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The Older Coder: Learning to Code – Week 2

Sorry the second week took me so long to publish. Learning to code and blogging about it is a little tougher than it looks.

I would like to say that I waited a month so I would have plenty of material in the bank in case I ever want to take a week off. The truth is I’ve been wrestling with the idea of whether to publish all this information to begin with.

My fear is that putting these notes together, publishing the posts and spending all the other time on the blog itself might take me away from what needs to be my focus. That is learning to code.

I finally came to the realization that putting everything together and organizing it will help me keep a timeline, but more importantly when I start learning more difficult concepts I can use this blog as a way to work through those problems and ideas.

I also want a record of where I started and everything it took to get to where I want to go.

Again, if you see anything that piques your interest or you have any questions feel free to email me at glrwriter(at)gmail(dot)com.

Until next week, code on.

Coding Studies for the week of 2/20/17

2/26/17 – Sunday

Introduction to Programming – Eli the Computer Guy – video

Introduction to types of programming, types of programs and steps of programming.

How to Hold a Pencil – Josh Owens – podcast

Start on Codecademy if beginning. Good enough for Owens’ son, good enough for me.

2/25/17 – Saturday

Learn to Code With Me – S1E7: ACING YOUR RESUME AND COVER LETTER WITH JEREMY SCHIFELING – podcast

Great advice near the end of the interview on how to get that first tech job. What? Did you think I was going to tell you what it was? No, go listen for yourself.

2/24/17 – Friday

TED Talk – Linda Liukas – A Delightful Way to Teach Kids About Computers – video

Coding is the new art for kids and we need to nurture that.

How to Hold a Pencil – Chris Oliver – podcast

Appreciated the honesty Oliver had about how long it takes to get good at programming. Train like an athlete.

Love this quote from JavaScript for Cats: “Programmers care more about making it work eventually rather than trying to make it work the very first time.” I have plenty of resources to cover on JavaScript so I will put this tutorial on the backburner for awhile.

Sitepoint HTML/CSS newsletter – subscribe

Sitepoint JavaScript newsletter – subscribe

Khan Academy – JavaScript

Quick Tip: Number Scrubbing

Challenge: Simple Snowman

I’m not sure if it is helpful to list every lesson I do in Khan Academy. Might make more sense to put any interesting code snippets on Codepen and link to those. I’m still working that out.

How to Hold a Pencil – Adam Clark – podcast

Even people we see as super successful have their ghosts. The difference is they made something despite them.

2/23/17 – Thursday

The New Boston – Beginner JavaScript Tutorial – 2 – Comments and Statements – video

Skillcrush Bootcamp – [Day 1] The Internet vs. The Web – email course

Learn to Code With Me – Free Portfolio Course – Lesson 4: Biggest Mistakes Made on Portfolios – course

Learn to Code With Me – MAKE YOUR FIRST RUBY ON RAILS APPLICATION WITH ONE MONTH – article

Laurence offers her review of using One Month to build a Pinterest-like app using Rails.

CSS-Tricks Newsletter – Subscribed

TED Talk – Linus Torvalds: The Mind Behind Linux – video

Great quote from Torvalds: I’ve actually felt slightly uncomfortable at TED for the last two days, because there’s a lot of vision going on, right? And I am not a visionary. I do not have a five-year plan. I’m an engineer. And I think it’s really — I mean — I’m perfectly happy with all the people who are walking around and just staring at the clouds and looking at the stars and saying, “I want to go there.” But I’m looking at the ground, and I want to fix the pothole that’s right in front of me before I fall in. This is the kind of person I am.

How great is that quote?

FrontEnd Focus – A Free, Weekly Email Newsletter – Subscribed

JavaScript Weekly – A Free, Weekly Email Newsletter – Subscribed

How to Hold a Pencil – Charlie Parker – podcast

Charlie came across as a good dude. He also reminded me of CodePen (“Front End Developer Playground & Code Editor in the Browser”). CodePen offers a blogging feature that I might have to use. I think it would be a great way to blog and add code examples. I’m also thinking about publishing my blog posts about my learn to code journey on Medium and LinkedIn. What I need to stay away from though is spending too much time blogging about learning to code and not enough time learning to code.

