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What's Next?

You've now learned the basics of programming! More importantly, you've learned how to learn how to program: by reading tutorials and trying stuff out. My hope is that programming seems a little less like magic now, and if you've had fun so far, you can keep going with it.

Here is a list of things you could try- which option you choose depends on what you think is the most fun!

Keep Going

This Hour of Code is basically a super-condensed version of The Static Void Games Tutorials. The Hour of Code is meant to introduce you to the basics, and if you want to keep learning just like this, the tutorials are your best bet.

Check out the Processing Reference

The Hour of Code has introduced you to a few variables and methods at your disposal in Processing, but there are many more. Check out the Processing Reference for a list of other variables and methods you might want to try out.

See What Other People are Doing

Static Void Games contains a bunch of example games and programs, many of which are open-source. OpenProcessing is another great source of Processing sketches done by other people.

Visualize Data or Make Some Art

We've seen how to make a game in Processing, but one of its main uses is by digital artists! If you've been to an art exhibit that had digital art, chances are you've seen Processing in action.

For example, Aaron Koblin is one of my favorite digital artists, and here are a few of his projects done in Processing:

  • Bicycle Built for Two Thousand takes 2,000 human voices and pieces them together to sing a song.
  • House of Cards is a computer-generated music video for a RadioHead song.
  • Ten Thousand Cents takes a 10,000 drawings by individual people and assembles them to look like a 100 dollar bill.
  • The eCloud is a dynamic sculpture on display at the San Jose International Airport that changes depending on real-time weather reports.
  • The New York Talk Exchange visualizes long distance calls made from New York. The Sheep Market is 10,000 sheep drawn by separate individuals and combined into one interactive display. Flight Patterns visualizes the paths taken by all of the airplanes in North America.

All of the above projects were done in Processing! The Processing webpage lists a bunch of other art projects, and googling "art done in Processing" returns a bunch of interesting results as well.

Learn Other Languages

I think Processing is a great language, but there are other languages out there. Different languages are useful for different things. Here are just a few:

  • If you want to learn how to build a basic website (or do things like building customized tumblr themes), then you should check out HTML and CSS. They aren't really "programming languages", but the idea of "writing something to make the computer do stuff" is the same. W3Schools is a great place to learn HTML and CSS.
  • JavaScript is one step above HTML and CSS, and allows you to make more interactive websites. W3Schools also has JavaScript tutorials, or you can check out Processing.js, which is basically Processing for JavaScript.
  • Java is a more powerful language that's used for all kinds of things- in fact, Processing is built on top of Java, so you've already been learning Java! Java is also used to create desktop applications and games, Android apps, and is what powers many servers (the stuff that does the work when you click around on a website). Static Void Games has tutorials that take you from Processing through Java, or you could check out the Oracle tutorials.

There are many other languages, but the above are where I would start.

Give Yourself a Goal!

There are an infinite number of things you can do with programming, so it might be pretty hard to decide what to do next. Instead of figuring out your next step, try thinking about your end goal: what sounds the most interesting to you? Creating a game? Creating a phone app? Visualizing some data? Making some kind of art?

When you have a goal in mind, then you can break it down into smaller steps that you can google. Googling "How do I do XYZ in Processing" will get you a bunch of results.

Happy Coding!