Computers are such an important part of our lives; in fact, our very lives tend to depend on these miraculous machines. We use them for work as well as pleasure, shopping, bills, research, and basically everything in between. So it’s no wonder that it’s important to treat your computer like a best friend – because, let’s face it, it essentially is. Here are a few tips on how to treat your computer right!

Clean it regularly.

This means both internally and externally; dust of your keyboard (they have pressurized air that can be used to blow out the hard to reach places, so you don’t need to do much), and clean your screen with the appropriate cleaning products (a dry microfiber cloth works best, but there are some screen cleaning solutions that work great for a really dirty screen). Cleaning internally is a little less work on your part; just make sure you run your computer cleaning software often to rid the hard drive of any unneeded files and potential viruses and malware.

Buy it things!

Your computer might not be able to say “thank you,” but buying it little things can either increase its functionality or just the appearance. You could buy a new anti-virus program or maybe a big backup for your extra big files. Maybe you want a cool keyboard cover, or a cover and carrying case (if you have a laptop). When we say “treat it like your BFF,” we mean it!

Be gentle with it.

If you really want to run a specific program or game, but there is just barely enough room on your hard drive, then rather than forcing your CPU to run harder and faster than it needs to, just give it some more space. Even though it’s a machine, it still needs room to breathe. If you have a laptop, don’t toss it around without a protective carrier, and try to treat it like a bag full of eggs to avoid accidentally dropping it and watching your entire life shatter in front of you.

It’s not hard to treat your machine like a person – minus talking to it like you would a friend, even though there are some people that actually do that. Just remember to be gentle, buy it everything it could possible need, and keep it clean. We would do that for a friend, right? Why not our own machines?


There are a million and one ways to study, and there seem to be more ways being invented every other day. It’s great, and we’re in no way complaining, but sometimes it can be just a little too much. Sometimes, it’s just easier to go back to the roots and kick it with the basics. What are we even talking about? Here are some throwback studying methods that still work!

Sticky notes…

…aren’t just for hectic office employees, they’re probably one of the greatest inventions ever to have been birthed into this world. Obviously, they work just like taking regular notes in a notebook, but sticky notes are compact, and can be placed next to the source material for a quick reference pull.

Colored sticky tabs.

Just like sticky notes, these are for quick lookups. While you can’t write more than a word or two on them, they can be color-coded to whatever subject or topic you’re working on and can jog your memory when you see it.

Flash cards…

…help with memorization and image-based memory. This is best for whenever you know something is going to be on a test, and works best with basic concepts, rather than lots of details, because you’re memorizing it.

Hard copies are your friends.

There’s just something about getting the textbook and doing your studying, rather than reading the same thing on a screen. While we’re not entirely sure why, you require more repetition when reading from a computer or tablet, than you would with a book.

Highlighters are a god’s gift to mankind.

Because it’s simple and yet extremely effective. On a flat piece of paper, your eyes are drawn to the pop of color and you know it’s important to remember. Something as simple and easy as color has proven to be extremely effective for studying and retaining information.

Associations are also a huge help when it comes to complex answers.

While this won’t work for everyone, we know it does, indeed, work. Acronyms are a great way to remember multiple answers, or a list of things. Or, if your mind can work the crazy halls of association, then something a little crazier may work. You can use colors, animals, plants, whatever makes it easier for you!

There are tons of ways to study, but these are some of the simpler, less technology-driven ways that have been used since school required people to study! What other great studying tricks do you have? Let us know in the comments!

One of the most hated questions for a student is: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Well, truth be told, they don’t know! Some people don’t find their callings until they are twenty-five, thirty-five — some people don’t even enter their ideal career until they’re in their fifties! There’s nothing wrong with that, either; live your best life, even if it takes longer than what should be “average.” We’re here to tell you that your skills, no matter what they are, can take you places.

Arts and Design, especially with digital and graphic design, could utilize your programming skills to help you create the best art you can. Not only will the results of learning it (that is, understanding coding languages and knowledge of development software), but also the personality skills you pick up as well, such as patience and an attention to detail.

