Return of the Code Monkey

Or should that title read “Revenge of the Code Monkey”?

So, you may or may not have noticed I have not blogged in a very long time. The last time I graced this blog with my presence was back in November, 2012 which would be, oh… about 6 months ago. Yep, half a year!!

If you were paying attention, you know that I was taking an online course through coursera.org. I was attempting to learn how to code in Python. I bet you have a few questions. And if not, that’s ok. I’ll answer them anyway!

1. Why did the Monkey stop blogging about the course?

This is pretty simple. The course was really challenging for me. It took most of my free time just to watch the lectures and complete the assignments. With working full time and doing the course, plus spending a little bit of time with my wife, I didn’t have the energy to write much.

2. What did the Monkey think of the course?

As I mentioned, it was hard for me. I’m not really that great at math and I quickly found out that the course was going to require a lot of it. I ended up doing some extra homework to bring my math skills up to par. You see this particular Monkey seldom payed attention in Math Class. Plus High School is a few years ago now… “I’ll never need this in real life!” “This is dumb.” “Why are there letters in this math?” are all phrases you might have heard uttered by me in high school. Sorry Mr. Bodnarick. Funny aside, earlier this week I asked my 14 year old niece what she learned in school that day. “Nothing.” she replied just like every time I ask her that. I pressed on and she told me she had learned something about triangles inside of circles and that she would never ever use that in life. I felt very old as I explained to her that I used to think that about everything taught in Math, but now I wish I had payed more attention. What she was learning this week might have helped me build pong in Python! Woah! off topic. Once I made it past each math hurdle thrown at me, I enjoyed the course. It was challenging but I learned a lot about coding and about how to think about programming. While taking it and ever since I find myself thinking in If/Else/Then statements a lot. Hopefully this type of thinking will help me as I continue.

3. What have you been doing since the course ended?

Not coding. I actually did not complete the course. I didn’t plan it out too well and for the last 2 weeks of the course I was in Disney World. I had the course loaded up on a laptop with the intentions of doing it there and I did work on it a bit in the first few days, but in the end the sunshine and the “Magic of Disney” won out and I chose to just enjoy myself and see and do as much as I could while there.

2012-12-04 10.22.36

And when I got home? I had lost momentum and didn’t pick back up where I started. Instead I ended up playing video games. (Star Wars: The Old Republic in case you were wondering) I stopped coding all together. I couldn’t convince myself to finish the Python course alone using an online IDE (codeskulptor.org) that I would never use again with a programming language I didn’t really plan to use in the future. I didn’t get back into Android coding either. I did nothing,  and then life got a bit crazy. My wife and I moved 669 KMs (416 miles) from where we had been living. We had a beautiful baby girl. I left my job as a Computer Technician and started life in a factory making corn chips. In short a lot of big changes in a short time.

4. Why is the Monkey returning now?

AndroidStudio

Google I\O 2013 unveiled the Android Studio IDE. Seeing this announcement reminded me that I still have apps I would like to make and a desire to know how to make apps in general. Shortly after I was downloading the new IDE and looking for tutorials again. I’ve decided to stick to strictly Android developing. It’s what I want to do and I feel the Python course was a great intro to programming in general, but I’m want to focus on things I can apply directly to my app idea’s. I have Evernote notebooks filling up with thoughts and plans, but I don’t know how to implement them yet!

My first step back into the coding world will be to go over some video tutorials from bringmyback. I watched the first one which was on Eclipse/ADT/SDK install. All made very simple with Android Studio! I bet soon I’ll be making another “Hello, World!” app.

If you have any tips or suggestions I would love to hear them in the comments.

Code Monkey says goodnight.

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