How’s the coding?

codecademy I have done about 15% of the codecademy course on Python. I plan to speed up a bit when I am on summer holidays and need to find something to do when it is really hot. I don’t suffer from the heat but you do need to stay inside and you do need things to take your mind off it sometimes. Coding is perfect because it is very absorbing. I have just completed the date/time section. I have done some syntax basics and then some strings. Coding has reminded me I have to be totally perfect ,exceedingly accurate and meticulous. There is no margin for error, no room for mistakes and it teaches me to be utterly logical and pay attention to detail. It really is all in the detail. One colon in the wrong place and it all falls apart. Confuse a colon with a full stop and it all falls apart. Codes simply will not work unless you have them perfectly accurate. Codecademy teaches that really well. At this stage I am taking small steps, am being guided and then encouraged to think for myself so I can put the learning to work. I could do with an easy look up menu to check certain aspects of coding. I need a glossary or menu so I can see quickly how to set the code. If I did it on a more regular basis some things would stick better because it is about habit and repetition. I cannot do that yet . I am happy with the fact codecademy puts each lessons in a small package so there is not too much to take on in any one sitting and it means I can still pursue it when I am busy. That is important with coding. It is easy to get swamped until you are on familiar ground and so gently getting yourself into it is a good approach in my opinion.

How’s the coding going?

hangman Image Hangman – pythonforbeginners

I have been through a lot of coding changes in a week and it seems longer than that. Halfway though my Udemy course Coding for Entrepreneurs I could not get the files to sync to Django. I fixed the errors I had made and then thought about it. I had learnt a lot. I had gone a long way. At that point I could find and fix errors in code but could not resolve the problem.Should I go on anyway or change tack? I decided to change tack and go right back to basics and work on Python scripts and scripting and , in the meantime, try to take on board some more information related to the Udemy course so that I might be able to fix it. It could be a problem with different versions of software packages. It could be that I have left a step out. I have shifted all my coding files and work from my Windows computer to my Linux Mint one. It is not that you cannot code on Windows. Linux supports it better and I follow it better on Linux. I have tried different scripts out, even repaired two of them so they would work and have had a chance to just play with some python scripts. The pythonforbeginners site has been very helpful. I can execute my python scripts easily . The pythonforbeginners site also puts the code up with colours so that you can distinguish commands from other parts of the script. I feel now that I am more self sufficient and am understanding what I should and could be doing. Once I feel totally confident, I shall go back and tackle the Udemy course which has given me some real insight as to what I can achieve when I get there! The hangman script I have linked to at he top of the page could be used to teach coding in a classroom. The code is decipherable and easy to follow. It is not hard to learn and set out. The script gives you the code for one word to play  hangman and then you would change that to another word. Students would be working in pairs so they could play the came together.

Back to the coding

first scriptI haven’t  seriously coded in a long time. Time to get back to it and I have chosen to work with Python. It will work across all the devices and computers I have no matter what OS they run. Even though I have a body of transferable knowledge, I have to treat myself as a beginner because if I have learnt  one thing from coding , I have  learned it is one tiny step at a time. Coding is very disciplined, precise thinking and you have to be absolutely accurate. The challenge comes in using your problem solving skills to work out how you are going to get something to work. Okay, so I want to learn Python, where am I actually going to put the script and how am I actually going to run it? I have got the C Language app for my iPad. That runs Python. I have to pay 3.70 to get it to run unlimited scripts. It might be worth it because it has such a nice interface and there are some resources there I know I’ll be able to use eventually. I already have Text Wrangler on my MacBook. I’ll need to download Python and then work with the information I find to use it on that if I want to. Linux will easily have what I want so I am leaving that until last. I took the biggest challenge first – Windows 7. I found an excellent site : Learn Python the Hard Way It suits my needs and covers all the operating systems. The instructions for Windows worked out but I had to update PowerShell to version 3 because I am on Windows 7. Nothing worked until I did that. first python scriptI have written and run my first script in the PowerShell and so I can work through the rest of the site bit by bit. It is not really learning Python the hard way but Zed. A. Shaw is very clear about how you have to behave if you want to code. It’s not guessing, hmphing, skipping over bits, trying to race ahead. It is disciplined and exact. He could not have put out a better message . I have also signed up for a free Udemy course – Coding for Entrepreneurs Basic by Justin Mitchel. I am not an entrepreneur and have no aspirations in that direction . I want to learn what the course has on offer and then I can decide how I will put that to work. Justin Mitchel explains everything well and the course is set out very clearly. It is supposed to take 4 hours. I downloaded the course app to my iPad too! So, before I even got to learn anything in Python I had to set up my devices and find the software I needed and ensure I had the right versions. For me it is good to have a multimedia approach like the Udemy course and then my website where I can go to learn the next bit. Ready to code!

Blender – 3D animation

Blender is cross platform , sophisticated 3D animation tool and you only have to go on the site to see the gallery to see what it is capable of. It is software which supports education and there is plenty of help and support under the education tab. You can also access Blender trainers or become a Blender trainer yourself. You can download the software and then access the tutorials and manuals. All in all. it is a very comprehensive animation programme and if you have Python scripting knowledge you can derive even more capabilities from this software.

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