Category Archives: learning


One thing I’ve come to recognize over my time as a programmer is where my limits lie. I’m not a super talented programmer: I started too late in life; and I have a job as a librarian, which prevents me from learning about code full time. So I do what I can. The problem with […]

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I’m currently reading a book by Kyran Dale called Data Visualization with Python and JavaScript, and it’s super interesting. In my experience, it’s very unusual to find a fully bilingual programming book. This is a great example. Most technical books, for better or worse, focus exclusively on one programming language. I’m still in the early […]

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What’s next with learning JavaScript

I confess that I mostly use JavaScript as if it were an extension of CSS. What I mean is that I am mostly using it to manipulate elements in the DOM, usually for appearance’s sake. I’m not building applications, or even using JS in a systematic way to solve problems that require some kind of […]

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Code4Lib debrief

Well, Code4Lib wrapped up today, and it was as good as I had hoped it would be. It’s wonderful to talk to librarians who share similar responsibilities, interests and preoccupations to mine. I feel a great deal of mutual support and empathy for these colleagues who are on similar paths. The conference sessions got me […]

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A very democratic trait amongst programmers is that they are generally very open to people who are self-taught. I assume this is because the typical yardstick of a good programmer is what they can produce with code, not their credentials. In some respects, this is very meritocratic, and in theory you can do well if […]

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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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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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