Who you boolean?

Feb 6…I worked a half day from home and then headed to Indian Lake for a women’s retreat.  The kind of retreat with yoga pants, a live stream of Christian speakers, an excessive amount of homemade cookies, and free journals.  Per my last post, I had downloaded the codecademy app on my phone so I could #codeonthego as Chris calls it.  I spent the morning getting as much stuff done for work that I could, packed, ran some errands, and then headed to the retreat.  By the time there was an opportunity to code, I was already in bed and sharing a room with a friend.  I didn’t want the light on my screen to keep her up, so I did a few quick lessons on the app when I was in the hall when I stepped out to go to the bathroom once.  I didn’t hit my goal of getting a minimum of 30 minutes in, but….I at least did a few quick lines of code under the cover of darkness on my phone.  There was plenty of conversation about this blog and learning to code over dinner, so let’s call conversation + coding on the app = 30 minutes.  Or shall I say $coding = ($talktime + $apptime); echo “still counts”;

Unrelated to code, but the view from the retreat lake house.


Feb 7…I got home from the retreat at 8pm-ish and recapped the whole thing to Chris, including notes from my journal (insert appreciation of his interest and patience) until 9pm.  I decided I was too tired from the retreat to log onto my laptop, so I used the codecademy app again, but this time on my iPad.  I learned about booleans.  Booleans are data that is either true or false.  A boolean has been haunting me since 2009, actually.  I was on a project at work that upgraded an application somewhere around 2009, and whenever I would attempt to run a certain report that I had created it would always say “boolean error.”  I considered it a ghost error.  “Boo”……..lean.  I never resolved it.  So here I am, 6 years later, and finally know what boolean means.  I also had the chance to ask Chris a couple questions about coding, like ‘is it true that saying “print” and saying “echo” are actually the same thing?’ (we landed on yes).  When I hit 30 minutes, I put my iPad on my stomach and fell asleep on the couch until 11pm.  Oh the life of a coder.

Feb 8…Alright, no more of this codecademy app business.  That’s just a back up plan.  It’s like the fast food of learning code – cheap and easy.  I logged onto my laptop and used the actual codecademy website again where I learned loops, for, and foreach.  Loops would be what the name implies…for the most part.  For example, you would use a loop when you want to tell it to look at every year and show only the years that are leap years.  I also learned how to write code using “for” which was necessary in order to do a loop (I think).  In “Brooke terms” that means ‘for every time I tell you to do this, also show it to me if I tell you that.’  It’s a bossy way to write code in my opinion.  Hey, PHP, every time I tell you $name I really want you to show me $name even if I type in $Brooke.  It complies.  As long as you didn’t forget a squiggly bracket, a space, parenthesis, a semicolon, and the dollar sign.  The final thing I learned is “foreach.”  Foreach is similar to for.  I earned the badge for completing this section, but articulating what it all means is a different story.  What I have learned after 8 days of coding is that I can totally understand why anyone who majored in computer science is highly likely to be very literal and why they typically don’t capitalize the first letter of their sentences when they send emails.  I am only doing a piddly little 30 minutes of this a day and I can tell you that you have to have that literal mindset.  It’s like that black box is waiting for you to write code that literally tells it exactly what to do.  No fluffy stuff.  Just essentially say ‘hey code box, this is equal to this.’  There’s no room for the way the rest of us communicate who aren’t literal where I want to say ‘hey code box, I typed in those words that went together fairly well, I think, so why aren’t you telling me what I want, or inserting feelings about it?’  I also have learned that coding with the TV on is not an option.  Coding with music on is highly encouraged though.  I’ve also received many errors on my screen because I really want to type every line of code with a capital letter at the beginning.  It’s like receiving an email or sametime from someone who is simultaneously working in excel, you think they’re shouting at you, but really, their caps lock is still on from writing =SUM(A2:A11).  Tomorrow should be interesting as I saw the first page of the next lesson and the lines of code went from my typical 5-10 to nearly 30.  I’ll probably be so smart by Tuesday ::insert hair flip::

Disclaimer:  If you code for your day job and have found anything I’m writing above or coding below doesn’t make sense – don’t tell me.  Just support me.

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