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Learning to Speak to a Computer Part 1.

30 Sep

programming, coding, nerd problems, life, google translate, coderbug83

The epic language barrier…

This week has been super hectic.  I have been moving, studying, working (finishing up the last weeks) and pushing myself far beyond my usual boundaries.  When I finally took the time to slow down and work on some real coding, I felt like I was almost getting the concepts but they became slippery in my mind and I could not grasp hold of the concepts completely.  This week, we are working on the very important topics of objects, classes and instances.  Yes… with Java being an object oriented language, this is something that I have to grasp.  As I read through my chapters and completed my examples, I got this feeling of being almost there, but not quite there.  I felt pretty defeated last night, it was as if my computer speaks Mandarin and I speak English.  HUGE language barrier. 

Not even a hug could help me…

I tried to coerce my Macbook into giving me the answers, but no luck, she just kept throwing compile errors and computery (not a word) speak at me.  Taunting me, saying that I will never be a great coder.  Okay, maybe she did not say that, however that is how I began to feel while turning in my project at 11:58pm, with 1 minute to spare and an epic migraine to boot.  After a hard night of coding some stuff to somewhat resemble the stuff that my professor requested from me, I felt confident that I would get an okay grade, but I did NOT feel as though this project was a winner.  Only time, will tell…

This is only a battle, not the end of the war…

I understand that this concept is extremely important.  I know that I will have to take the time to learn it completely, because object oriented programming is the thing of now and it makes sense.  Object oriented programming is nimble, flexible, easier to debug and it simply makes sense.  I have watched every video online and I have read several beginner books in order to get a perspective on this subject and I believe my understanding is a lot clearer today than it was yesterday and much clearer than it was the day before that.  I feel like a foreign exchange student with a beginner’s knowledge of a foreign language but not an in-depth understanding of each nuance, each inflection.  It will take time to gain an intimate relationship with Java.  One day it will all click together. 

Let’s just pray that the clicking happens a tad more rapidly (before my final project)…

The epic amounts of time that I spend reading this and studying that, should be a testament to how badly I want to be a good programmer.  I am accustomed to being an expert in my field,  I feel a bit vulnerable being a complete n00b on a subject.  I had 14 years of expertise in my previous field and I was the “go to” person for all things financial.  Now, I feel as though I could not coach someone out of a coded paper bag even if my life depended on it.  Starting from the very bottom will take some getting use to.  I will have to embrace my new n00bness and be happy that I have the opportunity and the means to completely immerse myself into a new career.

The programmer within wants to be the dude coding something sitting right next to me…

To make me feel even more like a n00b, there is a guy that is sitting right next to me and he is coding something.  I believe he is a professional software engineer with a flexible work schedule because I often see him in Panera with his feet up coding something.  His codes look complex and his nose is not deep within a text book so I am assuming he is not a student.  Also, the lack of the “wth” look that I always have on my face gives him away as being knowledgeable.  Anyway, my inner programming junky wants to be like him.  Confident in the magical codes I am drumming up and free to click away wherever my hands (and laptop) may take me.  One day grasshopper, one day.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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12 responses to “Learning to Speak to a Computer Part 1.

  1. ericjmritz

    October 13, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I admire anyone who has the courage to take a risk (financially, professionally, etc.) to pursue their dream, as I’m going through the same. So if you publish your code on any kind of site like GitHub I would be happy to help you with any programming questions. Or feel free to email me for anything about programming if you want; my email address is on the ‘About’ page of my own blog.

    Like

     
    • CoderBug83

      October 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks for your kind words! Following my dream has been both rewarding and terrifying, especially on those occasions where I spend my entire day in the library working on a project and leave barely past where I started. I made a GitHub account, based on what I’ve researched online, I haven’t quite ferreted out how to use it yet lol, but now that I have a week until next session starts I think I’ll devote this week to getting that up and running. I will definitely take you up on your offer and thank you thank you thank you for making the offer in the first place!!!

