Every day, every moment, is an opportunity to learn

The Beauty and Joy of Computing (mooc), and My First Snap! Script

“The Beauty and Joy of Computing” (BJC) is a new mooc that started just a few weeks ago. Dan Garcia has been teaching it at UC Berkeley for awhile, and now it’s available on edX. Discover the big ideas and thinking practices in computer science plus learn how to code using one of the friendliest programming languages, Snap! (based on Scratch). We’ve been working on this...

5 free resources for improving your programming skills

There are two truths about programming that didn’t sink in (for me) for several years: We have to be life-long learners. There are a lot of people who will help us along the way. (And eventually, we can return the favor!) Okay, we don’t have to keep learning. No one’s going to force you or me. The number of small businesses running legacy apps is only going to...

Charles Townes, The Laser, and Fostering Curiosity

When I hear about a discovery or invention, it sometimes seems inevitable that the people involved should’ve ended up where they were, doing what they did, as if they were handed the situation or the whole thing were preordained. At the very least, I don’t give much thought to what in their lives led them to that eventual point of discovery. I...

Setting up Windows 10 in a Virtual Machine (VMWare Player or Hyper-V Manager)

Windows 10 was officially released on July 30. You can download Windows 10 from Microsoft, but note that you will need a valid key to install it. There’s been some confusion about what Microsoft meant by “free upgrade”. Or you can download it from your MSDN account if you have one. The “multiple editions” option (4 GB download) worked for me (currently named “en_windows_10_multiple_editions_x64_dvd_6846432.iso”). If you’re...

A (somewhat brief) intro to Code Katas, TDD and Red-Green-Refactor

Every few months, a nearby user group does a code kata du jour. Everyone pairs up, and uses common practices like TDD and red-green-refactor. A couple weeks ago, I was partnered with someone who hadn’t done this before, so I had the opportunity to talk him through it. Assuming you’re in the same boat (maybe you’re going to a user group where you’ll be...

Never save anything for the swim back

First off, the line in the title isn’t mine, but I like it. More on that later. I went running last night, for the first time in a couple weeks. I purposely chose a route that took me straight away from home. Just a ways down the road, a loop through the park, and back. Not too long of a run, maybe...

The Akron Code Club, Meeting New People, and the Unsplice Kata

The Akron Code Club had an amazing turnout Monday night. Roughly 30 people. I got to talk to Vince, who is just recently getting into C# and came out for his second time, Tasha who heads up the UX Akron user group, Stephanie who lives out of state and is currently attending the Software Craftsmanship Guild bootcamp in Akron… I always feel energized afterwards,...

Week 4 of HTML5 with the W3C – Interacting! Moving all the things!

The focus for week 4 of the W3C HTML5 course was animation. We’ve been displaying a lot, but it’s been fairly static up to this point. This week, we learned about events, interacting via the keyboard and mouse, and the three steps of animation: Clear the canvas Draw the items on the canvas Move the items (won’t take effect until...

Week 3 of HTML5 with the W3Cx/edX – Canvases

Week 3 of the Learn HTML5 from W3C course taught us about the Canvas element, along with the shapes you can draw on it and how it can be manipulated. These work in the major browsers (except for IE, ugh). Graph Sample This first sample is a simple graph I created. It demonstrates manipulating the current context (such as translating,...