Some helpful lessons learnt from Hopscotch and other places

hopscotch
advice

#1

Hi everyone, I wanted to share some advice passed on to me — small things given over time but they’ve turned out to be powerful. Most of it relates to not giving up, particularly in the field of IT (information technology). I was entering a small programming competition (and was unsure about whether I should participate) when all of this really came together. Here are some messages that came to mind.

<b>Hopscotch is powerful.</b> There might be an illusion that Hopscotch isn't as powerful as other languages (like traditional text-based ones). Those require "more advanced" knowledge but Hopscotch is powerful because <i>it is so accessible.</i> Hopscotch is an important stepping stone — that step in allowing you to first try coding and beyond that, it allows you to get down ideas so quickly.

When I was doing the programming competition, my first instinct was to code like I have always done in Hopscotch :joy: I wrote down on pen and paper in Hopscotch-like language what the code would look like. This technique is known as writing “pseudocode”, so you plan things out to get the general idea without actually coding it yet. It helps you to see how what you’re thinking will work logically.

Here’s what some might look like:

repeat 5 times
    check if firstValue = 1
        increase secondValue by 5
    else
        increase secondValue by -5
    end

And that was basically the core. You really can translate this into any code language.

On Hopscotch, I love that you can get your ideas down with a few rapid finger movements. You can even get stuff down before you’ve completely finished the thought in your head, so later you can look at the logic of your thoughts and see how the code will flow. There is no detraction with “You forgot a colon or bracket or quotation mark” on Hopscotch.


<b>Repeating the problems you can already do is great, but you learn much from doing things that challenge you.</b> You certainly do learn a lot from doing things you've never done before.

(This is just summed up from what our maths teacher told us last year.)


<b>Be open to learning (and have fun!)</b> Don't be afraid to fail — embrace mistakes, because that's part of learning :smile: Each time you make a mistake, you are more likely to learn from it and less likely to make the mistake again next time, right? You improve each time, little by little. That's what learning is, and it's a lifelong process :blush:.

This applies to so many other things as well. You can probably see in Hopscotch the effects of gradually fixing mistakes and gradually improving (particularly in the number of projects I publish :joy:) Here’s one — from a test project inspired by a maths question to a project where you can customise your own colourful rolling waves (sounds terribly exciting, doesn’t it?):

Can you see the “failure” was part of the learning process? Build upon mistakes. You can constantly improve on what you’ve done. :smiley: This, for me, is a core part of Hopscotching.

You see in Hopscotch, and in many places on the internet: create not for the likes and attention, but for the fun of it. You see in school: learn it not for the marks, but for the fun of it. You see in sport: play not for the score or the “glory of winning”, but for the fun of it. You see in employment: when you can choose your job, work not purely for the money but for the fun of it. In the end, what really made me stay was this: do it for the fun of it and the joy of learning. It wasn’t about ranks, score, ability — problem solving is fun and I wanted to have a go and see the problems.

Being open to learning helps you to be adaptable which is particularly helpful in the IT industry because it’s a field that is constantly changing. In fact, they embrace learning. It is totally okay if you don’t know something, and you can learn about it! Take joy in what you do and see what you can learn from it :smiley:


<b>"Don't leave before you leave." — Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook).</b> The essential message is don't start worrying about not being able to do something before things have even begun.

I was shown this video (at an IT event talking about diversity in the field, gender diversity in particular) and thought of it while I was in the competition.

(The message I’m referring to goes from 11:40–13:55, the video should play automatically at that point.)

https://youtu.be/18uDutylDa4?t=11m40s

If you’re worried you’re going to hit a block somewhere along the road, don’t give up yet! Keep going, and approach the problem with “Let’s see how things go”.


An extra, here is another lesson for those wanting to find more after getting interested in the IT field especially after getting inspired through Hopscotch (from someone who has asked a lot of others the same thing).

While playing on Hopscotch, I’ve gotten more interested in going to IT so I wanted to do what I could to improve my skills. I can assure you now that any effort you put in is never wasted, after going through unfinished attempts at a couple of languages. Each time you do something, even if it is just exposing yourself to a concept, it helps you for the next time. And there are a lot of resources available in all areas, like Hopscotch has this amazing forum :wink:

Plus you already know a lot from Hopscotch. When you’re trying out a new language and they say “we’re learning about variables” or “we’re learning about conditionals”, you will be like “ohhh! I know about those, from Hopscotch!” Try doing some problems from other places in Hopscotch — you can!

Someone (a developer at a hackathon) told me that when you learn one language, you learn them all — and it’s true, they all have the same basic features. A good bit of advice I’ve gotten is stick to one language, because then you can get exposed to more concepts and apply all of what you know to another. Solving problems in code is the essentially the same in all languages.


I've shared this with keeping you in mind and tried to make it helpful for *you*. I've been given this advice over time and I felt without realising it's worth until very recently. I thought imagine what others could take from it if I passed it on :blush:

I hope it was helpful and if you don’t consider it to be completely relevant, I can remove this post no problem :thumbsup: If you have other feedback too, please feel free to share! (I’ve tried to cut down. It is a lot to digest. That’s why there’s a quick condensed version when you don’t expand anything yet ;). I could add that as a message at the top of the post, what do you think?)


