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The Language behind the Jargon: Coding 101

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Just as quickly as technology advances, the language surrounding it changes as well. The latest jargon can confuse even the most savvy of parents, and at blue{shift}, we want to make the translation from tech to terminology easier. We believe in the creativity of coding, and we want our parents to be involved in the topics their child is learning (and understand them!) Throughout this article, we are going to demystify some of the basic vocabulary surrounding programming.


Touch-typing is a basic but incredibly important skill which all coding stems from. Touch-typing means that instead of pressing each key one by one, your child types fluidly without looking at the letters on the keyboard.

Block Based Languages

When students progress to coding, the first platform they will probably encounter is a block-based language. This type of programming allows children to create stories and interactive games through creating a series of graphic blocks that act like the components or commands of code.

  • Scratch and Scratch Jr. are aimed towards children as an introductory, online programming language. This is one of the most popular coding languages for children.
  • Blockly, a Google based version of visual programming which closely resembles Scratch, allows students to drag and drop blocks to create code sequences and games.

Text-Based Languages

Building upon the basics creates a natural progression from block-based coding to text-based languages. But, do you know the differences between the various text-based languages? The main divides between the platforms are the syntax, organisation, and purpose.

  • JavaScript, which is sometimes referred to as JS, or a pared down version called ‘p5.js’, is a language used throughout the programming industry. This platform runs on all online browsers and is used in creating sophisticated web pages, animations, and game designs.
  • Bitsbox is a text-based language based on JavaScript that’s used to create apps and games which can be played on mobile phones and tablets.
  • Python is a high-level programming language that has been used in both professional and academic sectors. Its uniqueness relies on the code’s readability, layout, and purpose. Unlike the other languages mentioned, it is the one most often used outside of website design.
  • Minecraft is not a language itself, but it is far more than an adventure computer game; it allows children to modify their brick creations by using complex JavaScript coding.

Because there are so many specifics in computer science, the lingo is almost endless! We hope we have helped to break the fundamentals down, but if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at blue{shift}.