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Apparate to Northcoders

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Developer Pathway student Rajinder explains why Northcoders is the Hogwarts of coding!

Like any other child, I had always been fascinated by magic. The power manifested to come with magic always triggered my imagination to think of various possibilities where magic could be used to make day-to-day life easier. For me, Harry Potter introduced a whole new world that mirrored all a young mind could envisage, and even beyond that.

Simultaneously, I always enjoyed coding, right from the first time when I was introduced to BASIC at school.

Apparate to NorthcodersPreview: Apparate to Northcoders

However, I had never been able to see the connection between the two until I did some coding in Java at university, and more strongly since I have been learning JavaScript at Northcoders.

While I had not been a ‘muggle’ to coding before joining Northcoders, I was as amazed and awed at the wizardry of tutors with coding as Harry was on first opening the doors of the Great Hall at Hogwarts. The more comprehensively I’m learning JavaScript, the more I am realising how close coding is to magic — hence my fascination for both.

Let’s look at an example of the spell Colovaria from Harry Potter that changes the colour of the target. I can do the same with JavaScript:

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Creating instances of classes, as above, can also be compared to the Geminio spell that creates identical copies of the target.

And, what better example could we have for the shrinking spells, like the Reducio and the Diminuendo,  than Array.reduce().

Feel like casting the Stupefy spell to stun someone? Use Object.freeze(). However, there is no Rennevate counter-spell to unfreeze the object!

If we look at the wider implications of the complex algorithms and developments through coding, the achievements are no less than magic to a generation of people.

Libraries, like the Crypto.js, the SJCL, etc, can be used for AES encryption in Javascript to help prevent cyber attacks such as the MitM, Eavesdropping, IP Spoofing, SWEET32 Birthday attack. It's noteworthy how encryption can be compared to the Fidelius spell (casted to hide secret information), while, decryption can be to spells such Specialis Revelio or Illegibilus.

Numerous Antivirus software that help protect our devices from malware perform various spells under the hood like Protego totalum (for protecting); Cave InimicumHomenum revelio, (for warning about any intruders/viruses); Impedimenta, (to obstruct attackers) or EpiskeyVulnera Sanentur (for ‘healing’ by removing malware).

Owing to software algorithms we would not need Homonculous charm or crystal balls to track or see people respectively. Technologies such as GIS, GPS, RFID or RTLS can do the tracking and Videotelephony technologies with VoIP software such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Jits or Google Duo can do the latter 

Much like magic, the implications of coding also depend on the intentions of the caster/coder. That being so, using one’s knowledge of this powerful tool for hacking, snooping, spoofing or sniffing are just a few examples corresponding to the unforgivable spells.

Finally, just as important it is in magic to invoke the appropriate spells and use the correct incantation — to avert vomiting slugs like Ron Weasley or endless magical mishaps like Neville Longbottom – so is the case with coding. One needs to ensure that appropriate methods and functions are used and invoked at the right place to avoid any ‘codical’ mishaps.

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Northcoders: The Hogwarts of coding

Although all the above errors are just one-liners, they can have huge repercussions. Undoubtedly, even the most experienced of wizards and coders can also make mistakes and mess up, like Lord Voldemort turning Harry into a Horcrux, or the amusing failure of NASA’s engineering team to convert English units to metric for the Mars Climate Orbiter, causing it to get lost in the space. However, having a strong foundation helps to firmly embed good coding practices, hence I’m at the Hogwarts of coding: Northcoders.

I have come a long way since I first joined Northcoders, and I am already quite confident that on graduating from here in a few weeks, I will be fully capable of creating some more magic with coding and might also fulfil some of the ‘sensible’ things I envisioned as a child.

Perhaps, unlike magic, coding has some limitations, since it might not be possible to perform a Rictusempra (the tickling charm) with code, however, I would recommend exploring it once — it might tickle your fancy.

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