I haven’t updated my news journal in quite a bit. A lot has changed the last few weeks. I had to take some time off for a bit of self retrospection. The desire to be genuine to my personality and grow from there. I was struggling trying to find my learning path. That is why you have seen so many directions and so many goals within this blog so far. I had to stop and listen. Listen to my learning style and find out how could I truly absorb the learning materials.
The journey just to find out how to absorb or should I dare say how to motivate myself to stay on course has been a challenge.
Before I write my timeline, let me give some pretext to this Developer path.
In March 2015 after a family crisis and co-worker hanging the phone on me, I decided that I needed to pursue another path in life. Programming I got into in 2001 via C++ in the now defunct Sylvania Technical School in Somerville, MA. They filed for Chapter 11, then I transferred to Clark University’s off campus web technology school. Bad mistake! I went through the motions and took a Cold Fusion class. I didn’t learn anything. I did get a job at a startup. I think it was Diapers.com. I have no recollection. I did some customer service for them. They let me go during the IT bubble. To my chagrin I went back to retail, real estate and my indie record store in those last 15 years.
- March 2016. Co-worker “Inna” hung up the phone on me during an argument over client loyalty. Decided I had enough. Time to look for another path.
- April 2016. After searching for the right curriculum. Decided on freecodecamp.com interactive free course.
- September 2016. Months of F’ing around and being stuck, left freecodecamp.com and switched to watchandcode.com
- December 2016. Decided on Python.
- December 2016. Discovered ESR’s HOW TO LEARN HACKING . Didn’t know it will tie into my later motivation to learn test driven development through “incremental hacking cycle”
- January 2017. Searching for a path. Went for Automate the Boring Stuff. Left after some chapters.
- February 2017. Took Python Crash Course. Did all the 1st half, but did only some of the exercises.
- late February 2017. Took dataquest.io learning path. I want to understand how to be a data scientist instead of full stack web developer.
- March 2017. While doing dataquest, I downloaded torrented pdfs, scrummed through quora, reddit, google searches. Skimmed through books. Paid for 4 courses on Udemy at 90% off. Looking for anything that spoke to me or motivated me to keep the course.
- late March 2017. Discovered Monica Rogati‘s article to just build projects to learn.
- late March 2017. Found another article that said the same thing. credit: Brandon Rohrer
- late March 2017. Reality: Data Science is too involved and it will take longer to learn. Focus is Full Stack Python Developer.
- late March 2017. I remember during the watchandcode about test driven development. There was also another e-book that mentioned the same topic. I had the pdf. It was Harry Percival’s Test Driven Development with Python.
- April 2017. Found out that learning by project is the best way to learn. Harry’s book just does 1 and it covers it well. It is a “switchblade” of concepts covering: git, selenium, testing, deployment, front end and back end concepts. This is the course I will invest and make it a full-time commitment. It is a form of “incremental hacking cycle”. I am motivated to learn!
- April 16, 2017. Signed up to linode.com. My side project after learning taking Harry’s course will be musicscience.co, a news journal covering the music concepts within data science and beyond. The goal is to do a major project that will land me a position as a Full Stack Python Developer.
For some people, I guess learning-programming-in-a-year is easy for them to grasp. For me, it has not been that easy. I admit mental health plays into that. “I am too old”. “I am a loser”. “Will I ever get hired, because I waited too long to learn this stuff”. “It’s hard to study, when I am overdue on my mortgage”. “I am not smart enough to learn this stuff”. Mind games can really fuck you up [excuse the language]. If you have family problems, you keep stopping what you are doing all the time. If you haven’t picked up a book in a decade, that is hard to break out of the habit. Making excuses by visiting a streaming website for watching movies and the latest anime episodes. Check email relentlessly. Look at cnn.com.
I think the only way to really get something going is by being consistent. Consistency is not a daily occurrence. Consistency is touching it at least every other day, if I can’t do it everyday. At least I am trying. That is the whole point. You will have many bad days. Terrible days. Horrible days. More than horrendous days, but if you can type 1 line of code. If you read a paragraph for that day. It is a small victory and improve. All those victories add up.
*Side note: Jazz is the best concentration music for me. The 70’s era jazz that is and some of today’s modern movements like Christian Scott and Kamasi Washington. I notice I can zone out better and focus.