Hacker Room

The Hacker Room is for Ninjas who have gone beyond the basics and want to start learning more advanced languages or building their own projects.

We can get you on a tutorial to help you get started, but the end goal is to get you making a project of your own. The best way to build skills is to start making things, making mistakes, learning from what you broke and how you broke it.

Try a few things, find a language you feel comfortable with, then come up with something to build. We’ll help you through the tutorials, help you plan your project, and help you get over the hurdles in building it.

Projects & Tutorials

 

JavaScript

The great thing about JavaScript is that everything you need to get started is installed on pretty much any tablet, phone, or laptop you’ll get your hands on. It’s used for web apps, desktop apps, server apps, and mobile apps, and the uses for JavaScript keep growing. You can create any kind of app you want (other than really high-end 3D) with JavaScript.

Introductory Tutorials:

  • Code Monster: A great low-bandwidth series of exercises to introduce kids to JavaScript. Starts with fiddling with parameters to mess with shapes. Ends with 2D physics animations.
  • Game Maven: A follow-up to CodeMonster that walks kids through coding three actual graphical games.
  • Khan Academy Computer Science: Well done and highly-regarded, the only reason we don’t put kids on this at Dojo is because it has a lot of video and that can clog the limited WiFi resources. An excellent alternative to work with at home.

Learn by Playing:

  • JS Dares: A gentle introduction that uses game-like challenges to help kids get used to some of JavaScript’s syntax.
  • Elevator Saga: Program an intelligent elevator to most efficiently pick up and drop off passengers.
  • Code Combat: Learn programming through a multi-level aventure game.
  • Untrusted: Think you know how to program? Untrusted will test your skills. This is not easy and the mentors will not solve the puzzles for you.
 

Making Web Sites (HTML5 and CSS)

JavaScript may provide a lot of the web’s interactivity, but it is also closely tied to HTML5 and CSS. HTML5 and CSS build the structure of the web apps that JavaScript manipulates. Some people would dismiss it as vocational or unimportant, but it’s actually really important. It’s how the user interfaces for more and more applications are being defined; not just for web, but for mobile and desktop apps as well.

 

Python

  • Learn Python the Hard Way: An online beginners course in Python.
  • Four Free, High-Quality Python Books: Al Sweigart’s books Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python, Making Games with Python & Pygame, and Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python are all available here.
 

Gaming and Animation

  • Pixar in a Box: Learn how Pixar animators make their amazing computer animated movies with this course co-created by Disney and Khan Academy