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Beyond Hour of Code: 4 Ways to Create Coding Habits That Last

Practice makes perfect— find out how to create coding habits through everyday activities.

Sharmin Alam
January 14, 2020

Last month, during Computer Science Education Week’s Hour of Code, you may have tried coding for the first time alongside millions of students and educators around the world. Hopefully, you were inspired after your first programming experience and now you are looking for ways to continue. Look no further: we have 4 tips from our own KCJ team members to help you keep up your coding practices all year round.

Incorporate coding into activities you already do:

Studies show that you need to do something for at least 21 days straight for it to become a habit. The easiest way to make sure don't slip up is to incorporate your new habit into activities that are already part of your daily life! For example, anyone can program a micro:bit pedometer to track every step they take during their walks to school or work. You could even turn it into a contest; which family member, classmate, or coworker can take the most steps in a week? As much as some might wish otherwise, homework is a daily activity for students. This makes it the perfect time to incorporate relevant coding projects! From practicing quick mental math to exploring world geography, programming can be incorporated into almost any school subject.

Connect coding to your interests:

It’s always easier to practice something if you’re passionate about it! What does that mean for you and the kids in your life? Green thumbs, aspiring animators, gamers, and musicians alike can all tie coding back to the things they really love and stay on track with their goals.

Make a game out of it:

What kid doesn’t like playing games? Kids can take a break from their usual video games by swapping them for coding games or programming their own. Sending secret messages using radio waves or playing micro:bit Rock, Paper, Scissors is a fun way to enjoy coding as a family or with a group of friends. If you’re looking for something that feels more like a typical video game but with an educational twist, Ubisoft recently released Rabbids Coding, a free game that teaches programming.

Work on coding projects with a buddy or a team:

As the saying goes, “If you want to go far, go together.” Finding a coding partner will hold you accountable to your goals but more importantly, you will have someone to share your coding experiences with, from mistakes and frustrations to discoveries and successes. On top of that, teaching someone else is one of the best ways to ensure that you truly understand a subject yourself. A great way to do this is by joining a Code Club...or starting one yourself! With over 800 Code Clubs across Canada, you likely won’t have to go far to find one in your area. Joining or volunteering with a club will encourage you to start collaborating with your local coding community and because clubs meet weekly for 2-3 months, you’ll be held accountable to meet your consistent coding goals.

Inspired to make coding part of your routine? Find a local Code Club to join! If you don’t see one in your area, why not start your own? Start a club is free, only takes one hour a week, doesn’t require any previous coding experience, and KCJ will be there to provide you with support and resources every step of the way.