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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Programmer vs. Designer…

imagination, programming, education, learning, life, school, coderbug

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“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein

Recently, I have been thinking about the differences between designing and programming.  I suppose this is a typical thought process considering we have just started really getting into GUI within my studies.  I have a passion for both design and programming and that puts me in a position where I am starting to contemplate how in depth I should pursue each.

Currently I have a double major in Comp Sci and Graphic Design, so my courses are aligned to put me on the proper path.  However, in my free time, I find myself being drawn to learn more Graphics and design concepts than coding.  I have a great passion for both, but it seems as though my creative side wants to take over during those times that I am learning new concepts during free time.

Should I choose just one?  I’m thinking… no!

I am in the process of thinking should I stick to one path?  Each path will give me a lot of practice and study since, in my opinion, there is no “mastering” either.  Designers get better and better, but there’s always things to learn and the same goes with being a great programmer.  With all of the different paradigms to learn, 20 years in and I there will always be something more to learn.  However, I love each so much that I don’t want to let go of one.

You may ask, what’s the big deal, just do both!  Well, simply put, I am.  But there’s an underlying fear that if I do both that I will end up mediocre in both instead of great in one.  One major point in me dropping everything to return to school was to ensure that I did make the very best of it and that I put 200% into everything I do.  There is a tangible fear that splitting my focus will dull my effectiveness in both areas of study.

And then I remembered that I have no life!

The one thing that will help me pursue each with the tenacity that I am accustomed to is the fact that I don’t really have much else to do LOL.  When I’m not doing my homework and assignments, I am reading and researching everything I can get my hands on about programming and design.  I spend my free time watching Lynda.com tutorials and read a ton of design an programming blogs.  Quite possibly, my unique situation will lend a hand to me having my cake and eating it too, with ice cream to boot!

Welcome to the dark side, we have cookies…

If forced to choose between the two at the moment, I would choose to pursue programming.  Luckily I don’t have to choose, however, knowing that if push came to shove I’d choose programming, makes my path a tad bit clearer as I look towards my future.  There is something about programming that not only intrigues me, but invokes a since of pride with each concept that I learn and begin to understand.  I think back to the first week and that first project this semester that I sat and worked over for hours and hours.  I lost so much sleep that week and I was beginning to believe that I was in way over my head.  To understand the progress that I’ve made so far really motivates me to keep pushing towards my goals.

 

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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Programming

 

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My Intermediate Programming Class: Makes me feel a little more like a programmer…

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No one ever uses semi colons properly anyway… 

Before I get to talking about my experiences in my new class, I thought I would share a semi funny story.  I had to do a mini research paper recently and I completely blanked on how to properly use a semi colon.  It looked out of place within my research paper and I stared blankly at my computer screen for a second before I started to giggle.  I have now turned one of the most underused symbols into something I use a million times a day now.  Talk about programming nerd problems LOL.  

I feel a lot more like a programmer… 

After completing my first Java course with an A+ I felt a tad bit victorious.  Considering I have never programmed anything prior to this class, I finished this course with a clearer understanding of programming and what it means to the world.  Programmers are essentially magicians with the capability to create any digital tool that they please.  I am not at the point that I am able to implement any of these magical things, but I have a level of confidence now that did not exist before.  After losing nights of sleep over my final project in my last course, and receiving a 100 on it, I realized that I will be successful, not because I am awesome, but because I am dedicated to learning whatever I can get my little hands on.  

Introducing Intermediate Programming… 

I just started my Intermediate Programming class and despite of the confidence that I gained after completing Introduction to Programming, I have to say I was intimidated by my professor.  He has some really high expectations, and although I am excited about his outlook, I also have a tiny voice in the back of my head that reminds me of my background and the fact that I am truly a fish out of water when it comes to programming.  My fear was recognized when I received an 80% on my first homework assignment.  In my mind, I felt the walls crashing down (right alongside my 4.0 GPA).  As usual, I slapped and reminded myself that the first homework assignment was just 3% of my final grade and that I am not out of the game yet.  The first assignment sets the standard for the professor’s expectations and I just had to dissect my feedback and move from there.  So, after dissection, I learned quite a bit about my professor and his expectations.  I say this only to report that on my second assignment, a project that was worth 15% of my final grade,  I received a 100! 

I am learning so much about myself that I did not know before.  

Primarily, this change in my life is more than just following my dreams, although that was the purpose for me doing so.  I learned that this change is huge in me readjusting what I think I am capable of doing.  I have had to push myself past preset mental boundaries in order for me to accomplish these new tasks in my life.  What happens in these moments however, is a dynamic that can not be ignored: 

The more I push myself, the more I know that I can do anything and the more I feel like a programmer and less like a spectator.  

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in Programming

 

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