Hopscotch, the simple but soon to be outlived app
Electronics Talk!
#2

What a topic you have here!


#3

Thank you for the feedback @GoatLord :laughing:


#4

Amazing topic!
:O


#5

Really? Thank you @smishsmash, glad it is! :blush:


#6

Great topic- I mean AMAZING topic! 0_0

I have drawn my code out on paper, too! I really like the idea of it, and I now know what to call it! :D

Thank you for sharing this awesome topic! :D


#7

Awesome topic 0.0
:smile:


#8

Awesome, amazing, incredible topic! :D

:D

I'm out of likes, please take this heart as a substitute until I get my likes back: <3


#9

Very very isnt it?

Some pretty good advice and info, etc.


#10

I gave you nice topic!

GREAT TOPIC!


#11

It is very, very noice. XD

Here is a like: <3


#12

Seriously, this is amazing! :D

I love the organization of it and the messages behind all these things! :D


#13


They told me he was wrong,
BUT THIS IS RIGHT AND
AMAZING


#14

This is the best topic I have ever seen here. No jokes, I have read it all. I completely agree with you! Here's a like!


#15

:0

This topic is AMAZING! :0010010100101100

Very well-written and well-said :+1:

I could expect nothing less than that from my senpai. XD

I'm out of likes for an hour how exciting

So here's a 'c:' heart. :3

<c:3


#16

Really nice topic. It's extremely well-written, and is full of good points.
You definitely don't have to worry about this not being relevant to HS. This advice is relevant to everything. I think this is exactly what I (and undoubtedly others) needed: a reminder to keep on keepin' on, that Hopscotch is powerful and that even when we fail we're still progressing.
This topic deserves extra likes: <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3


#17

Awesome post! I like how you condensed the messages with the [details] feature, so it's easier to read and understand. :smiley:

These are great lessons and advice! One thing I really love about Hopscotch is that you can learn a lot more than just block coding. You can learn about helping others, the power teamwork, that it's okay to make mistakes, and so many other beautiful concepts that you could never learn out of a textbook. Hopscotch is more than in app. It's a place to explore, share, and investigate. It's a place where everyone can learn. It's a place where people all around the world come together to code for the fun of it. I honestly couldn't ask for more than that. :slight_smile:


#18

Thank you so much for your replies, I really am glad it helped in some way or the other :smiley: :smiley:

That's awesome @LazyLizard! Yep pseudocode comes from 'pseudo' + 'code', where 'pseudo' means 'fake'. So writing pseudocode is writing not in actual code terms. It helps especially if you've got a big idea or an idea you might get lost in. It's good to take a step back and see how your idea will all fit together :blush:

I'm glad you found the layout made it easier to read, @Gilbert189 and @Intellection74 :blush: (I tried to not put people off reading as much as possible :joy:) And yes Intellection74, you are totally right about the things we learn from Hopscotch! You get much more valuable lessons than in the traditional classroom. The best ones I've gotten are be open to learning (and making mistakes like you mentioned), and kindness is what really matters.

Wow, thank you @William04GamerA :open_mouth: I hope any part sticks in the back of your mind when you need it. (That goes for everyone too.) And thank you @Caramel_Puffin, yes keep on keeping on!


I didn't go too much into the actual competition itself, but what happened was I wasn't very familiar with the languages available.

(I had been hoping they would allow Scratch because it's as close to Hopscotch as you can get on the computer :joy:) The language that I had most experience with on the list was Python, and after an unfinished attempt to learn it from a book, all I remembered clearly without searching anything up was print("Hello World!"). Fortunately we were allowed to search up syntax — the rules saying what keywords and punctuation you use in a language.

The time I spent while trying to learn Python wasn't wasted at all though — it helped me when I tried Swift. And speaking of one thing helping another, I got to Python after doing some Scratch from the same book, and guess what, Hopscotch was what made Scratch approachable. And it was what I learnt in Swift that helped me understand how to convey an idea in Python, but at the core was the same skills everyone uses all the time on Hopscotch — the thinking that goes into making a project. So that's how one thing can lead to another :)


I thought many times, maybe I shouldn't be doing this. But the advice that I've talked about kept me there ("don't leave before you leave!") and am I glad it did because it was fun! So hopefully it helps you next time you're not sure about something :blush:

The competition itself I didn't mention much because I wanted to share what would be most relevant to you, but you can see in action what effect the advice had.

As for trying throwing yourself in the deeper end rather than doing the same things over, I learnt some more Python which was helpful, and I also realised (again) that what we do in maths was so related to the problems. There is heaps of advice on trying something new, but they all say 'go for it!' No matter what happens, you'll be able to draw something from the experience :thumbsup: I know now that I definitely want to do more competitions like it, and I know that the advice I've gotten was super influential, so it would be good to share it!


#19

Very inspirational!


#20

This topic is so

:D

@t1_hopscotch this is an amazing topic! :D
Great job writing all of this. :D