Information Technology (IT), while not technically a programming job, heavily relies on the skills you gather from programming. Individuals within this industry need to have a knowledge of coding languages such as C++ and Adobe, but they also need to understand web development, which is a big part of the programming world.

Business Analysts use computer programming skills to help solve business-related problems through understanding and modification. It’s a good combination of IT work and business-centered focus.

Technical Writers are oftentimes employed by science and engineering companies to write clear and concise instructions on different programs and products both in written word and in visual or audio presentations. Technical writers will find their work comes easier if they already know how to use designing software, which a programming student would learn long before they turn in the application!

Having coding skills can benefit you in many careers beyond simply programming alone — explore what the world has to offer!

So, you’ve found yourself in a low place. You might have failed a big test, or gotten a bad peer review on a project, and your world honestly feels like it’s crushing you into a human jelly. We get it, and we’ve all been there. Unfortunately, that feeling isn’t uncommon for adults, either, and it’s something that we all need to work on, even if it’s just one slice after another. The good news is that, even though that dark space in your mind and body feels pretty intense, it’s not the end of your journey, and it’s definitely not the last time that you can tackle that project. Here’s how you can get that motivation back:

Step 1: Breathe.

What happened, happened, and you can’t go back and change the fact that it did. (If you can retake a test, great, but not everyone is so lucky.) Clear your mind with some deep breathes, because you’re just getting warmed up, and all the world’s going to see your determination and dedication.

Step 2: Understand the Problem.

This is probably the hardest part of everything, because you need to humble yourself enough to analyze what went wrong the first time. Did you study enough? Was there something on your mind? What answers got away from you and why? Another question to ask yourself is: “Do I care?” If you don’t care about what you’re doing, then you’re going to put out sub par work and effort. Should you completely hate the subject and have only a legal obligation to complete it, then find a silver lining; what will completing this task gain you?

Step 3: Make a Game Plan.

Once you’ve discovered the issue from the first failure, then build a solid way to carry your new goal home. Realized you didn’t study enough? Set aside a specific time for studying each day so that it doesn’t get away from you. Did your nerves get the best of you during your recital? Try practicing in front of more people each day, and tell yourself every day with a new inspirational quote or two that you’ve got this!

Step 4: Rock It.

Plain and simple — own your next task, project, test, recital, whatever. You got this. We are all human, and subject to setbacks at one point or another, because no one is perfect. Take the ashes of your last failure and use them to birth the phoenix that is your next triumph.

We could all use a little more productivity in our lives, because we all have goals and tasks to complete. Truth be told, though, we have our moments where we just stare at our work, shrug our shoulders, and think, “Nah, not right now/today/tonight/this week.” Distractions — natural or man-made — play into our own human desire for procrastination, and next thing we know, it’s too late! So, here are five of our tips on how to increase your productivity:

1. Sleep well.

Sleep is pretty much the biggest factor in any form of productivity; if you don’t get enough of it, you’ll find your mind wandering, clutching at anything that isn’t the task at hand. Or maybe you’ll just say you’re too tired and turn in for the night. Either way, getting the proper amount of sleep is key!

2. Stay hydrated.

That means water. Coffees and other things are fine, but the sugar content is too high most of the time, and will send your brain bouncing off the walls like a cat who’s just rolled in a pile of catnip. Then the crash comes, and you’re too tired to carry on. Drinking water will keep your mind sharp, and your body healthy!

3. Take frequent breaks.

Pro tip: use your bathroom breaks to stretch out your limbs and get the energy flowing. Small, five to ten minute breaks have proven to be beneficial for productivity, because your brain isn’t meant to concentrate for long hours at a time! They’ve adopted this practice in schools with long class sessions, so why not adopt it for the workplace?

4. Set aside the smartphone.

Your phone is one of your biggest distractions, because a lot of your life is on it; we’re not saying the phone is bad, but it definitely can cause a problem when a task needs to be completed. Put your phone on vibrate (so you can hear it in the case of emergency), throw it in a bag or in a desk drawer, mute all of your social media notifications (especially if you have to use it on your computer), and focus on your task at hand. This is something that can’t be brought out during your breaks, but can definitely be used at your lunch!

