Category Archives: learning

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How I spent my weekend

I’ve spent much of this holiday weekend on Discord, asking questions. This is because I’ve been working on an overhaul of the Open Journal Matcher, and it has led me to work with technologies that I find very unfamiliar (hello, task queues!), so I have a lot to ask. Discord channels focused on very specific […]

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After the storm

For a number of years, all I wanted to spend my time on was code. This is apparently a common occurrence among new programmers. It is easy to get obsessed, over-focused and maniacal about learning programming. This can be very productive; it is also often a little bit unhealthy. Anyhow, I think I am recovering […]

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Reaching in

I am a fan of technologies that you can reach into. I mean this metaphorically, of course. I like computing tools that you can tinker with and make your own. Usually – although not always – these are openly licensed, and usually they deliberately have these affordances. As an occasional teacher of technical workshops, I […]

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Beginning again

The past few months have been humbling for me, programming-wise. I’ve struggled a lot with Google Cloud Platform, without much success. It’s been frustrating. It has also forced me to re-evaluate my progress as a programmer. The real issue has been that I failed at being a self-reliant problem solver. It’s one of the hallmarks […]

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Puzzles

Sometimes, it’s important to enjoy coding for it’s own sake. It can be fun to solve problems and bend your brain a bit. Work doesn’t always offer this. Sometimes work is, well, work. That’s why this weekend I’ve been spending time with checkio. Checkio is a programming puzzle site, where the only goal is to […]

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There be dragons…

For a beginner trying to solve a programming problem, there is a lot of readily Googleable help. You can usually solve your problem with very clear, specific, and accessible instructions. Things are different a bit further down the programming path. As the problems become harder, the solutions become less obvious. For example, I now might […]

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Further into hardware

I used to really dislike computer hardware. It seemed like it always cropped up as an inconvenience or annoyance when I was trying to do something with code. I preferred the abstractions and ephemeralness of software to the inconvenience of physical things. More recently, my thoughts on this have been changing. In part, I’m realizing […]

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Hacker hours

Recently, I have been occasionally guest-hosting Hacker Hours at the Brooklyn Public Library on Sunday afternoons. It’s an event where people get together to work on programming projects, and help each other out by sharing skills and knowledge. It draws some seasoned programmers, as well as people who are entirely new to coding. The informal […]

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On podcasts

I spend more time than I’d like to on the New York City subway. It’s mostly boring, punctuated by occasional dramatic failures, where getting to your destination seems almost impossible. In any case, I find that my time on the subway needs to be put to use with some productive activity, or I would totally […]

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Learning the conceptual stuff

Because I’m a self-taught programmer, and still very much a beginner, there’s a lot of computer science theory that I’m totally unaware of. Yet I’m now beginning to see the value of classic theoretical solutions to common programming problems. When you can immediately identify a problem as being solvable with, say, a concept like a […]

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