August Study Log

8.01 – 2.5h Today I watched an hour of “how to write and match regular expressions” by Corey Schafer, “how to remember my code snippits” by Dan Bader. This video made me really think more about making small posts about each little thing that I learn. It helps to self-document AND it gets more info out there in my own words. That means it’s easier for me to find (because I wrote it) and it’s also probably written in the terms a beginner will use. I also put in 1.5h of work on the blog signup project. It works, but won’t pass their tests. It tells me I’m probably not redirecting (code 200 received as opposed to a 3xx code) when I am. I’m kind of stuck. The next two quizzes build on this base, so I’m hesitant to move on from it as well.

8.02 – 3h I researched and wrote three blog posts tonight, I started collecting resources for my upcoming 4 day weekend (I’m not going to break my streak just because I’m at the beach!), I worked some more on my cs253 blog signup project (frustrating because it works, but won’t pass the tests and I have no idea why.) and I read an article about agile programming. I have heard agile mentioned a lot in job postings and I wanted to know more about the subject. I know a little more, but it may take seeing an actual implementation to understand it. It looks to be a mixture of a mindset and a process, and probably better learned by doing vs studying.

8.03 3h Today I spent an hour (or more!) trying to get dnsmasq running on my old macbook, and I was not successful. I did another two hours of cs253 on apis, finished the user login quiz, and brushed up on json files. I prepped my laptop with study materials for the upcoming weekend, too. I guess it would be pretty cool if I thought up a project to crunch on for four days, but progressing in my studies is pretty cool as well!

8.04 3h Tonight I did 2h of of cs253 then a combo hour of an “Talk python to me” episode on continuous delivery and a lengthy article about “an introduction to git and github” from real python. The cs253 has been a great class so far, but I am seeing more and more reasons why it is no longer promoted on the site. Tonight’s assignment was to add a feature to our blogs that shows a google map with a geolocated ip. That feature on google maps is no longer free, so doing it involves setting up billing. I’m not going to do that just so I can pass a quick online test. I also somehow lost my work from a previous lesson and had to rebuild it tonight. That was not fun and not educational, but entirely my fault.

8.05 2.5h Today. I did 2h of cs253, and I did 30 min of an opencv face detection course. cs253 is getting close to the end. I think I’m on lesson/week 6 of 7, and then there is a final afterwards.

8.06 2h I did 45min of cs253. 1h of “helping teachers bring python into the classroom” from podcast.__init__ and 20m of “making a difference through software with eric schles” from podcast.__init__

8.07 3h of cs253 I finished up the last quizzes, now on to the last classes and the final! I got hit with the “your blog did not pass the tests. possibly because we were expecting a redirect.” error. This was surprising because I am using the sample code for everything that redirects. I gave up on my own code a while back while I was trying to get around the last redirect error(8.01). It’s frustrating, but I still am learning a ton and I’m getting it for free as well! I probably shouldn’t complain.

8.08 5h I spent ~3h working on my (hopeful) presentation for Boston Python and 2 hours on cs253. This section was really just lessons learned from building up and scaling reddit, and I found it to be super valuable. I’m nervous to present in front of a lot of python coders that are much better than me, but I think it will be a good chance to do something that scares me.

8.09  4.5h I did 2.5h of cs253, and I finished the final! I installed pycharm community edition and I’m liking it so far. Earlier today I listened to a great podcast from talk python to me about people who came to python from other fields, and how they found their way in. It was pretty interesting hearing about their paths. There were 4 men, and they had varied levels of post-python career switching, but it was interesting to hear about how they found a use for python in their day jobs, and then how they moved into positions where that is more or all that they do. I wrote a blog entry on my current tools and started thinking about buying Dan Bader’s sublime text setup videos. Thinking about that made me want to check on the alternatives before I dropped the coin on Dan’s videos. I also did a codewars kata and documented it in another blog post. That should go up fairly soon.

8.10 3h I watched 30 min of pycharm videos and did 2.5h of work on porting a desktop app to run on google app engine. That has been difficult to figure out dependencies and file paths. The real stumbling block right now is that I need to write files to disk, zip them, and then download them as a batch. I’m digging into the google cloud platform and having very mixed luck. The demo app works, but when I try to do something similar I’m running into all sort of problems. I also would love to do this debugging in pycharm because I watched a video all about that. I’m strangely not able to do that in pycharm because it is giving me an error about PIL not being installed. I know that pycharm sets up a venv for your project so hopefully that is it.