5. Set self-imposed deadlines.

While your tasks and projects may not have deadlines, setting them yourself (even setting a reminder or two on mobile and digital devices, as well as leaving physical notes around your work space) will push you to get it done at that time. You can trick your mind into thinking that the deadline was set up by someone else with the constant reminders, and you will automatically make it something to get done that day.

What other ways do you make yourself more productive? Let us know in the comments!

It’s hard to believe that school is just about ready to start up again. While you might be disappointed, you can’t deny that there’s a certain type of joy that comes with buying all of your supplies for the year again — because they’re not just supplies; they’re a form of (albeit contained) self expression. The real trick, though, is getting everything organized for a new year — and keeping it organized. We know the struggle, so here are our five tips on how to keep yourself organized for the upcoming school year!

1. Always clean up after yourself.

We totally understand that, by the end of the day, you’r just ready to get out of there, but if you time it right, you can keep your desk clean for the next day, which will save you a whole lot of time in the long-run! No more digging through papers and pencils and handouts just for one small thing!

2. Binders.

Oh, how binders just make the world a better place. They’re a gift to human kind. They might be bulky, but trust us, these bad boys are worth it. Make sure to find one with color-coordinated tabs for easy access. Can’t find one of those? That’s fine! Grab a regular binder and a bunch of cheap, single-sleeve folders.

3. Color code everything.

We’re not even kidding. Pick a designated color for each subject, and write that subject in big letters so you can see. Eventually, you won’t need to search, because you’ll just know that purple means English, and green means science. (That’s just an example; it’s obviously your choice.) Depending on your classroom rules, try color coding your pens and highlighters, too.

4. Get yourself a pencil case.

Please, for your own sanity, get yourself a pencil case. Not only that, but fill them up with as much as you can, because pencils and pens and highlighters magically disappear during class. Make sure your pencils are the good #2 kind, and not those pencils covered in a plastic design — those are not only of poor quality, but they also clog up the pencil sharpener.

5. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to cleaning up/out your desk.

Keeping a clean work station not only makes it easier for you to concentrate on your work, but it also gives you the confidence to apply your no-procrastination skills to other things in your life.

What are your favorite ways to stay organized during the school year? Let us know in the comments!

Summer camps are oftentimes a dream come true for a passionate hobbyist; to be surrounded by and learn about your favorite hobby is something we all would — and should — love to do. There are camps for sports, art, and even hunting! It would only make sense that there are camps for coding — and, luckily, we offer many different types! Here are our reasons why we think you should definitely go to coding summer camp:

Camps offer a specific focus on a subject that may peak your interest.

There are many different camps that we offer, such as WebRox, which is a camp for ages ten (10) and up and focuses on website coding; Mobile Madness, which is for ages nine (9) and up and focuses on mobile app development; and Rise of the Machines, a camp for ages nine (9) and up that works on AI – Artificial Intelligence – for beginners. Those are just a few! We have camps for older school age kids, as well as the younger group — ages six through eight (6-8).

Fostering a sense of community is a driving factor behind why camps are so successful.

You will meet so many similar-minded friends in our week-long camps, which are all about a six-to-one (6:1) ratio. Meaning you will get to have close conversations and work with all of your camp-mates. Our passionate instructors will help you with not only a lot of on-computer learning, but also get you moving with offline coding activities. Think of it like a really fun school week (our camps are usually 9am – 3pm). While our goal is to teach you, we also want you to have fun, and walk away with a new sense of community! Being part of the coding world is two parts coding, one part friends, so we won’t take that lightly!

There’s nothing like walking away from one of these camps with a new skill tucked away in your brain.

It boost your confidence not only in your craft (which is coding), but also in yourself because you did it! At the end of the camp (Friday), we have a demo of your creations to show to everyone. Now that you’ve shown off your creation, learned how to utilize the software or skill, you can take it and use it for future projects, or bring it back next year for another camp!

