Learn how to code Javascript by playing a game!

CodeCombat is a web based game that teaches you how to code with Javascript by playing it and so far, the more I get to know it the more I like it! 

The game has a 2D RPG skin with cute characters and runs directly in the browser. At the beginning it is a bit hard to get used to its UX and for those who are anxious, sorry to tell, but you will have to read the instructions. But when you start to get how it works it gets more fun and without noticing you are learning how to code and hacking the code they give you in order to pass the levels faster.

The better part of Codecombat I just found out yesterday: the team who built it has open-sourced everything! I have even talked with the team and they are super accessible, they have provided a few aways of doing that.

There are a bunch of ways to get involved with the game and helping spread code education out there. So, if you are looking for a free and open-source software to contribute, you should consider this one.

What I’ve learnt at #learnfest

Yesterday I’ve attended to Learnfest Conference & Festival @Campus Party, an event to gather great and important people that are working hard for a better education. It intends to be more than a conference: a movement that motivates people to use their energy in order to focus their effort to make create ideas and solutions for social problems involving education.

I am already working with education and technology for a couple of years now and one of the most frustrating parts about being an entrepreneur at this field is to deal all the time with the dilemma social vs. money. So I could say that events like this are always important to remind me of why I’m doing this and why I’m giving up of a lot of things to use my knowledge and potential for dealing with real & big problems that I believe that are important to be solved.

Although somethings can sound obvious, and actually they can be obvious, it is always good to punctuate them:

The problem we are trying to solve can be bigger than we think, so we need to consider the process and the time

When we are trying to do a massive thing, and I’m not saying that we shouldn’t think big, but we should consider the whole context and that somethings are out of our hands or else we will get really frustrated, mainly in the educational field that everything is very tied and outdated. It doesn’t matter how good was our planning and strategy, we need to consider that somethings just cannot be solved from one day to another, it takes a while and a lot of effort and timing.

Innovation for a big company is not the same for a start-up

As a start-up, we need the help from big companies in order to grow up and conquer market, but we have to know how to understand them and that our concepts of innovation are different. We have also to remember that they need us too. Their operation process prevent them from doing and testing things fast and cheap as well as creating new solutions.

Money != quality

Yes, we (Brazil and LATM) are investing a lot of money in education but we still have a countless number of problems in this area. As Brian Pick, the Chief of teaching and learning at Washington D.C., mentioned at the event, we need to focus on three major things: 1) train and gather the very best teachers; 2) acquire and create the very best content; and 3) engage the students and families. These are our major efforts in order to build Mupi, an online school of creative technology in Portuguese.

 

One thing that I’ve noticed in common among all of the speakers and participants was that we have a lot of challenges ahead but we are also getting strong and the ones that are successful are the ones that didn’t changed their goals despite of all the problems faced and really want to invest their efforts in something bigger. This inspired me to go on and keep up the good job. Who knows I’m not sharing my values and successful (and not so successful) cases in a near future to help other adventurers? 😉