All posts by B2B

How to keep motivated while learning to be a coder online

I work full-time, have a family, and other responsibilities – I know it’s challenging to learn online, but not sure if I can dedicate 20 hours a week to study. I’m motivated, need to keep it written on a wall and keep reading, “I want to be a coder or software developer or software engineer” but that’s not the motivation, it’s the “why” do I want to learn this stuff.

guy looking at codeFor some people it’s to better themselves, to get a better job. For some it’s to improve their economic position in what they already know. For others it’s something to do while waiting and for other it’s to learn enough so they can create that “idea” that they can’t afford to hire a developer to make for them.

For me, it’s a little of everything. Jobs come and go and computers and software, websites, programming will continue to be a need. If I lose my job tomorrow, it’s not the type of job that can easily be duplicated and I don’t want to return to the type of work I did before – social work – too draining.

I need to review my list of what I like about programming and what it could do for me, be a back-up when that job ends or to move on and contribute to any area of society that I would want to contribute to. The numbers of need is staggering. Do I have the brains to do it, yes, but the brain-power when mentally exhausted – that’s what I need to push through.

Some of my challenges is my varied interest and so many distractions – both online and in-person. That means I need to stick to a schedule and get those around me to honor my study time. I’m still working on the precourse work and if I can’t do that, it doesn’t make sense to apply for an expensive bootcamp and become more overwhelmed. I can do the work but when I get stuck on a problem it’s too hard to get info and I end up not going back for days, sometimes weeks to figure out a problem, cause let’s face it – life gets in our way. If you find you can’t make the time to do a precourse (I’m on learn.co which is good but not great when you need help as the other students are guessing like you are and only repeat the questions you are asking) – Considering Flat Iron’s online course is $1000/month and seems to fit best with my entry level experience – I may need to go back to codeschool and treehouse as that fits my schedule best until I can make the time to invest in a course.

In addition, now I know my options should I need to find another field of employment, I can attend a local Iron Yard for 12 weeks and get a student loan, AND get a job – that’s still 12 weeks plus job search of no income. It would happen either way but at least I would have an option, better than I can come up with now.

My answer to the question, “write down the why” and it keeps me going. If you don’t have a good list of why you’re studying this, you won’t keep going. Even if I don’t do a full-stack developer course now, I know that I’ll keep learning how to code as there’s so many options.

 

 

WordCamp Orlando 2015

Church-Street-Exchange-108-1024x493We’re back downtown in Orlando and it’s 3 days of WordPress info -with three levels for beginners, the experienced user and the developers. I didn’t have time to get my stuff together to sit in on Friday’s beginning theme development so I’m sitting in on an SEO morning workshop and we’ll see where I’m at this afternoon, which has two

wordcamp-orlando-2015Since signing up for this year’s Wordcamp I’ve been a bit distracted by my desire to learn from the FlatIron’s school online at Learn.co – they have a free prequalifying course (30 hours) if you’d like to apply to their online program which I’ll write more about later.

We’re meeting in two different business offices here at Orlando’s TIY-standard-logo Iron Yard office and another business that shares space for small start-ups. The parking was weird since the street sign says 55 but the actual parking space says 53. Cost for this year went up to $55 for all 3 days but this most likely will be my last year as I’m going to focus on coding vs exclusive to wp. Coming here is good for networking but there’s lots of meet-ups specific to my interest and with the growth of workshops at the Orlando Iron Yard will help with where I hope to go in my learning process of becoming a ruby on rails coder.

Orlando Word Camp Introduces 2015 Speakers and New Kid’s Camp

This year the Orlando Word Camp heads back to downtown Orlando on November 13-15, 2015. Personally I liked last year’s location but then again I know that the planning for events like this takes lots of time and negotiation to keep prices down and to have it here in our fair city. Still cheaper than driving down to Miami which we did for a couple years while Orlando was building up on volunteers and willing organizers, thank you for all your hard work. That said, check out the website to read about the WP speakers here.  This year’s tickets are $55 a person for 3 days, you could get just the weekend tickets for $40 by clicking here.  In the past years, tickets have always sold out so don’t wait long. I’m looking forward to being inspired and keeping up with new things I’m not always able to keep up with throughout the year. This year I’ve also noticed a new Kid’s Camp which is exciting for parents who want to expose their kids to what the adults have been excited about all year. See ya!

Summer code learning can still be fun’ get motivated!

