Tools needed: Playing with code

Is Runnable a good option for playing with and testing code directly in your browser? Seems like a good place to do some code playing and find out! See what writer Anastasia Salter found out with Runnable.

We talk about playing with code a lot here at ProfHacker: Adeline tried out Codagogy, Jason looked at Codecademy, and Ryan suggested tools for learning Ruby. As more of us are our own tech support and maintain an online presence, knowing how to manipulate web code at some level can really help.

Personally, I learned web programming back when the best way I knew of to do it was to open the source file of pages, copy them, and pull them apart to build something new. Learning by example through borrowed blocks of code continues today: a Google search can often turn up a solution to common problems. However, those resources are scattered, and they can often be filled with bugs I don’t find until after I’ve invested time in downloading and implementing them into my project. With web standards evolving all the time, it’s also easy to end up with out-of-date or incompatible solutions.

Whether you work with code regularly or are just faced with maintaining your own portfolio or class site, building blocks of code are invaluable when faced with a new challenge. Runnable, a service launched earlier this month, tries to rise to the challenge with great potential for those who like to tinker with existing code. It’s an attempt (reminiscent of Codecademy in interface, but without the focus on tutorials) to standardize this type of code resource, including a number of working fragments for languages including jQuery, Node.js, and Python.

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Playing with “Runnable” Code – ProfHacker – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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