2/22/17 – Wednesday

Launch School – Mastery Based Learning – webinar

Laid out Launch School’s philosophy on teaching for mastery and not factory-type education outcomes

TED Talk – Mitch Resnick – Let’s Teach Kids to Code – video

I had heard of Scratch (“Imagine, Program, Share”) before, but after seeing it demo’d in this talk I can’t wait to dive in with my two sons.

How it feels to learn JavaScript in 2016 – article

If you are just learning JavaScript don’t read this article. If you are an expert on JavaScript please tell me if this is true.

How to Hold a Pencil – Ryan Levick – podcast

How to Hold a Pencil – Journal: Making Ideas Happen (No. 003) – podcast

How Reuben started his podcast by taking some great advice. Worth a listen.

How to Hold a Pencil – Journal: Finding a Job (No. 002) – podcast

How to Hold a Pencil – Journal: Getting My Start (No. 001) – podcast

Start Here FM – 2. INTRODUCTION TO HTML – podcast

Homework this episode was to read Lesson 2 – Getting to Know HTML on Shay Howe’s site. Still reading as of 2/23/17. I will not move on to future episodes until I complete the homework.

The New Boston – Beginner JavaScript Tutorial – 1 – Introduction to JavaScript – video

Short videos on JavaScript that present concepts in bite-size portions. I had watched a few videos a couple of years ago when I tried to learn to code the first time. Videos are around 5 minutes long which makes them ideal for a quick hit of knowledge when you don’t have time for a more in-depth study session.

Learn to Code With Me – S1E6: HOW TO MAKE A LIVING BY TEACHING OTHERS TO CODE WITH BRAD HUSSEY – podcast

Great moment in interview when Hussey talked about telling friends how they could make money creating online courses, but few if any ever try. He could have been talking directly to me.

2/21/17 – Tuesday

Start Here FM – 1. START HERE TO BUILD A CAREER IN WEB DEVELOPMENT – podcast

I quickly discovered that Learn to Code With Me was leaning towards inspirational content; which is fine. However, I was looking for something or someone who would say – this is what you do first, then this, on and on and on. I may have found that with Start Here FM.

The first episode actually assigned some homework – which I did – and I can’t wait to follow along with the hosts. One of the tasks they assigned was to read Lesson 1 of Shay Howe’s Learn to Code HTML & CSS. This was the first time in a long time that I wrote some HTML and CSS, in a text editor (Sublime Text 2) and saw it come together in Chrome.

Two things are true: if you have any experience coding you probably think this is no big deal. If you are just starting out like me, coding is magic and that means I took my first step in becoming a magician. Goodbye Muggles.

The second task was reading Step 1 (Learn the Basics) and Step 2 (Learn the Details) on Develop a Job.

Learn to Code With Me – S1E4: HOW TO GET STARTED AS A FREELANCER WITH JOYCE AKIKO – podcast

Most of what I heard in this interview struck me as common sense.

HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites – Jon Duckett – book

I read this book a couple of years ago during my first try at learning to code. It has a great design and I remember enjoying reading it. It is mainly a refresher for me at this point.

2/20/17 – Monday

Learn to Code With Me – S1E3: WHY YOU SHOULD FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS FIRST WITH CHRIS LEE – podcast

What interested me the most was Lee’s thoughts on learning for mastery (long-term) versus chasing the shiny and new (short-term).

Front End Happy Hour – The State of Web Development – podcast

I figured coders talking code over drinks was right up my alley. Maybe if I was a little more advanced I could follow along, but for now I probably need to wait on this podcast. [edit: I’ve since rethought my position on this. I’m looking for total immersion and just because they discuss more advanced topics doesn’t mean I can’t get some value out of this podcast. It is back in the rotation. At the very least I can get some drink recommendations. I’m looking at you Old Fashioned.]

Conclusion

So there you have it. My latest check-in on my learning to code journey. This is still a work in progress and some weeks may be slim in terms of what I studied. However, I think I have a good system in place to capture all these resources and share them with anyone on their own coding journey.

I’ll see you next week and feel free to email me with any questions or ideas.

Published in The Older Coder

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