Catching a breath

It’s been a little while since I’ve focused enough to write anything. I’m trying to grasp a small piece of summer as it rushes past me, and I haven’t been 100% successful. That said, I am committing now to at least 5 beach days this summer, and at least 5 walking in my city days. I have no excuse, my life has calmed down enough, and I can enjoy my neighborhood and the nearby world.

It’s been about 16 days since I restarted #100DaysofCode and #100DaysofDS. I’ve learned a lot in those 16 days: I learned that I’m interested in more languages than Python, I’m interested in development AND data, and I’m still committed to this journey even though I had a small hiccup along the way. I still look forward to working on smaller projects and doing tutorials at home, and I feel good about it all.

The one thing that I’m struggling with (which I think many people struggle with) is doing longer side projects. I think I was just biting off more than I could chew. Right now my focus should just be finishing side projects to add to my portfolio, not necessarily to compete or reach some novel conclusion about the datasets I’m working with. It’s important to understand the foundational concepts AND the ones specific to my interests. Getting from the start of a project to finish is the big deal, rather than new findings in the data.

I was also getting frustrated that I know so little. To fight this, I started using my new best coding friend, Exercism.io. The python challenges are good, and force me to learn concepts that aren’t always taught in the beginner books I’m reading. The challenges are relatively short, but I can always ask for help and mentors review and comment on your code in real time so you can learn from your mistakes and become more elegant.

Yes, even people like me who are totally unstructured want to be elegant programmers:)