The Do > The Done

I like to think that I am more honest with myself today than I was ten years ago.  Then again, how honest could a nineteen-year-old, with no real world experiences, be with himself?  Now, twenty-nine and not getting any younger, I can look at a situation and weigh what I can and can’t do, or how much time will or won’t I have to invest.  Compared to all the other life skills, it’s not that profound but it’s important.

I’m being honest with myself tonight and admitting that the pace at which I am working through the Java problems from last semester is too slow.  I need to cut out all the time wasted on the internet, collect those hours and then invest it all on mastering Java.  Because by this time next year, I don’t want to feel as though I am on a treadmill.  I want to feel as though I climbed to the top of a mountain.  It’s not done overnight but done through small steps, started with little sacrifices, and powered through with a vigorous determination to make it.

Where am I now?  I am on Chapter 4: Loops and Files, on sample code 5 of 25.  It’s 9:00 p.m. EST, and I am coding to code for the next three hours.

I don’t know how much I will get done but the point is to do, not do think about the done.

Update:  Two and a half hours later, I realize I may have to change my methods of practice.

What I have been doing, and it has been an effective way for learning to program, is to take one of the sample codes provided in Tony Gaddis’ Starting Out With Java, and repeat writing the code ten times.  It has been an effective means for memorizing the little things about syntax, spacing, and writing clean code.  If you’re just starting out, instead of memorizing the jargon, I highly recommend you repetitively code the examples you find in your textbook.

What I may have to start considering is to code five programs, then repeat them in sequence for a minimum of five times.  This way I cover more example programs and get to practice and learn through repetition.

If You Are Interested in Computer Science You Must Watch BBC’S “The Secret Rules of Modern Life: Algorithms” (2015)

Last night, I watched a cool documentary on algorithms, The Secret Rules of Modern Life: Algorithms.  It’s available on Netflix.  If you’re a new student to computer science, you’ll definitely want to watch this documentary.  Marcus du Sautoy introduces, explores, and explains algorithms in everyday language.  It’s best to watch this documentary before forcing yourself to study CLRS’ Algorithms–an inevitable text for anyone considering to become a computer scientist.

If you don’t have Netflix, it’s also on YouTube:

Did I learn anything?  Yeah.  Honestly, you could treat this documentary like an introductory textbook.  Which is what I will be doing.  Like right now, I can tell you that the most important contribution this documentary will make to your computer science education is to compare and contrast bubble sort, merge sort, heap sort, pigeonhole sort, and why we’re still searching for an algorithm to the traveling salesman problem.

Another cool thing about this documentary is meeting all the world renowned computer scientists through interviews.  I think the next time I watch it, maybe sometime this coming week, I’d like to make a list of all the people interviewed.  Then, I would look up each scientist on Amazon to see what books they’ve written.

In my next post, I am going to write about resumes for computer science.  I follow a Facebook Group called HH Resumes, where students and pros share their resumes to be critiqued, and I have noticed that a lot of us really don’t know how to write a resume.  I’m not going to write a DOs & Donts post, what I am thinking of creating is a post with all the resources that can help us learn to write better resumes.

Thanks for reading, hit that LIKE button, hit that FOLLOW button, and don’t’ be shy to leave a comment.  Take care.