Code academy

As I am messing around with Arduino and its various bits and pieces I noticed quite quickly that whilst I can look through a bunch of code and pick out familiar items like serial.print and lcd.print. They seem fairly self explanatory to me. Other commands and, I’m going to call them words but you’ll understand why in a minute, just seemed a world away from my vocabulary.

My background is mechanical engineering, so limits and fits, materials, stress and strain are the areas of vocab I’m familiar with. Calling functions, variables and strings needed a bit more explanation in my world and previous attempts at understanding this went a bit wrong as there the language is the barrier. By language in this sense I mean C++, VB etc. See its getting complicated already!

If its all getting too much for you then try Codeacademy. I’ve had a few lessons with the primary idea of Codeacademylearning the lingo and nothing else really. The lessons are very well structured and the little exercises that go with them as well as the projects help to test your knowledge. I’m still finding that its worth while writing things down in a notebook but understanding the difference between a function and a variable has helped me get my head round a new subject for me. I will never be a code ninja but being able to understand more than a few keywords in someone else’s code will undoubtedly help me get into the position where I can look through other peoples code and understand what is going on as well as adapt it if necessary for my own purposes. 

Alex Hill, G7KSE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cumbria, UK. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Code academy”

  • W0FMS:

    Arduino will be VERY good for you for learning code as there are libraries to do just about any physical function you want to do. And the whole “sketch” language is a clever hidden “macro” on top of a full GCC C/C++ compiler, so as you progress you’ll start doing more and more C and C++.


    Fred W0FMS

  • Fred, you’ve already shown up my lack of knowledge. I wish I’d payed more attention to my Fortran 77 lessons at university instead of playing risk. Still that was 20 years ago!

    I find the way it teaches quite refreshing, like all things keeping a regular schedule is important to keep the mind on key.


Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: