Learning to Code, err.. Relearning

We talk about learning to code online. O'Reilly, Treehouse and such. Relearning to code.

mileposts - episode 6 - learning coding

[00:00:00] Loren Winzeler: [00:00:00] Hey guys, Loren Winzeler here with another episode of the mileposts podcast. Today I wanted to talk about code schools online learning and get some feedback or ideas on the best way to learn programming in 2020. So I've recently purchased an annual subscription to Treehouse and to O'Reilly's online learning platform.

[00:00:23] Treehouse is a self paced gamified coding instruction   platform. It's one that I've been familiar with for quite some time actually since maybe 2003 or 2013 rather 2012 maybe. I actually had a year's membership way back, but I never used it. It seemed like a great way to, to get started and scratch the surface.

[00:00:48] So I'm back on Treehouse. O'Reilly, of course, is the legacy publisher that has all the animal drawings on the covers of the books, probably the most respected technical publisher out there, and [00:01:00] they've really, I think business model wise transitioned into more of an online learning platform. And. It is so deep, what they provide. Includes all the books, all the references, as well as live streams and recordings of conferences and so on. I think  O'Reilly for me might be a little bit aspirational to jump onto at this stage. but I need to up my, my Ruby, my Python, my node JS game. So. I wanted to take a look at what they have as well.

[00:01:35] So what are you guys thinking? I mean, is this the wrong way to proceed if you were to try to dive into coding in 2020? So for myself, remember, I, I really have a pretty strong foundation in programming and I'm doing a lot of dev ops and coding and feature fixes and so forth right now. I have a [00:02:00] CS engineering degree from UIUC, which is Urbana champaign, Illinois, University of Illinois, and worked for years as a C plus plus and Java developer.

[00:02:11] So I'm very unique, savvy, very kind of OS agnostic. I worked on windows for years and years. I grew up on dos and windows. But on the Unix side have actually owned and programmed on, you know, NeXT workstations. I used to have a NeXT cube back in the mid nineties late nineties a used one and a in college, and in the mid to late nineties.

[00:02:33] You know, I personally own an HP, a DEC. I actually owned a DEC Alpha. I had a sparcstation. I used to run every variant of Unix and, and BSD back in the day. I had my old Gateway running 386BSD pre Linux. but I'm pretty Mac savvy as well. I've gotten really into MacOS in the last two years.

[00:02:57]And, I think I have [00:03:00] purchased, goodness, one, two, four, five. I, I think I have eight macs now. And just a few years ago, I had none. So, but I'm still, pretty much more knowledgeable on windows and Unix than I am on MacOS. But learning. I used to have a Mac, a Power PC. and I think I gave it away to a janitor when w when I was moving offices back in 2002, 2002.

[00:03:33] So, anyway, I, I'm getting a little off track here anyway, comfortable in Linux, comfortable Ubuntu variants that I use on the desktop or server side. windows 10 MacOS On the programming side, I'm still not really spending much time with, browser base type programmatic, tools. since 2016, I've been really [00:04:00] making code changes in VI.

[00:04:02] So, without a whole lot of, environment set up. some would call it cowboy coding to some extent. but someone recommended to me to check out Microsoft's VS Code, which is cool. I'm not sure if it's like the old Visual Studio for C plus plus and .NET, but we'll have to check it out. Anyway, I jumped on Treehouse and O'Reilly and I really need to make some more time to learn.

[00:04:32] It's really hard to watch and get through these kind of courses, but. The more interactive, the better. I've been centered around, you know, programmatic tasks and bug fixes and features and so on. So what do you guys think?  Tweet at me @ Loren  winzeler on twitter.  not super active on Twitter anyway.

[00:04:54] I have a ton of other courses too on Udemy. A you to me is a, how do you pronounce that? Anyway, you to [00:05:00] me, you to my other e-learning platforms and so forth, linked to from Stack social and others, so I'm not interested. I think so much in the formal bootcamp type. Programming boot camps, if you will, the Lambda school type thing and the other pay bootcamps.

[00:05:21] I guess if I weren't pushing my own projects right now, that might be a way to get hired and it seems like. Seems like there's a lot of courses out there right now that are focused on helping people impress on technical interviews and to pass these coding quizzes. It's kind of interesting to see how much is out there for that now.

[00:05:48] I don't want a job at Google or Facebook or the like. I don't see that helping me to take, you know, hiring quizzes and so forth and [00:06:00] working on that component. I really want to focus on one language, one project, and I'd probably, I think right now focus on Python and the Lendsnap app, Python Django, maybe on Ruby on rails for down payment gift.

[00:06:17] Anyway,    a story about a friend of mine.  that I was working with on a project. It's written in JavaScript and PHP.  I have this side project. called LandingPay. It's a great little simple layer to allow a non-techies to put buttons in HTML or link buttons in HTML and platforms like landing page platforms like Unbounce or Instapage or HubSpot.

[00:06:44] And it used to make about $500 or $600 a month with really virtually no marketing. It was coded in Java script and,  kind of, a user portal was done in PHP Laravel spark and it uses Amazon  [00:07:00] and Lambda, but it's a, it's desperately in need of updating and shifting Stripe accounts out of the U K.

[00:07:11] Into the U S meanwhile people that are using it as linked to the U K so it desperately needs some architectural bug fixes from start. And a lot of features needed to be a need to be added. Anyway, I was going to partner with my friend Dana on it and split it 50 50, basically a gift. It was just, here you go, take it.

[00:07:36]but my friend Dana got into the repo and saw the PHP portal layer and decided, I guess he decided it was below him, a no fault to him on that. He only wanted to work on Javascript and subsequently. Backed out of it. He balked it at working on, on LandingPay. So [00:08:00] anyway, it's okay. talking about coding and languages and so forth, it's interesting to me how language centric developers are these days.

[00:08:09] You kind of pigeonhole yourself, I guess it's a side effect of how deep things go. And jumping between languages is harder and harder. So this guy was self taught. And I guess PHP was so, so offensive, to him, that, he didn't want to learn it or relearn it. So to me it's just another language. I think it's easy to get in and start, might be hard to do much good with it.

[00:08:36] And because of the security issues, it's probably hard to make things scale and a kind of a Silicon Valley Bay area style scale. So it's definitely not the hot NodeJS and React stuff that, that people are excited about right now in 2019, 2020. Anyway, [00:09:00] I am hoping to work more in public from a coding perspective, livestreaming my problem solving.

[00:09:08] I'd seen Justin Jackson do that a handful of times, in coding marketing sites. It seemed like a good way to make yourself accountable. Obviously I can't really live stream parsing through coding courses. might be a copyright concern there. I think, no doubt, pointing to a Treehouse and O'Reilly.

[00:09:30] I don't think they would have a, a problem with it, but. Anyway, I don't think having a, you know, TreeHouse or O'Reilly is gonna fill it a 15 year gap in my resume if I were to try to explain what I've been doing and why, I'm skilled if we're going to do some contracting or get hired full time subsequently.

[00:09:56] So I think it's better to try to relearn and apply new [00:10:00] skills. On, on my own projects, on DPG, on HomesBySocial, ReviewHomes and others. Anyway, let me know what you guys think. let me know what you would do if you were learning. Let me know if you have any experience on that recently. So anyway, thanks for listening.

[00:10:19] A tweet at me @ Loren Winzeler, L. O R E N, W. I. N. Z. E. L. E. R. or Loren, L O R E N@mileposts.org Thanks.

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