Since deciding to learn computer programming five months ago, my learning process has varied. The big intro into web development came by way of Harvard’s CS50x course. The program is online and free to anyone wishing to give it a go. My first valiant effort at C language had me inching forward at a blistering and slow pace. Supplemental readings, along with the videos and exercises that came with the course quickly ate up all my free hours. Despite feeling completely over my head, I took comfort realizing that other students in the class felt as overwhelmed with the exercises and curriculum. Eventually and with much relief, I felt some of the information was sticking in my brain and I began to comprehend more of what I was reading and doing. The study schedule tromped all over my work schedule, though, and I started looking for a less “interfering” avenue toward coding comprehension.
My spreadsheet (I always have a spreadsheet) looks like this:
It outlines a daily coding study plan of Reading, Writing, Watching, Reporting and Rapport with accompanying Recommendations. Here’s a breakdown of what I’m doing today:
Reading: The Passionate Programmer (50 pages) — This is an excellent book, by the way!
Writing Code: I’ve been working on re-creating buttons using HTML and CSS from a Codecademy project. Vertical-alignment is killing me. I’m so tempted to go into Photoshop for the result I want. Nevertheless, here’s what I’ve got so far, my work-in-progress:
Watching: Today’s video, I’m continuing onto Lesson 2 of Tuts+ 30 Days to Learn JQuery.
Reporting: This blog is meant to document my efforts.
Rapport: Since I am a social introvert, I can comfortably go days without speaking face-to-face with others (I work from home), so I don’t take communication skills for granted. Taking a walk with a friend, attending programming Meetups and any supplemental study to build on communication skills… these all fall into the Rapport category. Today, I’m reading 20 pages from a book called Social Intelligence.
Recommendations is the final column in my spreadsheet. For today’s note, I wrote “read weblogs”. Not earth-shattering but a reminder to search out an online ‘mentor’ of sorts.