Okay, enough with the sites I am not currently learning! I found Learneroo. It seems alright so far. It doesn’t offer as many options as Codecademy or Treehouse do, but it does offer Java. The rest of what it offers are more nebulous. Here is the list of their modules: About Programming, Combinations & Permutations, Learn Programming with Java and Logic and Loops Practice. I started with the “About Programming” module which I found to be quite good. It didn’t really go over anything I didn’t already know, except an over view of the most popular languages and what you should learn based on what you want to do. They had a flow chart that pointed me to Java. Then I moved onto the Learn Programming with Java section. I’ve been working through it off and on for about a day. My attention is divided between it, my baby girl and a house full of company so it’s slow going, but I thought I would stop and revive this blog.
I’ve also started looking into ways to make a bit of cash on the side online. I’ve found a few site that pay you to do simple things. I figure if I can pay for my Netflix every month and get a bit in my paypal account it can’t hurt. Hopefully when I’m ready to publish my first app I’ll have enough to pay for the dev membership to the play store. I made a quick blog that talks about the sites. Feel free to check it out here.
I’ve started using teamtreehouse.com since reading about it for the first time yesterday. I’m not sure how far I’ll be able to go with it because it is actually a paid program (service?) and I don’t have spare funds at the moment. I was however able to score a free first month through a promotion I found, so I’ll try to make the most of it. It is way more interactive than simply watching videos. It includes quizzes, and coding challenges that let you know if you got it right as well as the usual follow along videos I have come to know from mybringback and other sources.
Mike the frog, Team Tree House’s mascot
I started at the beginning of the Learn Android Adventure and am just working my way through it. I have learned a few new things. They recommend always using scale-independent pixels (sp) which I think I agree with. They will scale based on the size of the screen as well as the user’s font setting for the device. If I understand correctly using density pixel would stay the same size no matter what the user had the device’s font to set to. This would potentially cause your app to be unusable by someone with poor eyesight who had the font set to large so they could read it. That would be bad.
I’m also learning about arrays! Arrays can be used to store a number of different values from one data type. You tell the computer that it is an array by using square brackets after the data type (String) and then open curly braces to start your list of values. That was a terrible description so I’ll just include a picture of my code for the app tree house has me making. Actually, I’m altering the app a little. They are making a Crystal Ball app, and I’m not into that, at all. So I am making an Ask Yoda app.
My First Array in Java/Android
I was excited to cover if statements because mybringback hadn’t touched on them yet and I remembered them being such a big part of the course I took on Python. It seems like they will be a fairly big part of Android dev as well, and I imagine of any type of programming. Before we made our array as seen above we simply had 3 possible answers: Yes, No and Maybe. We had a random number generator (Which is also new for me in Android) that could give us 0, 1 or 2 when we ran it. We used this with an if statement to assign 0 to Yes, 1 to No and 2 to Maybe. This worked great and was a simple way to introduce if statements. When we added are array we pulled that if statement out. I have added a new one to my code though that changes the background color dependent on whether the answer was positive, negative or neutral.
If Statement to change the Background text
I’ll stop there for now. I’m really liking Team Tree House. I really think I’d like to continue using it after this first free month runs out. I’m going to see if I can work it into my budget somehow. That said, if you are interested in learning anything in their library please consider using my referral link. It will get you 50% off your first month and I’ll get $5 off my next month.
Some of the things you can learn
Alright, so you might have noticed I’ve been gone for a while. I stopped coding for a while, or trying to code as the case may be. Why not? Well, I just wasn’t learning much with the methods I was using. Essentially all I was doing was copying what I saw in various tutorials or books into Eclipse and calling it a day. But I didn’t really learn what I was doing. I was also very hung up on only trying to learn java and/or android development. Android development is still my end goal, but I have taken a step back. Over the last 4 weeks I have been learning to code in a new way, and I’m ready to start writing about it and sharing it with you.
This post is just an intro to what I have been doing. I found Coursera. Basically, this site lets you connect to many high level institutions and professors. Unfortunately the Android Development course I signed up for hasn’t started yet or even given a start date. So… I am taking a Python course. I feel it will still benefit me when I move onto Android Development because I’m learning how to think logically like a programmer needs to. If, Else, For, While and so on all apply. As do the design process and thinking. And I can actually learn in this format. Coursera is structured with video lectures from the professors, quizzes and mini projects. The mini projects are great as you get a basic template and specifications as how the program must work, but then you must put in the code. It’s not just copy and past. It’s using the information from the lectures and examples and applying it to the given project. These projects are then peer graded, so you get to learn more as you look at other student’s code and implementation.
I will follow up this post with a few more in depth posts about the various projects. This week we are making a pong game.