Get Started Guide


If you’re new to coding, getting started can feel overwhelming, hopefully this passenger guide will help you with everything you need to begin! 💖

Start Learning and Coding!

There are two main tracks you can follow for total and complete beginners.

Code! Programming with p5.js

The Code! Programming with p5.js Track focuses on the fundamentals of computer programming (variables, conditionals, iteration, functions & objects) with JavaScript.

Learning Processing

The Learning Processing Track was recorded over 10 years ago in 2012 (!!) but the concepts and syntax remain the same today. It follows the textbook Learning Processing to walk you through all the basics of coding in Java with Processing.


In almost all of the videos, you’ll find me using Processing or p5.js. Processing is a software sketchbook and language (built on top of Java) for learning how to code within the context of the visual arts. p5.js is a JavaScript library that comes with a friendly online web editor for creative coding. Both projects are maintained by The Processing Foundation.

If you are interested in learning web development, p5.js is a way to get started with the very basics of JavaScript which will lead you into doing more with HTML (the markup language that defines the structure of a web page) and CSS (a language that defines the style and look of a web page).


For a beginner, I recommend the p5.js web editor, it’s probably the most used coding environment! You can also explore a downloadable text editor like Visual Studio Code. I cover all of these elements in my 2018 workflow series. If you are using Processing, it comes with its own development environment! There are many text editors out there – feel free to use whichever makes your coding experience comfortable!

Version Control

Working with “version control” software (like git) and collaborating on platforms like GitHub can be a confusing and intimidating experience when you are first beginning! It’s not something you need to learn immediately, you can stick with p5.js and the basics of coding for quite some time first!

When you have some code you want to share or publish online outside of the web editor, you’ll want to consider signing up for a GitHub account and learning the basics of version control. You can use this website (all of the source code and content is on GitHub) as a place for you to learn!

To learn more, take a ride on the “Git and GitHub for Poets” track. This series is a primer on version control and the difference between git software and the GitHub website.

The videos in cover terminology like branch, fork, merge, pull, push, and remote. There’s even a friendly “playground repository” for you to make your first pull request!

You can also learn more about how I integrate git into my workflow in my 2018 workflow series.