Saturday Morning Reads #2

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I read so many good articles during the week, stuff that’s so much better than anything I could dream up. Every week or two, I’ll share some of the more thoughtful and inspiring ones on here. :)

If we’re lucky, we get to do what we enjoy and improve lives at the same time. Matthew Schroeder is helping his son learn how to interact with others socially.

Matthew Learned iOS to Build a Valuable App For His Son With Autism (Treehouse)

How well does a college degree really prepare you? My professors were nice, but most didn’t have a clue about “real life” programming. I think that’s why software guilds (and apprenticeship programs in other fields) are gaining traction. It’s a return to our roots, the way we’ve always learned.

The Importance of Hands-On Learning (ThinkFun)

Who doesn’t love free stuff? If you’re a veteran, or know someone who is, LinkedIn is offering a year of premium technical and business courses for free through it’s online learning site. I’ve never taken one, so I can’t say how good they are, but it’s a $360 value.

Honoring Our Service Members & Veterans With One Year Free Learning on (LinkedIn)

If you’ve been thinking of blogging, but aren’t sure where to start or who you’re writing for, here’s some good advice (for both of us)!

"Every creation is unique. This miracle of life does not exclude bloggers. Nor does it exclude their stories. Nobody has lived your story and nobody can tell your story in your voice. Only you have lived your special, inspired life, and only you can write in your special voice."
~ Ryan Biddulph, The Secret Weapon That Levels the Playing Field for Every Blogger

"Who do you want to read your blog? . . . What are their needs? What are their problems? What are their challenges? . . . People are just typing their problems into Google."
~ Darren Rowse, How I Lost 80% of my Blog Traffic Overnight

Earlier this week, I wanted to test a small piece of code in c++, but I didn’t want to setup the environment. Thanks to sites like .NET Fiddle (C#, VB, F#), JSFiddle (JavaScript), et al, that’s no longer a requirement. There are similar sites for practically every language.

Even better, there are several sites that link to all those other fiddle-type sites. Now you don’t even have to Google to find one! You’re welcome.

I’ll let you know if I find a site that types your code in for you too. :p ;)

There are sites out there that teach programming through play, such as MIT’s Scratch or Berkeley’s Snap.

One of my coworkers found one this week called CodinGame, that appears to takes it to a whole new level. Haven’t tried it yet, but it looks pretty awesome.

At CodinGame, we believe that everyone should be able to discover the pleasure of coding. We are programmers at heart, and we know that code is a powerful tool to innovate and create. It’s a matter of passion, but above all, it’s fun. So we’ve imagined a platform which merges programming and video games. Our goal is to help developers from around the world, whatever their qualifications or professional experience, to learn, improve their coding skills and find their dream job, while playing.

One final thought for anyone who feels the need to do everything themselves. You can stay up late or pull all-nighters, forego friendships and ignore family. In the end you can’t learn everything. There’s too much.

Don’t reinvent wheels. In the long run, your “in-house” version will probably be more buggy and less maintainable. If you respect the people you work with, learn when to use the wheel someone else already made.


Grant Winney

I write when I've got something to share - a personal project, a solution to a difficult problem, or just an idea. We learn by doing and sharing. We've all got something to contribute.

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