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Best Coding Tools for High School Students

Published on October 4, 2022 | Posted in  

It’s fitting that computer coders, renowned for their lateral thinking, use computers to make their lives easier. Programmers use coding tools to help them debug, test, and create software.

Chefs, for example, use kitchen hacks learned over years of experience, like how to push a chef’s knife against garlic to coax it out of its peel. Professionals in every calling surely use tips and tricks to get better results in less time.

Let’s look at a few of the best coding tools for high school students to see how RP4K’s older pupils get a leg up.

1. Vim

Vim is a developer-focused text editor compatible with most programming languages that help with key binding customization and coding efficiency. Users can optimize its multiple modes for each specific task—for example, RP4K’s high school students might set it up one way for Python and another for C++.

One keystroke will behave differently depending on the coding language used, like language-specific shortcuts. Vim is also entirely controlled by the keyboard, reducing downtime and workflow interruptions that come with using a mouse.

Vim can be used with any major platform, making it perfect for collaborations with peers. Also, Vim’s shortcuts are configured in a sharable file format, .vimrc. Developers are free to post their tested files on Github, which you can peruse freely before editing your personal version of the code.

If you don’t currently understand some of the jargon here, RP4K programming courses can make all that clear.

2. Bash

Bash is a Unix shell developed for the GNU Project students can use for free. For a long time, it’s been used as Linux’s default login shell, and Windows 10 and MacOS more recently. Bash supports hundreds of commands that can be called from within the application, apart from logins.

Bash is famous for its scriptability. In other words, you don’t need to type a set of commands each time you want them. All you need to do is save one shell script file containing those commands. Then, each command will execute in the other they’re entered.

Even better, these commands can manipulate files and memory without opening a desktop app. Work efficiently on specialized tasks without having to open a file manager. RP4K teaches students how to problem-solve and think laterally, the way engineers do.

For well-rounded programmers, skills for future professionals mean having the underlying ability to find creative solutions and knowing a few concrete tips to make coding simpler. Extra tip:  get all you can from your Bash history, use a multi-window enabled history and repeat the last command.

3. Reflect

Confirming that developed software functions properly after an update is known as regression testing. Updates are commonplace, so developers need to do this regularly. Consider how many possible error conditions you’ll need to test for, and you can begin to get an idea of how tedious this can get.

Reflect helps you solve this problem by creating automated regression tests for any website. No installation is needed, and it’s compatible with any JavaScript framework. All you need to do is enter “record a test” mode, load your site’s current working page, click through the functionality you want to be tested, and stop recording the test—this generates a test script to replicate your clicks.

Then, enter the URL of your site’s test version, activate the test script, and view the recorded site results. Diagnose any problem quickly at its source by seeing what happened right away.

4. Regex

Regular expressions, known as “regex,” are a character set that describes a search pattern’s behaviour often used for string-search algorithms to find sections matching the pattern.

Python and Java, two coding languages RP4K proudly teaches, support regex parameters. Such tools help with data validation and other text processing tasks because they only need a few characters to implement complex searches.

Regex is also recognizable to developers worldwide, as it’s part of regular language established by computer language theorists. Some of this information may sound a little technical, so to learn more about common coding terms you should know, give the link a click.

5. Linux I3 Window Manager

Linux has been popular with developers for a long time due to its flexibility and customization options. I3 gives you even more options, so you’ll have almost total control over your programming environment.

I3 is a lightweight open-source tiling window manager for Linux. While Windows managers usually control the appearance and placement of windows on a screen, tiling windows managers take this a step further. Now, it’ll automatically resize and rearrange windows to always use the full-screen space while preventing overlap.

It’s easy because the tiling works over the top of your operating system’s graphical user interface to make changes directly. This lightweight, keyboard-controlled option is sure to please RP4K’s older students.

We’re proud to make coding lessons fun for kids of all ages while providing marketable skills that employers value highly. Our first objective is to make coding enjoyable to young kids until they really get the hang of it — the last thing we ever want to do is turn kids off computer programming before they’ve had a fair chance to absorb the material. If you want your child to learn to code in a fun, stimulating atmosphere, call RP4K today.

man using laptop, close up only showing hands and arms

Sometimes, office workers use Post-it Notes as a hack to remind them of something. Programmers often have digital tricks up their sleeves to streamline certain coding processes or do them more effectively. If you’re well on your way to becoming a serious coder, you may want one of the above tricks in your arsenal.

If your child is still looking to build a foundation of vital computer skills that let them design their own video game they can play with friends, sign them up for online home lessons with RP4K. We’ll make sure they learn skills that will land them a job one day while they have fun today.

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