Topic Coding
Date September 12, 2017

Coding with Danny Fenjves

Danny Fenjves is a graduate of Duke Universityand has worked at YouTube. Currently, he runs his own coding school, Upperline Code in New York City. 

On the 12th of September 2017, Danny hosted a live Q&A session on Goodwall talking about coding. The session was joined by over 70 students from around the world.

Why did you choose coding? —Oumina

Great question. Why coding? I love coding because it’s extremely creative and logical at the same time you get to combine art and science in amazing ways, and get to build things that affect millions of people. There are very few jobs that have as much impact as that.

How do you begin coding? —Maham

I’d start with a high level coding language like Ruby. It’s a robust language, but if you don’t have a ton of experience it’s great to get started. You can build apps in a matter of weeks, and you won’t get bogged down by the syntax.

I've always wanted to learn to code! What is the school you run? I'm quite interested to learn more about it? —Denize

The name of the school is Upperline Code – we teach high school students primarily.

Is it late for me to start learning how to code in university? Please recommend books or coding community for me to learn from. —Mai

It’s never too late! You should check out Zed Shaw’s Learn Ruby the Hard Way is a great book.

Have you ever been an intern in Google? —Maria

I’ve never been an intern at Google, but I did work there! It’s a great place to work.

First I was planning on undergrad degree for computer science and English. What would be the basic guide for and for a good future with this field? What are some tips for success that you would recommend? —Wajiha

I think that’s a good question. I’d say the key to success is 1) Learning to learn – being self aware and understanding how best you pick up new material. 2) Tolerance for failure and frustration – this is extremely important for learning CS and programming 3) A willingness to step out of your comfort zone and 4) a support group of mentors and peers who can guide and push you.

What programs/languages are helpful to create IOS program? —Maria

If you’re interested in building iOS programs I’d work with Swift it’s a relatively new language put out by Apple and many new developers like working with it. I’d also suggest you learn HTML, CSS, and Javascript early on they are the most widely used languages of the web.

Do you have any tips on how to start coding? I really want to go into computer engineering but don't know where to start. —Denize

Check out the free courses online for the Flatiron School, and also take a look at Code School and the Odin Project!

Can you take courses in coding in college? —Oumnia

That depends on the college you choose!

I know java, c, c++, c#, html, css, js, php and mysql. Also I applied to a master program in cyber security. So are they enough or I have to learn other programming languages? —Jawad

I unfortunately don’t have much experience with Cybersecurity.

Currently I'm learning Python, what is the main thing I could do with Python? Can I build an app with it? —Sasadhri

Definitely! You can build apps in Python using frameworks like Flask or Django!

What will be necessity to have a job in google or big company? —Priyanshu

You need to show subject domain expertise, but also need to be an excellent communicator and demonstrate a willingness to go above and beyond. They also look for people who can work very well in teams. Google places a lot of importance on communication skills and ability to work collaboratively. Web frameworks are basically a way to connect a front-end (What the user sees and interacts with) with the back-end (what happens behind the scenes – the ‘logic’ of an app – databases, etc) for a framework like Django, the front end is written in HTML/CSS/JS and the backend is in Python.

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Can you recommend a platforms to the beginner who wants to learn programming? —Besher

I would recommend: CodeAcademy, CodeSchool, Team Treehouse, Flatiron School. Learn to Program by Chris Pine is a great book too.

What are the main coding languages we must know? —Ignacio

Depends on what you are trying to do. The language is like the tool. If you are a carpenter, you will have a lot of different tools for different types of job. However, I’d say every developer should have some experience with HTML, CSS, Javascript these days and I personally like Ruby as a starting point.

Are there any competitions, contests, etc you recommend us to develop important skills? —Ignacio

Look for local hackathons that you can participate in.

What should I do after learning each programming language course? What should I do with it? —Sasadhri

You should work on applying what you learn to your own interests. For example, if you are a football fan, build an app that somehow helps you keep track of games, stats, etc.

Almost everyone recommend to start learning html,css & javascript first is that a good idea ? —Besher

Yes. Python is also a great place to start Python and Ruby are very similar. Nowadays the most in-demand skill is Javascript, and specifically the React Framework. but again, the language is less important than understanding the fundamentals: variables, conditionals, function definition, object orientation, etc -> The concepts are the same, it’s the syntax that changes.

If you’re good at math does it make it easier to do coding? —Massimo

I’d say being good at logic is more important than being good at math. If you like problem solving, you’ll enjoy coding! it’s like doing riddles all day!

For coding, which is better Mac or Windows? —Sasadhri

Unless you want to build iOS apps, it doesn’t really matter.

Want to interact with inspirational people like Danny?

Install Goodwall App NOW
Does it cost money to put apps on the App Store? —Massimo

Yes it does. I believe it’s about $100 a year.

Is CodeAcademy courses well? If I am starting as a beginner? —Aman

Yes CodeAcademy is great (see above for some more recommendations).

Are there any rules to be fluent in any programming language? —Omar

You just need to make sure you understand the syntax – it takes a while, just like learning a new spoken language would!

What will be the opportunity for apps in the future... Are they any ideas that haven't been created or hard to create by coding? —Sasadhri

The sky’s the limit! If you can dream it, you can build it! Also, if you’re looking for fun practice problems, check out and and if you are able to come to New York, please come join us for an in-person class

Are there any research opportunities at Duke? —Omar

Duke is a fantastic research university – one of the best in the country so yes, definitely!

Topic Coding
Date September 12, 2017