Podcast: Developer Tea

This morning I listened to Developer Tea, which describes itself as “a podcast for web and software developers hosted by a developer that you can listen to in less than 10 minutes.” Though it didn’t live up to its under ten minutes promise (the host, Jonathan Cutrell, seems to have gravitated towards longer episodes over time,) it’s the best programming podcast I’ve found so far.

Cutrell was a great host–well-versed in the topic and a solid interviewer–and his guest from the episode I listened to, Simon St. Laurent, was equally knowledgeable. Some of the topics covered were beyond my comfort zone, but Cutrell does acknowledge topics that are outside of beginner-level understanding and includes extensive links for further research on the show’s website.

One additional note from the show I’m going to check back into at a later date: Developer Tea is sponsored by Hired.com and Hired will double the signing bonus for users who find a job through Hired using the Developer Tea link.

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Code Newbie and Udacity

I’ve been listening to the Code Newbie podcast to try to get a better sense of what kinds of programming job options exist and how people move into those jobs. The quality of the episodes varies, but I found episode 1 with Carlos Lazo and episode 7 with Ciara Burkett most helpful so far. Ciara Burkett mentions this article on the Hacker School site (now The Recurse Center) called Fundamental Qualities of Good Programmers, which gave me some ideas to think about and may be worth looking back on when I have more familiarity with some of the topics.

I also just created a Udacity account and am looking through their free beginner classes.

Python and Introduction to CS

Today I began the Python exercises on Codecademy. So far the exercises focus on learning the syntax without much context, but I did like the building a tip calculator lesson.

Also watched the first video in the MIT OpenCourseWare Introduction to Computer Science and Programming class. Main points:

  • An algorithm is a description of how to perform a computation.
  • It includes instructions (aka flow of control) and a termination condition.
  • A programing language has instructions and control structures.
  • The languages have structure (syntax) with meaning (static semantics and semantics).

Codecademy Update

Completed the SQL course on Codecademy tonight, which is my second completed course after HTML & CSS. I had more fun with the HTML and CSS lessons, mostly because the exercises were more challenging and allowed for some creative liberties. The setup of the SQL course only involved rewriting provided queries, so I’m not sure that much of the information stuck with me. Rebecca (my sister who works in tech) recommended trying the W3Schools SQL exercises, which teach it in a different way.

I’d still like to try out some other languages before I try starting my own project and doing some more in-depth work. Ruby, perhaps? Python?

Job-Related Sites for Later

This Galvanize article offers ten ways for bootcamp grads to find jobs and remain active in the field while job hunting including doing pro-bono work, attending a hackathon, and finding online communities.

CyberCoders is a job search tool that filters by specialization and city.

This Bloc article explains how bootcamps could be manipulating numbers to get near 100% job placement rates. Some worthwhile questions to ask at bootcamp info sessions: how long does it take most people to find a job? Are most of these jobs full-time and programming-focused?

What is GitHub?

That’s my question of the day.

How Github‘s own website describes it: “powerful collaboration, code review, and code management for open source and private projects.”

How my game artist friend Harry described it (via Facebook chat, hence the lack of punctuation):

basically think of it like a library

you can check out files to work on things and no one else can work on them but you

until you check it back in

it basically just is a way for projects not to get screwy when lots of people work on them

there are tons of types

He also sent me this link to a video about version control and why it’s handy.
Essentially, this is what the video says about version control:
  • saves efficiently
  • makes it easy to track changes
  • stores previous versions
  • allows “branching” to experiment with changes safely
  • combines changes from collaborators
  • creates backups
And what role exactly does GitHub play in this? This Codemy School video explains the basics (starting at around 2:25 into the video):
  • Git (installed on computer) allows direct sharing on local network
  • GitHub allows upload and download via server

And finally (at least for now) this Open Source Basics video, explains why programmers make their projects open source and how roles work when a change is contributed. Terms covered:

  • licensing: author’s rules for how code can be changed
  • branch: change from the original code
  • maintainer: person who accepts/rejects code changes
  • contributor: someone who adds a patch into the original code
  • upstreaming: incorporating a patch into the original code
  • fork: permanent split in code versions