Where to Begin?

Many Projects

Public class HelloBlog {

public static void main(String[] args) {

SystemOut.println(“Hello, Blogverse!”);

}

}

“Princess Nell had to reconstruct them, learning the language, which was extremely pithy and made heavy use of parentheses.”

― Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age

I learned something about myself last year. I really love to code.

So in my free time, I’m teaching myself to code in Java by taking a class through Coursera. It’s offered by Princeton, and is called “Computer Science: Programming with a Purpose.”

It’s great, and I’ve learned so much already it’s just nuts. It started, as it always does, with “Hello, World.”

Which had me spitting and sputtering in disbelief about how complicated that damn program was in Java compared to how easy it is in Python (which I am teaching myself through a book by No Starch Press called Crash Course Python). I resented every single bracket I had to type, and every single baffling turn of phrase and random punctuation mark.

But after a while, I started to feel a wee bit impressed with myself.

I am such a n00b at this stuff still, but the things I have managed to accomplish have made me really proud. I wrote a program to create a minesweeper grid. I wrote a program to draw the borders of every country in the world. I wrote a program recently (and this one made me tear my hair out for a week) that used bottom-up dynamic programming to return the coefficient T(n,k) of the (n+k) power of the trinomial expansion (1 + x + x2)n.

I’ve written programs that take .wav files and mix them, concatenate them, reverse them. I’ve written a program that calculates the Shannon entropy of a large stream of random data. And that’s just scratching the surface.

I like coding in Java so much now that it’s taken over as my main hobby. My poor novel, which I just finished plotting out, is starting to play second fiddle. I may even take more classes in Java specifically after this one, to just keep the language fresh and keep expanding my skills.

…Or maybe I’ll go back to Python, and see how much faster I can learn it now.