You can learn to code anywhere.image

It’s summer and if you went to a traditional school in the U.S., you spent the whole school year waiting for summer break. Then after 13 years of conditioning, you were thrown into a cold dark place, a reality of work life that required you to work 8 hour shifts and maybe 1-2 weeks of vacation. Or if you were fortunate enough to go to college, you got an additional 4 years to put off reality of a 9-5 life and still get summer unless you had a plan to finish college in three years like some and kept going to summer school. No matter what you chose, college life was still a nice break from reality because you weren’t stuck with classmates and teachers for longer than 16 weeks in most cases. Unlike the 9-5 which unless you take a temp job, a job asked for a life commitment of the same bosses and coworkers until one of you screamed ‘uncle’ with your arm twisted behind your back looking for the next big opportunity.

Or maybe you really like your job but there’s always that sick feeling you could always be replaced by someone with better credentials or cheaper labor or better yet, a machine.

That’s part of why I’m learning to code, so I have something more I can contribute to my job and I can have additional skills should I get that call to my local HR where they call you into a room and give you the big thank you for your service talk, but we have to let you go. Or a family or other situation could arise which may make life easier to work from home to help care for family. Or your spouse gets transferred, or, or, or.

Right now life is ok. I believe it’s best to be prepared and I’ve always wanted to learn more coding than I have gotten by with with simple WordPress websites and database work. Even when I’m not learning from a site or have no internet I listen to audio books, classes or get this, read a book! I love learning lots of things, but even if you’re not naturally curious you need to write down your motivations for learning to code so you can keep moving forward. Of course somedays I’m mentally beat so playing a game of Code Combat is always fun and challenging while still learning to code.

So, no excuses, keep learning to code!

I’m going to Harvard to study CS50 – Computer Science

Well, actually NOT. CS50 is a popular intro course at Harvard, yes, “The Harvard” that has branched out to Miami and now can be taken online for free as an audit course, thanks to LauchCode. You can see the video of how the course is being taught at Miami and you can sign up at this link (cs50 Harvard) and take it yourself from your own computer.

Here’s a sample from the instructor here: 

Uh yeah, I’m getting side-tracked but then again, you gotta admit, this is a pretty cool opportunity. Go sign up and let me know how you like it!

Giving credit where credit is due

I was looking for a picture to go on my blog header when I came across this image. a-day-in-the-life

I thought this looks cool, so I tried to find what it was connected to and who to credit and found this cool site. It also had an interesting infographic so I’m placing it here:

a-day-in-the-life-3 so, I’m hoping since I did a link to the post, they’ll let me use their graphic, if not I’ll get a nice notice in my inbox. Thanks to Back&Blog for the images. – m

Who’s Ruby? How to start learning Rails with little or no experience.

ruby_and_rails It’s been a while since I’ve updated this site, of course we all get side tracked with life, especially if you’re working another job that’s outside of what you’re trying to learn on the side. After watching a video on a school in New York called Flatirons School – I was inspired to learn more about the school and how they think they can teach anyone to learn to code in 12 weeks, have a 99% employment rate as a coder upon graduation, with no degree and no previous experience in computers and programming. You can watch the video here:

‘Fast track coding academies to good paying jobs.’

One of the things that I find repeated said online with wanna be coders is, “where do I start?” That’s been an ongoing issue for myself as well, even when I find a site that says, ‘this is how to do it.’ I come up with roadblocks in the program downloaded or the training is taught to Mac users (I use a PC, Win 7, 64 bit), or there are other issues where the instructor is not detailed enough and I get caught in a rabbit trail trying to figure out how to do what the tutorial is saying to do.

All that and there are so many choices, the one positive thing I can say is that there is a consensus that learning to code for a beginner with little or no experience, is to look at Rails. Even in the arena of Ruby and Rails followers, there is disagreement on learning Rails first without knowing Ruby first – and then you need to know why you want to learn to code in the first place.

MOTIVATION

Nothing is secure in this world and I’ve always wanted to work from home or remotely and have a flexible schedule. I enjoy my job right now and it offers me benefits and a regular paycheck. Plus, I have a responsibility to a ministry and staff that I can say makes a difference to thousand of people around the world and indirectly to reach millions for Christ. If I put it that way, I would say, “I’m somebody.” But in reality, I also know that I can always be replaced and I’m not taking it for granted that I will have a job tomorrow. With that said and with my interest in computers since I got my first Commodore 64 back in the 80s and had my first “home computer” hooked up to my old black and white TV set, I’ve always been interested in what’s behind the screen, not the hardware, but what makes it tick. My motivation is to be able to create, design, and have the opportunity that I don’t have right now, if I lost my job or relocated or needed time for family, or illness, I could still work if I needed to from my computer.

