It’s the syntax. All those semi-colons and brackets. I’m still learning the core concepts of good computer programming. Fighting through annoying bits of syntax just gets in the way of this important process.
But this week, I had a Eureka moment. It came in the guise of Ruby.
Ronin, created by Makers Academy, is probably the best online equivalent to the real-life bootcamp experience. Students work remotely, but the course relies heavily on pair programming and Google Hangouts to simulate being there in-person.
The daily programme even includes time for exercise and meditation! In my opinion online learning is the future. It’s an effective method that opens up so many opportunities to a wider range of students.
I’ve studied online before, for my journalism diploma. I did part of the course while in Manchester and then moved it with me to Istanbul. Strangely, I found that I was far more motivated than I’d been during my actual time spent at brick and mortar universities!
Ronin doesn’t just take anyone. They/ve got a strict selection process. My interview will happen in March. In preparation for it, the guys at Makers Academy emailed me a list of study resources.
So it was all Ruby. I didn’t know the language but I was curious. The recommended book, Learn to Program by Chris Pine, was an excellent start. It’s clear, practical and has a touch of humour. I wrote lots of little programs from the very first chapter on. That was very satisfying.
After reading a few chapters of Chris Pine’s book, I was able to write simple programs in Ruby. The book enabled me to do this with more autonomy than just copying the syntax in Codeacademy. Importantly, I understood exactly what I was doing and why I was doing it that way. That’s huge!
Learning the basics of Ruby has got me back on track. I now feel more capable of understanding programming, without being weighed down by complex syntax.