  • 8.11 2.5h I figured out a few pycharm virtual environment things. I hadn’t actually installed PIL in the pycharm venv for my specific project. After I did that it was all good. Later on I made a new project that used a conda environment (instead of venv) and it seemed like the terminal wasn’t actually using that environment. I ended up using ‘source activate environment_name_here’ to fire it up, and then it worked as expected. I did 30-40 more minutes of Google app engine work and had a tiny bit more luck, but I’m still having a hard time figuring out how to make an image, save it to the cloud, and then serve that image over the web. As I’m typing this I realize that I need to simplify my code to pin this down.
  • Make a super simple pil image maker,
  • figure out how to put that in the cloud storage,
  • figure out how to get a sharable link to that image.
    I also looked into the API creation library named hug. I’ve got a side project that could be great for hug, but it also might want a bit more webserver-like features. I’ll check out falcon as well, which is a server built on top of hug.
    I also did the first two parts on the official django tutorial. I’ve always heard about how django is more involved than flask or webapp2, but wow! is it ever! I’m hoping to find a more complicated use-case so I can find the benefits of it. Currently it feels like too much configuration for too little benefit.

8.12 2.25h Tonight I started up again on javascript. I’m going to need to bone up on it at some point, and now feels like a good time! I already did most of the flatiron school bootcamp prep class and I’m looping back to the js section. It’s really weird to go through it and realize how much I missed the first time. I guess that I didn’t care too much about it at that point so I was less motivated to take notes and really read. Hopefully more sticks the second time around!

8.13 5h I started practical javascript by Gordon Zhu it’s a pretty interesting js course in that it didn’t even talk about the dom until halfway through. I appreciate that. I don’t know why so many tutorials start out with the dom when I don’t even know basic syntax yet. This will be a quick class, but I’m learning a ton.

8.14 1.5h of practical javascript by Gordon Zhu More of the same. The todo list app we are building is starting to almost not be terrible. I’m simultaneously impressed and sad about debugging in js. The ability to step line by line is awesome, but the error messages in the console seem to have no info whatsoever, and I’m lost without my precious tabs!


8.15 2h of practical javascript by Gordon Zhu and I finished it! I really like his teaching style, and how what he is teaching feels a lot more holistic than other classes. I feel like there is a lot more ‘why’ behind the ‘how’ with Gordon. I’m contemplating his paid content because this intro class was approachable and I feel like I learned a lot in three days. The one thing I don’t think I like is that (i think) you can’t download the material, so you would need to keep paying $39/mo in order to refer to classes you have previously taken. I’m still on the fence, but it seems like $39 is a fair price to give it a month and see how it goes. The other interesting thing is that the paid course seems to focus more on reading than writing js. I can use a ton of help with both so I won’t be picky. I can see how learning to read code is a great way to work on writing code. Similar to how it is easier to learn to understand a (spoken) language than learn how to speak it.

8.16 2.5h of Gordon Zhu’s Premium Membership Class. I decided to keep it rolling and buy a month in order to test it out. From what I read it should be around 30h of instruction. I don’t know how much homework time is required, but I hope to finish it in a month or two. If it takes longer than that, then hopefully it proves to be worth the increasing cost. Even if it goes beyond two months it will still be far cheaper than a lot of other options. Tonight I did the first 15% (!) of the class which covered orientation and why we will be learning how to read code as opposed to write code. The % must be based on total lessons and not take into consideration the length of the videos or homework. As an example: the first two sections (10 lessons) took roughly 15 minutes total to do, while the first lesson in the third section is a 75 minute video with 2 hours of studying beforehand. The % progress bar is probably going to get more accurate as I get further away from 0%, but it still surprised me.

8.17 2.75h of Gordon Zhu’s Premium Membership Class. The second lesson is more of the same reading exercises as the first. I may be fooling myself, but it does feel like I’m getting better at understanding / remembering how the code works. I can see this js class being broadly applicable across any language as well. This isn’t what I thought I was going to be learning, but I think it will provide a really solid base. He didn’t specify how you do it, but I’ve been commenting the crap out of the code with a pencil and it feels nice to keep my comments and the code very separate like that.

8.18 4h I finished watching the reading lesson, video 3 from Gordon Zhu’s Premium Membership Class. I read the docs for handlebar and jquery. I wrote a new post, and that process really kicked me into gear. I also researched a lot of open jobs in my area to find what skills I should be learning, I posted a tiny project I have been meaning to get around to (and documented it and cleaned it up a little) and I discovered the #100daysofcode movement. It’s a bunch of people that band together to push each other to code for at least an hour a day for 100 consecutive days. Unwittingly I’m already on (at least) day 49! My focus moving forward is going to be to try to put as many things online as possible, and spend a little extra effort making them shine. I haven’t posted either the todo app from practical javascript or the blog from cs253, but they _are_ both examples of things I can use to show what I have learned. I sure hope that they are replaced with cooler, more elegant (and uniquely-mine) things quickly, but in the interim anything is better than nothing.

