get started

Some of my recent posts have been aiming to highlight opportunities to get involved with free software projects such as Debian and Torios.   This is fine but how do we start to learn the required skills.

Sites such as Codecademy offer guided learning which is a great starting point.  However if you want to experiment yourself and don’t or are for what ever reason unable to install software, perhaps you’re using a Library computer then the solution could be to use an online IDE (Integrated Development environment) such as

Lets start by going to the website.   You will need to create an account for this OR login via Github, Facebook or Google.  As per

“By continuing, you agree to’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and to receiving emails with updates.” be sure to read this and if you’re under 18 you need to ask a parent permission,  if you’re under 13 you may need to ask a parent to sign up for you.

Remember to follow e-safety guidelines for Internet communities.

Ok so once we are signed up we can login you will be presented with a screen similar to that below,  in my case I have projects on the system to these are shown.

On the left is a list of projects,  in the middle it gives you details on the languages used, then the last time you edited that project, finally on the far left there is a bar to manage your project.  So while we are here I will cover that.

At the very top of the list of projects you can create a new folder.   then use this menu to copy projects to it, etc.

If you click on my repls.  you get the above page.,   As we are new to this, we can go head and click on new repl. This brings up a list of the different languages and or frameworks you have access to via

It is worth noting at this point there is a quick bar above your project lists provides access to the most used repls,  but also a link to templates so you can start off with more in depth projects.

If you select the one you want and click create repl you get


You can fill in the details,  if you don’t enter anything you get a random name, so it is probably easier to do this now.  You then get taken back to your repl list where you can see you;re new project.  Clicking on this brings you to the main development area.

Here you have the output area on the far right,  to the left of this is the development area.   From here typing in code and clicking run allows you to view the output of your work.  Above this there is a share button,  this allows you to share with others.

This leads on to the far left of the screen, where you can ask for help via the multiplayer button.  You can then collaborate in real time with other coders.    The button on the far upper right allows you to log out and perform other tasks,  it is worth spending some time hovering over buttons to explore the features before you go any further.

Back at the main repl screen there is a talk button which gives access to forums.

Repl has a lot of really nice features, challenges and a community which is really helpful if you ask nicely and ask the right questions, remember to be clear with your questions and in some cases demonstrate you have tried to solve the issue,  sometimes just taking a break can help other times come away from the screen and try and go through what your code should be doing.  Remember to also comment your code this helps you later and also helps others.

Hope this is useful,  till next time happy hacking.

If you need help please ask via the forums. (talk button).

Happy to discuss this article generally via my Friendica account.