Learning Your Arsenal: Programming Platforms

KiddoBytes (Grades 7 – 9) will be using Scratch and Codepen.io to complete challenges, while BetaBytes (grades 7 – 12) are free to use whichever language, framework or platform they prefer as long as what they build is done from the ground-up. A programis a series of commands given to a computer. A programming language is the language used to write the instructions for a computer. Don’t worry, programming languages closely resemble English. There are also many online platforms that allow you write and run your code right from your browser. Here are a few of our favourites.


Scratch is a free programming language and online community where you can create interactive stories, games, and animations, where you program using blocks. No difficult syntax involved! To start learning Scratch:

  1. Visit https://scratch.mit.edu/
  2. Click “Join Scratch” to make an account
  3. Select the “Getting Started” tutorial

Khan Academy Computer Programming: Web Development

Khan Academy your best resource for learning basic web development and so much more! Khan Academy uses interactive videos to the basics of frontend development with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and backend development with SQL. To get started:

  1. Create an account at https://www.khanacademy.org/
  2. If you want a quick introduction to drawing with code, making a web page, or manipulating data
    1. Choose an Hour of Code at https://www.khanacademy.org/hourofcode
  3. If you want to dive deeper into a particular language
    1. Choose and explore a full course at https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/computer-programming


Codepen is an online IDE (Integrated Development Environment). Don’t mind the fancy words. An integrated development environment is just a software application that allows computer programmers to write code. Codepen allows you to write code in a web browser, and see the results of it as you build. It’s primarily used for front-end languages(languages that affect what you seeon the internet) like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. To get started:

  1. Visit https://codepen.io/
  2. Sign up

Take the short editor tour at https://codepen.io/pen/tour/welcome/