“It’s like getting back on a bicycle”, my friend Scott replied, after I professed my interest in re-learning how to program.
Yes, I’ve been hopping back onto the Code Bicycle for the last year or so, and it’s been great. But, why re-learn? I guess we should start at the beginning. College entry level programming? No, let’s go waaay back for a minute.
I remember my first computer game. I’m sure I played all of these back in the day, but there was one that sticks out in my mind as being a favorite. There was a command line where you could enter a pattern of letters and numbers to draw a colorful design. I remember following the suggested list of commands for awhile and then eventually going rogue and changing some of the inputs to come up with my own creations. A quick google search tells me that this game I remember so fondly is called “Logo Programming“, complete with a drawing turtle. Ahh, yes. Not only one of my first computer games, but also my first programming language. It would be many years before I played with programming again.
In high school, I signed up for computer science with one of my all-time favorite professors, who also taught the AP calculus class I took. I’m not sure I would have signed up for that class without that professor. Anywho, as you can imagine, this, plus spending lunch breaks in the library or computer lab, made me wildly popular with friends and boys, but I had more important matters to attend to. My future. I enjoyed that high school programming class so much that I decided to take more classes in college, where I had originally declared a business major.
I quickly found I enjoyed the programming classes more than the business ones and ended up changing my major to computer science. The major was tough, but I enjoyed the challenge. The many nights working through pages and pages of error messages were always worth it when you got your code to compile and run. But, I decided that I didn’t want to spend 100% of my work life going through error messages behind a computer screen. While I was in college, I had signed up for many different groups, and I wanted to do something to pair my computer science background with working with people.
After graduating, I found myself doing formal quality assurance. I enjoyed the work, but I transitioned to working as a business analyst after a year. This job was a great fit, allowing me to work as the liaison between the tech (developers) and business (clients/SMEs) sides. I became a translator between both worlds, documenting the information in words both groups could understand and agree on. I learned how to design software and work with many types of people, but I started forgetting how to actually program.
Until recently…just a year or so ago, I decided that I missed it. I wanted to be able to make cool things – sites, plugins, themes, and apps. I got the itch to design, build, and create. But, I wanted to do it right this time.
So, for the last year or so, I’ve explored online tools like codecademy.com, codeschool.com, and most recently, teamtreehouse.com to learn *current* best practices. And, I’ve jumped into the local tech scene and made new friends, like Scott, Summer, Tim, and Rick, who help and encourage me with positive energy and enough belief in my abilities to keep me hopping back on the Code Bicycle after hitting rough patches.
So, here I am, re-learning how to ride this Code Bicycle and documenting the journey on this new tech blog, Diana Starts. I’m planning to document my journey, both challenges and successes, here with hopes that someone will find the information useful. This isn’t a guru site, so if you’re looking for someone who knows everything, you’ve come to the wrong place. Pretty much, I know very little…for now, at least. So, if you’re looking for someone who is open to learning and sharing their mistakes along the way, then you’ve come to the right place.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~Winston Churchill
Thanks for stopping by!