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Thu Sep 19 12:13:24 CDT 2019

Half the time I write for these posts I feel like I'm defending what I'm doing either how what I did was considered "coding" or how I actually coded on the days that I didn't post (I'm a day behind on posts I think).

There's a reason I code late at night and it's because I usually start an hour before the technical day's end and finish an hour or so after the next day's beginning.

It's a dirty dirty time hack and I love it and I do it because sometimes I'm not sure if I'll end up coding the next day.

That sounds more elaborate than it is. I don't do it for any reason other than I forget to code all day and I use the time overlap to justify not coding the next day.


day 18

I did a little bit of Dataquest. A quest for some data. It seems like an easy decision to learn off of a platform that force feeds you a curriculum and challenges to complete but here's why I've decided it's a good thing to stick to.

Yesterday when I was working on DQ I got to a mission that was a "challenge" mission, or - a mission that was like "do this" but not "do it like this: example example example".

This made me squirm. Physically squirm.

Why? Because I didn't know what I was supposed to dooooooo. I was like


The reason I like tutorials so much is that they hold your hand throughout and at the end you've created something and you're like WOW I'M AN AMAZING PROGRAMMER but really you're a programmer who has, in a way, plotted a course to somewhere you kind of already knew how to get to.

Arguably, some tutorials are good for the opposite reason. I wouldn't know where to begin on how to make a chat bot or a recommendation system.


(tehehe look at the big but)

should I be building things so far above what I know I could build?

Well yes I should.


I need to stop using tutorials just to get my coding in for the day. I didn't think Dataquest was a great learning resource because it makes you focus so narrowily on the learning they want you to do but at the end of the chapters/sections there are actual challenges and that is the kind of learning I do want in my day to do with this challenge.

And yesterday I crushed these challenges and it felt super good because I didn't really know that I knew what I didn't know.

Follow me?

As hard as it is to decide to do, the best kind of learning and I mean, the learning that progresses you farther than the point you are currently at in your chosen study, is the stuff just beyond the point of your current knowledge.

Your. You. Me. I. Whoever. I am really just talking about myself but I always choose the "you/your" perspective.

I was in the middle of writing an analogy for this that had to do with my brand spanking new climbing membership but I can sum it up a little faster so you can get on with your life.

If you want to learn how to learn better for your main thing (lets say, programming) but you don't know how to get over the hump and feel like you're learning, go be especially bad at something you care nothing about. For me that's climbing. I love climbing because it's one of the very few activities I can do where I am in a complete state of flow. I don't care if there are better climbers watching. I just started, I'm terrible. I literally throw myself at the wall the entire time I'm there or only try to hold on to extremely hard-to-hold-onto holds. I fall off the wall constantly, even right at the beginning of the route.

The things I can do in programming right now seem pretty dumb to me especially when super cool Camden Coder dude on twitter is all like:

"day 1: today I programmed an app that walks my grandma across the street and carries her groceries and I got hired by Google, Facebook, and Yandex" 

Camden isn't a real person, just a name that begins with C that sounds fancy. Nothing against dude. Good for him you know?


Alright I'm getting super carried away.

Today was mostly writing what was in my brain and what was in my brain is that I think I know I distract myself with beginner level tutorials because I don't want to challenge myself and that's the wrong way to get better at this thing.

Dang. I should have written that and we could have all gotten along with our lives.

Too bad.