8.19 5h in! I’m back on python today, working on trying to get some old code polished up with new features. I need to get things live, then make better things, then take older things offline. If I wait for the current thing to be awesome I am going to wait a while, as I’m constantly learning and the older work always feels ‘bad’ in comparison. I also did an hour or two (included in the 5) of gordon Zhu’s class.

8.20 8 hours! I got a ton in tonight and this morning.  I started and finished ud803 – Intro to Javascript on udacity. I also did 30 min of Gordon Zhu’s reading Javascript class. I’m whooped.

8.21 2.5 hours. Today was a really mixed up day programming-wise. I did 60 min of gordon’s class, 1 hours of reviewing old concepts and playing around making sample code, and half an hour of doing the 30 Day Vanilla Javascript Challenge. It felt pretty good to actually code some things. Today I did 3 of the challenges: drum machine, analog clock, and modifying css variables with js. They were all fun, and pretty simple. I started commenting in each one that showed what I learned, and I’m also trying to overcomment all of them as self-documentation. I revisited the localStorage section of Gordon’s class and made examples in there. I also started on the testing section. I need to start writing tests. now. In python and in js. OH! I also went to the Boston Python meetup. Tonight was a lightning talk night, and 7 people gave 5-15 minute speeches. It was pretty cool, and gave me a lot of feedback on how I can make my presentation suck less. I talked to ned about it as well, so I’m going to get it polished up and he will find a week for it some time.

8.22 2 hours. I did one of the challenges (#4 – array cardio) from #Javascript30 that was mostly just watching him code and me taking notes. I still learned a bunch, but it felt less rewarding since there was very little struggle in it. I also reformatted most of my js notes into one evernote file. I’ve been meaning to get all of my notes in one place online so that I can access it via any computer. I’m trying out evernote for now. time will tell.

8.23 2.5h I did some of Gordon’s class, a tiny bit of #javascript30 and then broke out for my own project. Time has flown by since I started actually coding though! I wrote a few tests this morning and that was actually kind of fun. Hopefully I can start doing it a bit more in the future

8.24 2h. 30m of Gordon’s lesson on rebuilding filter() with tests, an hour working on an auto cut detection thing in python, and another half hour of trying to get opencv installed and looking at sublime workflow stuff.

8.25 1.5h one hour of Gordon’s class on building tests for the filter() and map() functions. That is getting really repetitive. At least I’m baking in what the functions do! I also did 30m of Javascript30

8.26 2h of Gordon’s class. I’m over the testing section (and there is still almost three hours on his reduce tests alone!) so I skipped ahead to some code reading. I’m not sure if this would be easier / more rewarding if it was part of an 8 hour+ training day, but as it is I definitely find myself questioning if my time could be better spent learning things other than testing (after the first two or three hours) I just wrapped up the section reading underscore and it was good. Strangely though he didn’t actually read any underscore. All that he read was on the search function on the underscore docs. He kept talking about reading through a ~1700 lines of code, and main.js only has ~70.

8.27 3.15 I started on freecodecamp’s site today to get up to speed on css and some html. It’s a nice change of pace from writing test functions. I also put in some good work on my timer app.

8.28 2h I finished up the freecodecamp css section and the accesibility section. I learned a lot about how to use tags and colors to make things easier for people who interface with the web in slightly different ways. I listened to a clip of a screen reader and it was mind numbingly fast! I also did a few css animation things that were pretty interesting. I’m unsure when they will really come in handy though.

8.29 1.5h of FreeCodeCamp. I’ve been slammed at work and It’s super hard to keep cranking at night. I did a lot more css and learned about responsive web design, flexboxes, and css grid. I’m looking forward to the projects (next section) because they will feel like work as opposed to memorizing attributes that I can slap on something. Unless the 5 final projects are crushingly difficult I think I will be able to finish the responsive web design certification in under their 300(!) hour recommendation.

8.30 2h of FreeCodeCamp. I finished up the classwork for the css and html cert, and now I’m on to the projects! one and a half down, three and a half to go! These have been really good for me because otherwise I’m just taking notes. The coding I have done so far has helped me realize not only how things work, but also how I should set them up so that I can make it easier to get them to work.

8.31 3h today on FreeCodeCamp responsive web design finals projects. 2 down – 3 to go. Coding on a bus with no internet is hard! Css has been really bugging me out since it is really difficult to get visual feedback on when something is actually in the correct div / aligned properly. I need to look into tools or tutorials on how to keep it all straight. I’ve been drawing grids on paper to try to blueprint things. I know there must be a better way.


91.5 total hours = 2.95 hours/day

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