a violinist learns to program
So I've finished my second day at Makers.
What I have learned so far:
1. My cohort's hive mind is great. We share information and it's wonderful to have access to their intelligence and drive.
2. Leaving a problem for an hour and returning can magically make the problem go away. I was starting the mystery for the week, and literally couldn't figure out what step one was. Nothing made sense. So I cycled out to drop my violin off at the luthier for repair (it sounds terrible, am hoping it's just an open seam and not a crack), got some apples to make pie for American Pi(e) day, meditated, and then hey - GitHub, the command line, pushing, cd.. ...it all started making sense.
3. Diving into the command line takes away the fear and uncertainty. When I started doing the command line exercises, I really missed Ruby and the logic of programming. I felt like the command line was a bit of an annoying distraction from the main fun of coding, and it also looked like a lot of gibberish. Having spent a day with it, I know it a lot better. Also, changing the font to pale green on a black background definitely helped, as did making the text size bigger.
4. Starting the day with a walk around Cambridge is fantastic. I met a friendly cat, got a free map of the Sussex Downs, and saw some really beautiful houses
In non-programming news:
1. I have a violin recital on 2 April. This will be pure joy, but it's difficult to be motivated to practise, mainly because my violin is currently making dead cat noises (hence the trip to the luthier). Hopefully he can sort it out and I'll enjoy practising again.
2. I walked over 8,000 steps today. I definitely would not have walked anywhere near this if it hadn't been for my Fitbit. I am going to up the goal to 10,000 next week. I am still last in my competition but hey - I'm moving.
3. I made a pie for American Pi(e) Day! It wasn't my best pie (a bit out of practice, especially since I've been eating more healthily), but my landlord's dinner guests were very appreciative nonetheless.
Today I'm starting my first day of the Makers Academy programming course. (Pictured above: CodeAcademy Ruby study in Canterbury - I programmed for 4 hours before playing a rehearsal and concert with the Philharmonia Orchestra.)
Starting this course is scary and amazing. Scary because what if I turn out to be crap at coding and I spent a lot of money for nothing? Amazing because I'm pretty sure I'll keep loving coding and it'll be a great change in my life.
My prep for coding has consisted of:
Buying nerdy Tshirts so I will have a coding "uniform" to get my brain into coding gear for when the full-time course starts. The shirts will be arriving soon so you will see photos in a later blog.
Buying a FitBit so that I stay active during the course (I love walking and exploring Cambridge, and I will be kicking my 8,000 step goal out of the park). It also allows me to track water, nudges me every hour if I haven't moved, and does a guided 2-minute breathing meditation. (One of the things I loved about MA was its commitment to students' wellbeing - I totally agree that people learn better when their brains and bodies are taken care of!)
Buying a MacBook Air. WOOOHHOOO!!! I am a MacMommy! I have named it Emmeline (after the suffragette Pankhurst) Skål (the Danish word for "cheers", but also the Danish word for skull, because, you know, Vikings drank from skulls).
Now I'm off to learn some code!