I think the hardest part of trying to teach myself to code is knowing if I am following the right path to get me there. I really envy those people who can afford to go to school to learn. I have no doubt that having someone else writing out a learning road map and then being there to answer any questions you have about what they have written down is well worth the money but since I don’t have any money I am just going to have to do this journey the hard way. I always think that I am on the path to where I need to go but then find myself having to circle back and retrace my steps over and over again.
The last failed path that I followed was that last year I settled on to committing to doing Harvard’s CS50 online because I thought following their learning path would be my best bet but although I learned a lot of the video lectures I found that the guidelines that were written for the problem sets were beyond frustrating to follow and I would lose weeks and weeks of time trying to figure out the correct way to do the things that they wanted me to do.
I finally just gave up on it completely and went back and deleted almost all entries referring to it since I’ve decided that I am just going to now use it as a guideline of what it is that I am supposed to be learning and I deleted the entries because I rather not be constantly reminded in past entries about my past failures. I find that to be demotivating so I and rather just delete them all and start over with a fresh start again.
The one gift that CS50 did give me is that it did get me over my fear of C programming. I have always been intimidated by C programming and would of never chose to learn it as a language if CS50 wouldn’t of put me on that path so I do not consider the time I’ve put into it so far to be time completely wasted. I just know it is time to start on a new path because I am not willing to lose anymore of my life or my peace of mind to completing the problem sets that they assign anymore. It would be different if I had someone I could constantly turn to in order to hand-hold me through the part that I get stuck on but since I don’t I rather just stumble through by trial and error my way.
My goals for this month are to try and finish reading ‘Absolute Beginner’s Guide to C, second edition’ by Grey Perry. Learning from the book has also been an exercise in frustration because it was printed in 1994 and a lot of the code doesn’t want to work with my compiler. I would also like to at least get part of the way through ‘Up and Running with Git and GitHub’ on Lynda.com since my library card now gives you a free membership to the site.
Despite all the set backs in the last year and a half I think that I am actually starting to get to a point of where I feel a lot less lost when it comes to C programming. I’ve been wandering around in ‘the desert of despair‘ for so long that it has been a constant battle to not just quit but in the last few weeks things have been clicking a lot more in my head when it comes to programming.
Goals for End of March:
- Go back and read the article ‘Don’t Believe Anyone Who Tells You Learning To Code Is Easy’
- Go back and read the article ‘How to survive the desert of despair in your code-learning journey’
- Finish ‘Absolute Beginner’s Guide to C, second edition’ by Grey Perry
- Install and learn how to use Eclipse