquisitive about patterns in general-how do they start and repeat, what is the sequence in each iteration, how many times does it repeat, when does it stop, will it ever stop or not? The answer to each of these questions is astonishing LOOPS. Vicious cycles and efforts to break these loops are the most fascinating part of programming.

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Name is Enough!!

One sunny afternoon, my boy brought a music sheet from school and it read like this :

Verse 1

Yeah, you can be the greatest. You can be the best

You can be the King Kong banging on your chest

You can beat the world. You can beat the war

You can talk to God, go banging on his door.

You can throw your hands up. You can beat the clock (yeah)

You can move a mountain. You can break rocks

You can be a master. Don’t wait for luck

Dedicate yourself and your gonna find yourself

CHORUS

Standing in the hall of fame (yeah) And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)

‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame (yeah) And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)

And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame !!!

 Verse 2

You can go the distance You can run the mile

You can walk straight through hell with a smile

You can be the hero You can get the gold

Breaking all the records they thought never could be broke

Yeah, do it for your people Do it for your pride

How are you ever gonna know if you never even try?

Do it for your country Do it for your name, ‘Cause there’s gonna be a day…

CHORUS

Verse 1

CHORUS

Verse 2

CHORUS

Does it ring any bells? Sequence – yes, Patterns – OK, yes! But why Chorus written 4 times above, is just mentioned as CHORUS once and rest it’s just reference other times. Same holds for Verse 1 and 2. How drawing shapes, numbers, alphabets learnt once and you ask them anywhere, anytime, they have same quick response fetched from layers of memories and here is the answer! How this quick response is translated from already fed reference- in other words, FUNCTION CALL! Define once and use the name to refer to it as many times as you want.

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Negotiation: War to Win or Lose or Draw or Mutual Agreement!

Who else can be the best negotiators than kids? Every now and then parents are negotiating on terms and conditions.

If you wake up on time then we will ………………….. else we will …………………..

If you finish your meal on time AND behave well then we will ……………else we will ………………

If you finish homework on time OR if you finish your project on time then we will ……. else we will ……….

And that’s how the story goes. Within these daily negotiation deals, we are making choices, CONDITIONAL choices, which is another building block of programming.

It’s all in-programmed thereafter

Once as a parent and educator you have exposed them to these faculties, their brain starts thinking this way. Introduce them to any programming language be it, C, C++, Java or any other high-level programming language or scripting language, they will master it. Give them real life scenarios, break them into smaller chunks, try to find granular steps and then look for patterns in it for repeating steps, loop them. Try to recall previous already done tasks instead of doing all-over again, prototype them. Life gives us new ways to look at.

Integrating other subjects to computers

Visual learning always has long-term effect. When children can see their times tables are following patterns and can be fed as data-entry in Excel Sheets and apply formulae on them, they see magic. When they can paint their imaginations in Paint or Canva, when they can write their stories or make projects in Word and edit them with crazy editing tools, we open a world of opportunities for them. Most fun is when they want to show off their skills to the world and PowerPoint, Prezi, blogs, websites become their best resorts, let them flaunt. When they pick up TED-Ed talks, YouTube documentaries, or Pinterest for research, let them quench their thirst for knowledge, you’re upbringing an independent learner. Schools are no more monopoly of knowledge, the world of internet when guided judicially, can hone ignited minds.

Computer Education is more than Programming-Coding and Digital Literacy…

While being a computer pro, where my half my day is spent in front of the laptop, I have assigned limited screen-time to my son who is 7 year old. When I see new parents pleasing their children with smart phones, I-pads and tablets, as a substitute for their time, as an excuse of making them tech-pro and boasting about their gadget handling skills without educating them for digital footprints or cyber security, my heart goes off. Science and technology can make or break a child’s future, depending on how you use them.

When I asked my son, why he liked to work on computers, his first reply was that he could edit his mistakes instantly. He could learn, re-learn and unlearn to achieve perfection. And second was that he wanted to save papers. Recycle bin is better than trash can. His future plans are to become animator for Pixar movies because he loves math, drawing and he believes that he can code them for his creations soon!

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The Rise of Superwoman Coders!

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Women all around the world are turning the tables today be it any field. TechGig data shows that young women coders are overtaking men and guess what, they rank higher! The rise of women who code is an undeniably pleasant fact and over the years this has just gotten better. Not to mention, the first programmer was a lady!
She works hard, writes her code well. She’s independent and confident. She’s not the kept but one who does the keeping. Such a diva they are I tell you! Women Coders are just killing it in there.
What can Indian women coders teach the world?
The proportion of women coders in the tech industry is well over 30% in India today. You will be shocked to know that the racers of the Silicon valley have only about 21% of women techies in the org! StackOverflow revealed that Indian women are the highest responders to coding questions on StackOverflow in terms of geography.
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Women coders are excelling at scripting
Research shows that while men are still coding in the comforts of traditional languages, new-age women programmers are challenging the norm by coding in scripting languages as experts.
 
Women code better 
The researchers at California Polytechnic State University and North Carolina State University saw that the Computer code written by women coders receive higher approval rating than the code written by men. It was also found that women programmers tend to be very calculative and methodical in nature. They are good at analyzing and breaking down a large problem into small parts.
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I’ve personally worked with women who code in India and in the USA and trust me when I say, they are much more organized and methodical than we men. One of my immediate client partners was a syntax and indentation Nazi and I still love the way she writes those codes. Not to mention, her logical and analytical reasoning is impeccable!
Women are the largest reservoir of talent in the world and the world needs to know this. One of the fastest ways of increasing GDP of a country is by getting more and more women into the workforce. We at Coding Ninjas salute the spirit of women coders and extend our best courses for them to harness their coding talents and turn into amazing coders. Let’s build a better, stronger and wiser community of women coders.
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