Stranger Things inspired Soundboard

On Passion and Why It Isn’t Your Job

  • CSS3 in 30 Days
  • 10 Days of JS on HackerRank
  • Finish Stranger Sounds
  • Make ‘Hello, World’ Chrome Extension
  • The right opportunities will always present themselves given enough time. 
  • Passion is more about who we are than what we do. It isn’t a career or an activity, it’s deeper and closely related to our motives and aspirations. 
  • Finish 10 Days of JS
  • Finish FCC Front End Certification (Make a Pomodoro Clock)
  • Finish Popup and newpage html/css for the non-profit hackathon
  • 2 sections of Accessibility course
Stranger Things inspired Soundboard
Stranger Things Soundboard (Links to CodePen.io)

After over a year of tinkering with programming, I decided to change my major to computer science. Although I was already pursuing a minor, this felt like a huge leap. I never wanted to change majors, I wanted to stick through and be an engineer. That’s what I had said I would be and I enjoyed it. But little by little, those 30 minutes of Learn Python the Hard Way or CodeAcademy lessons led to 1 hour of freeCodeCamp which became 2 hours, and eventually, all of my free time was spent making what I consider to be awesome projects. I was neglecting my homework because it was boring. Sure, learning more about physics and how materials behave is cool, but I don’t want to spend my career doing moment diagrams or analyzing forces on a hinge. After talking it over with my wife, I made the jump and I am extremely happy with that decision. It’s already opened many doors and will continue to change my life.

The word passion comes up extremely frequently when talking about careers, in cover letters, and even in someone’s LinkedIn profile. As I’ve reflected on my change of majors, I’ve realized that passion runs deeper than a career or even a hobby. My passion isn’t coding, it wasn’t mechanical engineering, it’s something more closely related to my personality and ambitions. My passion for creating, innovating, and hopefully helping people in the process, expresses itself in many ways, including coding.

Some say to ignore passion when choosing a career, some say passion is developed when you work hard at something and get good at it. I would agree more with the second, but don’t think that advice is perfect. Maybe I would love biology if I studied it for years and worked very hard, but I think because passion doesn’t stem from the activity, I wouldn’t be developing a passion for biology. I would be learning how to channel my passion through biology. My thoughts on this subject are still developing, but I wanted to share a little about them. I’ve decided to choose what I want to do based primarily off of my core values and passions, setting other factors aside.

 

Vanilla JS Calculator (Links to CodePen.io)

Because of all the time I now have (having dropped my engineering classes), I’ve heavily invested in finding coding work and developing myself as a programmer. I dove back into freeCodeCamp, completing two more front end projects. My stranger things soundboard above took forever in React. I couldn’t quite figure it out or get the motivation to do it. So after picking up a project in Vue for work, I revisited the soundboard, rewriting it in vue. It took a few coding sessions and I had to learn how to edit audio (a lot of fun! Reminded me of playing with garageband in middle school), but it came together nicely. It isn’t perfect, but it’s the most proud I’ve been of a project. 

I also built a vanilla javascript calculator. I’m realizing that I have the fundamentals of javascript down mostly because I already know how to program in C++ and Python. What I don’t know is the important parts of javascript. How to interact with the DOM, eventhandlers, etc. I had hacked together solutions in the past, but I decided to really focus on my basic skills so I built this project with just javascript. 

Post is getting a little long, but in addition to my freeCodeCamp work, I’ve started an accessibility course on Udacity from Google, 10 days of JS on hackerrank, and a few other goals like completing one hackerrank challenge a week. I’ve seriously loved learning more about code and hope to have a few more awesome projects coming next week!

Vim, C++, and Random Quotes

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Days of Make
  • 1 hour of coding or making a day
  • Finish two front end projects with React/Redux and a CSS library
  • Trust in the process, but don’t worship it
  • Something is better than nothing
  • Working with others is motivating and more fun
  • 1 hour of making or coding a day
  • Write a C++ program that recursively solves a 3D maze
  • Finish the Markdown previewer (Mostly styling with Bootstrap)
  • 10 Learn Vimscript the Hard Way activities
Debugging is debugged code will be a violent psychopath who ends up maintaining your code as that humans can write code
main.cpp
Aspiring human

And now on your left you’ll see a wild C++ program. It’s children (functions) are hiding behind it. It’s main purpose is to generate random text from an input text file. Isn’t that cool kids? Up next you’ll see…

Probably not the coolest field trip, but luckily for you, you don’t have to get on a school bus to see this code. This week, I worked on an assignment for my data structures class that took in a text file and made several others out of it. First, a set with every unique word listed alphabetically. C++ std set is ordered. There is an unordered_set which I didn’t use. Next, a vector with every word. Finally, a map that uses the vector to make key=value pairs.

Although very rudimentary, this program can generate random text that almost makes sense. The quote you see above is a blend of quotes on programming by disgruntled programmers. 

My favorite quote is definitely “Deleted code is debugged code”.

Working on this, I was able to dive into some basic data structures and see why you’d use some in different situations. Playing around with it, I was able to get more intelligent output by generating a map that used a string as a key and vector of strings as the value. By doing this, and with some coding magic, the text was more randomized. 

After this assignment, I wanted to research natural language processing (NLP) a little more. Doing some googling, I found a fantastic github repo called Awesome NLP which I’d highly recommend checking out!

This seriously excited me so much for what I can achieve with programming. Understanding what I can do with these skills is motivating me more to do now what I need to so that in the future I can do what I want to do. 

As part of my data structures class, we use cloud9 which has an integrated UNIX terminal. This translates into ‘I had to learn bash for my class’ and I loved it. It has made way more sense than working with the windows powershell. So in comes Ubuntu on Windows, a Linux subsystem that can be easily installed.

I tried this a few weeks ago, but it didn’t work. I couldn’t install what I needed (npm, python libs, gcc, etc.). Finally, I decided to run apt-get update and what a surprise, everything started working!!!

Now, I can have all the fun of Ubuntu, Vim, and still run Starcraft and everything else I have on windows. This is leading me to remember Vim. Although I’m pretty slow with it for now, I’m invested in learning Vim so that in the future I can always have it, no matter where I’m working or on what OS. Even just running through Vimtutor again, I feel a lot faster.

This week I didn’t do exactly what I had planned, but considering I was sick, I’m happy with the progress and what I was able to learn. I’m passionate about programming and am loving every step of this journey. 

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