Weevo and the Neophytes

It’s been a busy past few months, especially the past few weeks. Have a few major focuses happening in-tandem, the biggest two are prepping for a Python certification, as well as taking a brand-new course on breaking into the world of software development.

Having taken innumerable courses in Python, I had a random thought to see if there were actually any certifications one could acquire to actually prove to prospective employers that you do have some measurable skill with the language. The first result from my Google search brought me to the site of the Python Institute. Not only do they offer three-tiered certifications of Python, but also courses to help study and prepare for the exam. While the mid-tier PCAP test is currently $295, completing their course curriculum will get you a voucher for a sweet 50% discount. Oh, and the self-paced version of the course is FREE! I’m almost finished with all five of the modules/chapters in less than two weeks-time and while a majority of the material covered is review, I have come across some really good nuggets of information previously unknown to me. The section on OOP is quite helpful, as my knowledge on this topic thus far has been somewhat lacking. I had not yet messed around with creating classes, instead writing simple, single-file self-contained scripts, but I’m beginning to see the usefulness of using objects and classes. I’m hoping to be finished with the course and ready for the exam by next week!

My other focus has been partaking in Madison Kanna‘s new Become A Software Engineer course. You may recall from my very first blog post about how Madison’s professional transition to a software engineer really inspired me to reignite my desire to become a programmer. We’re only on our second week, but I could tell early-on that Madison’s involvement with her students was very high. She created a Facebook group for us to collaborate and talk shop, and through it have I’ve met many like-minded coders with dreams of doing this as a career. If having a helpful support group weren’t enough, Madison also frequently reaches out to us individually, offering 1-on-1 video chats to make sure we’re understanding the content, and to also get a sense of our goals and providing guidance and mentorship. It’s a very fantastic approach which I have not experienced in any of the other courses I’ve taken to date. If you’ve been struggling as I have in transitioning from taking tutorials and courses to doing programming as a profession, you’ll learn several methods to help train yourself to be a better, more efficient coder, and to keep yourself on track. The insight and advice Madison provides and the level of dedication to making sure her students get the most while under her tutelage makes signing up for her class a no-brainer. I’ll see you there!

Weevo and the Rainbow Rogues

Okay, I know it’s been more than a few weeks since our last update, and while a part of that has been due to the end-of-year tedium both at work and home, I’m going to blame the delay on that vice common to purveyors of programming; the difficulty in naming one’s variables [or in this case, the blog title]. And yes, ‘Rainbow’ was used in the previous title, but it fits quite well here, as I think you, my dear reader, shall see..

In brief, the majority of this past month has seen my nose buried in books moreso than infront of my laptop coding. As these were software career-development and theory works, I’ll still count that as furthering my programming ability.  The first was John Sonmez’s The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide, which you can find here. While some of the information in the book seems fairly commonsense, Sonmez covers a lot of topics I never would considered for one trying to break into the world of software development. 

Another, which was recommended by Sonmez, is The Clean Coder, written by a guy known as “Uncle Bob”, Robert Martin. In it, Martin does not focus on how to be a better programmer but instead how to be a better developer professional

My current read, a recent release, is Impractical Python Projects by Lee Vaughan. Suggested as one’s second book for learning Python, it leaves learning the basics as a prerequisite and dives straight into some really fun, if somewhat quirky, project ideas. The idea behind this, I believe, is to help cement the reader’s grasp of the Python language, and to become more familiar with a number of it’s [sold-separately] libraries. My keyboard has not sat silently this entire time, however..

A few weeks ago, I signed up for the Complete Python 3 Masterclass Journey, by Udemy allstar Jose Portilla. Like Vaughan’s book, it is largely an exploratory look at some of the things one can use Python to accomplish. The cool thing about the class for me, though, is the narrative; the student is woven into a story whereby you start out as a promising field agent for an entity known as The Institute. After covering a few fundamentals and passing the ‘field readiness’ exams, you become a field operative, and have to track down a group of former agents-gone-rogue. The remainder of the class is comprised of being taught useful operations in Python, such as encrypting data with ciphers, web scraping, and even sending and receiving emails. For each proceeding color-coded mission [hence rainbow], you must then utilize what you learned to attempt to decipher a progressive chain of clues left by the rogues in order to unravel the truth behind their shadow organization. It is a very unique and entertaining way to engage you as a student, and I highly-recommend taking Portilla’s course after you are a little familiar with the language. 

Weevo and the Long March

In the weeks following my completion of Udacity’s Programming for Data Science nano, I found myself beset by indecision and from it, a lack of tangible progress which led inevitably to a loss of motivation. Not wishing to rest upon my recent-gained laurels, my eagerness to avoid stagnation compelled me onward to other horizons, but I quickly found my fervor to explore every single branch of that expansive tree is development, could actually be a double-edged sword..

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