      Like

       
      • ericjmritz

        October 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm

        GitHub has some nice help-pages that walk through the basics:

        https://help.github.com/articles/set-up-git

        I’ve never used their native app, so I can’t speak to how useful that is though. And there’s also the tutorials on the official home of Git:

        http://git-scm.com/documentation

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      • CoderBug83

        October 13, 2013 at 7:31 pm

        Thanks for the links. I just submitted my Final Project so I will spend my afternoon getting GitHub up and running, so thanks again! I saw that Eclipse has a GitHub option, I’ll be looking into that as well, although I just read the syllabus for my next session of advanced java >.< and the professor prefers that we use Net Beans… anyway, thanks again, I'll be taking a look at these resources tonight!

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  2. omgtechy

    October 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I will happily help you with the body programming problem. What is it about OOP that you’re struggling with?

    On a side note, you’ll need to learn to use Git before github.

    Like

     
    • CoderBug83

      October 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      I have a better understanding of OOP now than I did when I wrote this post. Mostly since I’ve meandered my way through my final project which allowed me to make some needed mistakes. I agree with learning git first and I’ve spent my morning watching the lynda.com tutorials on git and I’ve learned how to set things up as well as wth a commit is, how to customize git in terminal and the history of other VCS’s etc. it’s pretty straightforward and since I am pretty nerdy, the entire experience has me ready to start tracking more things that I’m working on. The latter parts of the essentials training on lynda.com incorporates gitHub so I’ll be navigating to there this afternoon.

      I really appreciate any help I can git (pun intended) and after I make myself cozy in github it will probably be easier for people to point out issues etc. thanks for your feedback 🙂

      Like

       
      • ericjmritz

        October 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

        For what it’s worth, the book “C++ in Plain English” by Brian Overland is what made OOP ‘click’ in my head. It is a short read and even though you’re using Java I am confident it would be helpful since both languages have the same flavor of OOP.

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      • CoderBug83

        October 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm

        This book was also on my professor’s recommended book list, and it’s free in our library so I will definitely be checking it out. I believe my original confusion around OOP is the community’s erroneous relationship between OOP and GUI. Reading my text book and removing any previous preconceptions is helping me more than one would think. Thanks for the validation on that book, I will be using it for some light reading this week, lol.

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  3. ericjmritz

    October 14, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Nice that you have access to the book for free ^^

    I do not believe this is critical for novice programmers, but I do suggest trying to keep in the back of your mind that there are different ways to do OOP. The model Java and C++ uses may be the most popular, but it’s not the only one. Again, that’s not important to learn about in detail right now, but I think it’s good to make a mental note that some other languages approach OOP differently and there is no one, single, absolutely ‘correct’ way to do OOP.

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    • CoderBug83

      October 14, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      For me, I’ve found a lot of resources to be technical, which is great to be a little copy cat in order to get my code to work, but I have also read some blogs that help me understand programming on a conceptual basis. This is the preface in which my professor introduced this book to me, so I will take that at face value. I start learning C++ next semester, so my plan is to read it prior to then (I read a lot so that’s not that big of a deal), just to help me make some connections. I am please with my ability to take things at face value and I’m already able to make some connections on my own based on the reading I’ve done thus far. However I don’t even feel as though I’ve sniffed the surface, let alone scratched it lol, so I believe this resource will be a helpful one. By the way, I spent today learning git… I’m in love lol – I wish I had this set up on that one day that I deleted a huge chunk of my project and saved it by mistake (sleep deprivation). I’ll have my GitHub up and running tomorrow and I’ll send you my info if you want to have a laugh 🙂

      Like

       
  4. jhuhtanen

    October 17, 2013 at 2:56 am

    Good luck with the mysteries of programming! I would imagine that the beginning is always the hardest part. Java is a good option to start with since there are so many articles and websites that you can use whenever you are stuck. Don’t be too shy to ask for help from sites like SO (http://stackoverflow.com) etc. Just give people time and do some research before posting very basic questions.

    All the best with learning!

    Like

     
    • CoderBug83

      October 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      I’ve used SO a few times when I’ve gotten stumped with my homework assignments. I like how they rank the best answers, makes finding the right solution a lot easier. Thanks for the advice, I’m lucky considering that I really like to get feedback from people, I’m sure I’ll reach out to SO for help at some point lol.

      Beginning is the hardest part but it’s been truly rewarding thus far!

      Thanks for the good luck!

      Like

       

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