Welcome to the module on the Processing Computer Language (or code). This is an introduction to the first Unit in Module A.

Coding isn’t as hard as you might think but neither is it easy. It will take time, practice and effort. You will learn best by doing, experimenting and playing around with code to see what happens. The more you do this the more you get a feel for how this works. There is no real alternative expect to have a go.

Coding is like learning a language. It is much simpler than learning say French or Italian. The vocabulary is much, much smaller. The structure is consistent and follows simple rules, almost pedantically so.

However, it is quite unforgiving. If you make even a slight mistake, almost imperceptible you will find that weird and unexpected things happen or nothing happens at all. In this coding language (Processing) just missing a { or a ; can render your code (sketch) useless. So you do need to take care.

It may look like maths equations to you but for the most part all you need to be able to do is understand addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (*) and division (/). However you will also need to start to understand logic and comparisons. For instance greater than (>), less than (<), the same as (==), either/or (||), both/and (&&) are the common ones used, as well as greater than and equal to (>=) and less than and equal to (<=) but let us not worry about that for now.

This Module and the first Unit starts from the position of knowing nothing or next to nothing about coding. I have tried to keep it as simple as possible but not too pedestrian otherwise I suspect you might get bored.

Work through the exercises, try the challenges and have a play. If you think of something you would like to try, have a go, you won’t break anything. Always check that you have the right number of curly braces {} in the right places and check that where they are expected you put a semi-colon ; at the end of each line of code (not all of them). Above all enjoy…