Syntactic Sugar

Feb 3…You will never know what happened on Feb 3.  My browser died when I was at the point of inserting a photo and my post went to blog Heaven to live with all the other posts from authors who did not hit “save draft.”

Feb 4…On my way to work this morning I heard a commercial on the radio for a local “computer school.”  The commercial said something about “every company needs a computer guy for…blah blah.” Guy? #girlswhocode  If I have a daughter someday, I shall force her to love math and science and create a super successful app by age 12.  Oh yeah, and support all her own hopes and dreams too.  Anyway, I procrastinated coding until 9:30pm.  Once I’m logged on and doing it, I enjoy learning, but the thought of doing something that requires that much concentration on your computer after a day full of work can be less than exciting.  Insert even more respect for Chris.  Had my Feb 3 blog post not disappeared before my very eyes, you would know that I had already learned if / elseif / else statements.  They (codecademy) teach you if and if / else, but the final screen includes elseif.  I managed to work through it, but it wasn’t until later when Chris verbally explained what elseif meant did I really have any concept of what I was typing.  Tonight I learned switch statements which means (I think) if you have a variable that you want to switch out what’s showing up, you can tell it things like “every time it says “apple” make it say “yummy.””  My creativity goes out the window once I have to create my own code and stop working off their examples.  Chris helped me through my switch statements and the best thing we could come up with was to have it output “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” when the variable was an apple, “great antioxidants” when it was a blueberry, and “eat a banana split” when it was a banana.  You could probably guess which of the 3 phrases I made up.  It can still be frustrating to find out you’ve written several lines of code and one missing semicolon can screw the whole thing up.  My respect for the people (not always “guys”) who spend their days looking through hundreds or thousands of lines of code in search for the missing semicolon has increased by a million.  Tonight I also learned about falling through.  I just kept thinking about Shel Silverstein’s “Falling Up” book which has nothing to do with anything.  Falling through apparently is when you don’t put a break between each case of your switch statements.  If you’re lost….well….now you know how I feel for 30 minutes a day this month.  Somewhere along my codecademy session tonight I was made aware of a fun little phrase called “syntactic sugar.”  I thought it was a joke as I was already in a literal/black and white mindset (look, I’m an engineer after 4 days!) over-analyzing every lesson, but apparently syntactic sugar is a real phrase…they even had a link to what it means.  The link took me to Wikipedia ( where it says it’s basically an easier way to code things that’s “sweeter for human use.”  After the syntactic sugar nonsense, I went to the first screen of the next lesson (after earning another badge for completing 25 sessions!) where I learned about an array.  For those still reading but hating all the technical terms, an array is like a grocery list, it allows you to put all your items on one piece of paper instead of a separate piece of paper per grocery item….says codecademy.  The final tid bit I learned today is the use of // which is what you insert if you want to make a note in your line of code, like a note to self.  //Don’t start coding at 9:30pm tomorrow.

Feb 5…I’m in the swing of things now.  I didn’t wait until bed time to start coding tonight so I was already off on the right foot.  I’ve earned like a billion badges and have officially learned how to create an array – wrapping up the section I started last night.  I am no longer scared when it tells me to make up my own code, though I still lean heavy on the examples.  I realized there’s probably not going to be a final exam in my life that includes writing code with no ability to reference other code or google what I’m trying to do, so I’m okay with having to look at an example.  I mean, I guess if I decided to go back to college or get some sort of certification then there could be a final exam of these sorts, but until then…let’s keep on hittin’ that “hint” button.  I am headed out of town this weekend for a women’s retreat but thankfully a coworker told me today that codecademy has an app.  So that app now lives on my phone and I’ll have it handy to get 30 minutes of coding in even when my laptop is far far away.

I enjoy complimenting myself in my code

PHP pro


A shout out to my friends in my array

Code w friends

My array badge

Array badge

For those who don’t care about the rest, here’s just a pic of me coding.

Code selfie