So if you want to learn a new skill, meet new people and make new friends, and give yourself a huge confidence boost knowing you conquered this new skill in just a week — check out our camps page. We hope to see you there!

Oftentimes, people look at others who are labeled as “creative” as people who are more inclined to exercise their left brain — the part that controls the art and imagination — over their right, which is the portion that works with numbers and logic. Creative people get the rap that they aren’t very good with math or science, and therefore, they won’t be any good at anything that may have numbers involved. Take coding, for example; people tend to think that coding is for the mathematically inclined, or number-smart; but the truth is that just about anyone can learn coding. As a creative person, you might even find that you excel at it! Not convinced? There are a multitude of reasons why you should at least give it a shot — here are our reasons why we believe creative people could be great at coding:

First and foremost — you are creative.

It seems kind of redundant, but you, as a creative individual, have the ability to draw connections between things that others typically can’t. You may also find that you’re inspired by a variety of different, random things, and that can be a very big deal in the coding — and creative — world. You are an outside-of-the-box thinker, and that could bring forth some dazzling creations!

Creative people are very detail-oriented.

Just like creating a painting, a piece of music, or a form a writing, coding and programming takes a vast amount of detail — the more detailed the program or the project, the better. This will put your creativity to the test, as well. It’s your chance to get everything down just the way you want it, without having to worry about defaults or limitations.

Creative people are extremely passionate.

Not to say that right-brained people aren’t passionate — every human being has a right and a left brain, and so everyone is passionate about something — but creative people tend to throw themselves into their creations, rather than treat it like a regular 9-5 job. Once inspired, they can drive at their project until it’s perfectly well-done.

Coding in itself is a medium for art.

There are a countless number of classes dedicated to teaching artists how to use code to bring their own creations to life. Advanced coding and programming gives birth to the animations you see in a lot of video games, apps, and movies.

Can you think of other creative ways to utilize coding? Give us a shout out in the comments!

As a coder, there are a handful of things that you absolutely, one-hundred percent need to do the coding efficiently (besides your computer alone); and without them, it’s just not possible. So, rather than sending you on a hunt for vaguely named items, here is a list of five things you need to have before you start your coding journey:

1) Mechanical keyboard.

These keyboards are built with spring activated keys. They typically feel more comfortable than the rubber or plastic dome keyboards. Most gamers and coders prefer the mechanical keyboards due to their durability and how fast they run. Make sure to get yourself a backlit keyboard as well, for better lighting. They also look super cool.

2) Computer mouse.

These use something called a DPI, which stands for “dots per inch”; it’s just a measurement of how sensitive your computer mouse is. The higher the DPI, the more the cursor on the screen will move when touched — it reacts to even the smallest of movements. Some people prefer this, but there are computer mice that have lower DPI as well, which would require more movement to make the on-screen cursor move. Be sure to get a durable one, too; one that won’t need cleaned out often.

3) Computer chair.

While you can definitely use a chair you stole from the dining room, it isn’t recommended. Get yourself a chair with lumbar — that’s lower back — support. If at all possible, purchase a gaming chair, because those are built for people who spend a lot of time in them, so they have support in all the right places!

4) Wrist padding — preferably a gel.

The cloth kind will irritate your forearms if you have sensitive skin. These might not seem important, but you’ll quickly realize that, the more typing you do, the more tired your wrists will be. The constant strain will land you with early-onset carpal tunnel.

5) Sturdy desk.

Surprise! This is an important item that a lot of people will just fudge. You need to have a desk with enough space for your monitor — or monitors, if you’re dual-screening, your CPU, they keyboard, the wrist rest, AND give you ample room for your arms. It also needs to be the right height. Even if your computer chair can move up and down, if your desk is too high or too low, you will be bending your neck and ultimately find yourself stiff in the weeks to come.

With these five things, you’ll be ready to take on the coding world! Have chair suggestions? Keyboard you think work best? Drop them down in the comments and help out a fellow coder!