Sunday, August 24, 2014

Coding and Stuff...

Last week, I started getting a little bored with programming in just ruby, so I decided to go back to learning a few other languages. I watched the Google Class on Python and I picked up the Code School Objective-C tutorial, again. I find that studying other languages gets me a away from the syntax of the languages and more into the larger concepts involved in programming. In the beginning, I just thought that you should just learn one language and get really good at it, and then maybe pick up some others a little bit later down the line. What I have found is that once you think you have a decent grasp on the basics of one language, it's productive to pick up another language, with the same paradigm [i.e. object oriented, symbolic, functional...]. This is works for me, because it forces you to really understand the concepts involved, it breaks up the monotony of studying the same thing over and over, and, pretty much, without fail, every author brings a unique perspective which leads to new insights on programming in general. Recently, I've had a chance to start reviewing the code of other programmers who are just starting out and it's made me realize how important it is to learn to actually program versus just being able to code in a language.

Speaking of which, I heard back from the company that I wrote the Mars Rover program for and I am happy to report that I have done my telephone interview and will be visiting the main office next month for the final stage in the process. I think that I am a very strong candidate for this company and I am super excited about the prospect of working there. On Friday, I went to the Atlanta office and meet one of the developers there. He was super cool and made me feel really good about the job and my chances of actually getting it, so...that was positive. Among the things that I love about this company are lots of travel, flat management structure, the fact that you have a voice in the things that you work on, and the people working there are "my type of people."   I can't wait to go up there. My entire experience with this company has been awesome. I can't think of a better place to be for my first, possibly only, programming job.

Which brings me to: I just started learning Java. I have to learn Java for Algorithms I, as well as for this new position, should I get it. The algorithms class starts next week, but if I get this job, they will also teach Java in training. This will give me a leg up for the job and also allow me to develop mobile apps for android, which is something that I'm definitely interested in.

Java is an object oriented programming language, so it's not a big departure from what I already know. The syntax and the things that it requires, such as the requirements for declaring variables, are a little bit uncomfortable after starting [restarting] my programming education using ruby and python. I'm pretty sure that I'm always going to prefer ruby and python to any other languages, but I'm learning to appreciate Java and at the end of the day it's more about the applications and building cool stuff.

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