Others may be motivated to learn to code because they want to get their idea out and not to have to be subject to a coder taking their ideas and waiting for them to get it right. Money is always an issue when hiring a coder and then being subject to working with someone to make your vision a reality. Whatever your motivation, get started, do research and follow a plan.

WHO TO LEARN FROM

So, if you’ve been looking around doing research you’ve found the same online schools that I’ve found. Aren’t you glad you don’t need to spend 4 years in college to do this? Yes for me as I don’t have the time and money to go to college. When I was in college only the nerdy, mathematicians and science majors where looking at studying computer science and programming. Now, with the internet everyone can learn to code and learn enough to start businesses, and find jobs.

STARTING Where Flatiron Students Begin

There are a ton of schools and videos that you could start with so I went to the website for the Flatiron School and looked up where they start their students before they start their coursework. Applying to the Flatiron school is not an option for me at this time as they only do their 12 week programs in-person and in New York city. So, I’m doing the next best thing, I read that their students are required to go through 150 hours of online training from three online sites to get a good foundation. Since it’s so challenging to know where to start, this is where I am going to begin and try, try, try, not to get side tracked when I can’t figure out a piece of what I’m going through. This is where my blog will be going, on the journey to learn how to learn Ruby on Rails. Here’s a link to the prework for the Flatiron school.

Wordcamp Orlando 2014 Day 2

I’m here at Wordcamp Orlando, FL 2014 and it’s Day 2. I’ll post on Day 1 later on. It’s been a while that I have neglected my blog but since I’m trying to catch up on the WP and blogging world I thought I’d make a quick post between speakers. Wordcamp Orlando 2014

 

The first day’s speaker was @rkoffy on Express Yourself: Developing Your WordPress voice.  It’s Saturday so I missed a bit of the beginning but I’m reminded to do the work up front for your blog and be sure to interact with other social media to have my voice heard. Since I write for many sites as an freelance writer when I blog for myself my voice is a bit different.

I’ll need to make a few points of checking my automation for whatever I post that it goes to other social media sites like Google+ and Twitter. I prefer to choose which ones go on my personal  FB page. That said, it’s time to dust off the keyboards to my blog and get kicking again. It’s always good to hear more than the technology/developer/designer side and today’s  workshops are a bit more about monetizing, growing traffic, how to make a business with your blog and with using WP. I’m inspired, let’s see if life gets in the way!

Why did you start your blog?

I have a number of blogs – I first started one a few years ago when I returned from my trip from Northern India, to post the photos and letters that I had written during my one month stay. I believe I used Blogger.com at the time and later went to WordPress.

I never kept a regular blog until about two years ago when I decided to look into writing again and doing freelance writing work. After much research I liked WordPress more than other blogging sites as it offered more flexibility should I choose to monetize the site later on.

I attended my first Word Camp in Miami last year and hope to go again this year. I learned a lot, not just about how to set up a self-hosting site, prior to going, but about myself and what I was capable of.

I have many blogs to exhibit my writing and just to get my thoughts out there and if it brings on conversation and ideas from others I have fulfilled the mission of blogging for myself – to inform, entertain, document my life and life lessons. Blogging, it’s a good thing.

Me? An Entrepreneur?

My thoughts on starting my own business and paying per task not for time spent.

timepiece prime time clock closeup watch

I've always thought about and have started my own business. However, not in the traditional sense of brick and mortar. I would have an internet based business so that I can cut overhead and not have to pay salaries. I prefer to do things by contract workers. Just pay for what you need. Employees are a waste of time to make money they spend time, and that's not alway productive.

The best way of making money and spending money on creating more business is by using your time and resources carefully. Which for me means paying for a service or task, not paying for people to take up space and do a "job", I want them to fulfill a need.

My business as a freelance writer allows me to do just this. I can be hired as a consultant to write for someone and get paid for that work as it's completed within their guidelines and deadlines; not just sit and wait for someone to tell me what to do and wait until the timeclock says I'm done.

Powered by Plinky