1.0 - What's an IDE?

And what's a REPL?

How do we even "code"?

⚠️ Some students in our course have never programmed before. So we need to start at the beginning. For some of you, this might seem like a review - but I promise you'll learn at least something.

📖 Programming (also known as "coding") is the process of giving instructions to the computer in a step-by-step manner. Those instructions sometimes look like gibberish or a secret code.

☝️ Keep in mind - the computer can only do what you tell it to do.

🧠 Think of the instructions that you would give someone to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

🖥️ Before keyboards, beautiful colour screens, and mice, programmers would turn dials or even punch holes in cards to give instructions to the computer. We've come a long way!

Eventually, programmers could type instructions into a text editor and then compile that text file into machine language.

The interesting thing about programmers is that they're lazy. If they can make their job faster or easier - they will spend weeks or even years doing so. Writing code in a basic text editor, saving it, switching to a different window to compile it, and sometimes to a third window to test the program was annoying. So programmers started creating single programs with awesome helpful features to make coding easier

Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

These days there are hundreds of programs you can install or use online to help you program. They include features like auto-complete, spell check, colour coding, code folding, integrated debugging and way more... This is called an Integrated Development Environment. You would download and install the IDE you love most - or sometimes the only IDE that works with the programming language you are working with.

Some notable IDEs are Visual Studio, Eclipse, Atom, Netbeans, XCode, IntelliJ, PyCharm, IDLE... the list is very long.

We will be using an online IDE called REPLit.

Replit is an online IDE

What's a REPL?

It means Read, Execute, Print, Loop. It represents how a computer works. Read an instruction, execute the command, print any output or result, and loop around to do it again (read the next instruction).

Replit is a fantastic online IDE that lets us code in hundreds of languages (and this is necessary because of the Chromebooks).

It can sometimes be a bit slow because of how many people are using it at the same time - and it's an extremely complex beast. So have some patience as we use it in the course.

Get on with it already!

In order to join our "team" in Replit, you will be sent an invite link. You must join/login using the Google sign-in button and using your school Google account. Afterwards, you can select an avatar and a profile name, etc. 

Once you are in the team, you should be able to find and open your first task titled "1.0 - What is a REPL? (C++)".