Writing about this subject is really weird to me. I am a programmer. I get paid to turn caffeine into software... but I feel like I am clueless when it comes to explaining to other people how to get started doing what I do. I learned to program for incredibly silly reasons. Here are few of my wonderful projects:

  • cheated at a game on my TI-83 (Falldown without wall detection)
  • announced my interest of Dragon Ball Z and anime in general with an anime fan website which eventually turned into me creating a database-driven review and article management system.
  • created a text-based multiplayer game (also spawned from my anime website).
  • visualized where on the screen I put my cursor while using my computer.
  • saw the “mood” of reddit by aggregating the upvotes of top posts and comments of the top subreddits.
  • many more... with some I'm too ashamed of to put here.

Every single one of these projects has been enjoyable and none of it was a direct result of reading a book and following examples. I learned by literally scrapped together snippets of code together along with A LOT of trial and error. Eventually I learned how important reference documentation is... Eventually I learned how to make “real” applications where database passwords aren't sitting in the source code. Eventually I learned how version control worked. I guess my point here is that there's a lot to learn. BUT don't focus on that first. Focus on doing something interesting. Solve problems. Create problems. Get messy. Even if you fail... (and you will fail... a lot) remember that you are learning and this is all part of the process.

I know this isn't really helpful to a lot of people who are looking for the most effective online programming class or book where they'll be programming supercomputers on mars when they finish. But that's not really how this works. Programming is literature. You can't write amazing works of fiction after learning about grammar and sentence structure. This will take some time.

#programming #gettingstarted

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#networking #programming #physics #random

Maps of Science

These are not new... but they are new to me. The Domain of Science YouTube channel has a collection of maps for different areas of study. For example, there's a Map of Computer Science or the Map of Quantum Physics (which is a recent fascination of mine). They give a beautifully simple and well-explained introduction to the different foundations, core principals and challenges for each area of study. Check out the full playlist here.

Container Lab

This one is really cool. Container Lab is a tool that makes it easy to stand up network lab environments. I haven't dug into this one but it appears to tie together containers and virtual machines for a lot of the most popular network platforms/vendors and makes it easy to automatically configure them to match a topology specification. It really does look useful and saves a lot of time... And if you're doing any interaction with network devices it will give you an easy way to make reproducible environments for testing, validation and development.

Random Stuff without Comment

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Many rubber ducks

When you don't have motivation everything is daunting. Small tasks become big. Big tasks become monumental. I’m in the middle of that kind of mindset... but I have to keep reminding myself that small steps progress naturally into a long journey. I didn’t really have a goal when writing this. I just wanted to remind myself that I can make big things happen. I just need to start.