2017-04-27

Resisting...

My main difficulty, I guess, is boredom. The first exercises are F* D* boring. It's like cooking, and I don't like cooking. You spend a long time typing to get an obvious result you could have gotten in less time by typing the output directly. I see no point in doing certain things.

But let's say I understand why. Let's say I understand it has to be like this, and I understand that it's necessary to go through this boredom in order to get farther... or isn't it?

Some people say: "you should have a project, something you would like to do". I agree it could bring more motivation, but how will I have a project, when I don't even know what Python is capable of doing? What kind of project should it be? What could I do? What could I think of? I have no idea.  

I found something online the other day: if you want to be successful, you have to learn how to do things without motivation. True. I have no immediate motivation, but I want to learn Python. Yes, I want to make more money and maybe change careers. But I also want to prove to myself that I am able to learn it. If I don't, if I'm not, then I don't know who I am and never knew who I was.

What brings me hope: many times I think should've done it before. I would've gone much farther by now in terms of career. However, I also understand that I wanted to do different things and had other needs and priorities. I also see how I've been evolving, and I get pretty challenged and obsessed when I can't solve a problem. I persist and keep thinking about it until I get it right. I think this is a good sign.

Also, I'm working with Python 2.7.10 instead of 3.6 right now, because the books I'm following are written for that. And what am I following? After trying a couple of other things, including online tutorials, I'm using Learning Python, by Mark Lutz, and Learn Python the Hard Way, by Zed Shaw. I've been using Atom to write/edit my code, and I like it. Keep in mind I have my husband as a mentor, even though I don't like bothering him too much. He's a software developer and he was the one who told me to start with Python. He gives me homework, but I'm getting used to searching online when I get stuck -- asking him is my last resource.

2017-04-25

Harder than I thought... or just panic?

Two days ago, it got really hard, friends. Not that it was difficult. I just panicked. It's frustrating not to know how to solve a problem, a logical one! I think it's because I've never studied algorithms (I will, though), and because I hadn't been using Math in a while. Sometimes I get to make the connections and it clicks, but this is only because I do have a solid basis in Math, and because I like to think abstractly and analytically.

On that same evening, fortunately, I got back on track. I still haven't figured out the best way of learning, I mean: should I go back and repeat similar exercises over and over, or should I try to understand more difficult tasks, so that I can at least become aware of the possibilities out there? It's great when I ask a question that has already been asked on Stack Overflow and I get to see different ways of solving a problem. I've noticed that the ones that make more sense to me are the ones I couldn't think of because I had no idea Python included such semantics. I don't know whether it makes sense to anybody else but me. Little by little, things seem to get together. Little by little, I said - and I mean it. But I will succeed!


2017-04-23

My new journey: it's never too late for a change

I love teaching. I love writing. I love languages. I love helping people. But I also love Math, and Chemistry, and music, and arts. I've always been interested in way too many things to get stuck in just one without feeling bored after a while. I think my mission in life is all about learning and experimenting, and I've already come to terms with that.

We may make changes (and career changes, for that matter) when we have the opportunity and the desire to do so. We evolve as human beings, and we're not the same we were when we finished high school and had to make "the choice of our lives". As times goes by, I think this idea has become more accepted in our society, so going back to school when you wonder whether you're too old for that shouldn't be a big deal. 

Just over a month ago, I was at a university open house, getting more information about the courses I was willing to take in order to get a new certification, in a field I had never tried before: Computer Science. As I said before, I love Math, and was the best student in high school (that, in another millennium, of course). I took two university entrance exams for "hard science" degrees: one for Math, another for Software Engineering. Both times, however, I had also taken entrance exams for other degrees: Journalism and Psychology. I had been accepted for all of them, but both times I went for the humanities. I've had great experiences in both fields I chose, and they are part of what I am now. I learned a lot about people and even became more social (or was able to pretend to be an extrovert, while my soul has always been the one of an introvert, up to now). But I realized that people won't bite you if you talk to them, if you ask relevant questions, and that it's relatively easy to have an engaging conversation.

Right now, though, I am craving for new challenges. I've considered a lot of factors: time, investment, curiosity, possible outcome etc. -- and decided the time was just right to give hard science a chance. I could have changed my career just a bit. I could get a higher degree in the area I'm working now. I could just change jobs. But I picked the toughest path. Maybe not the longest one, though, but certainly the toughest, which happens to be the one that will possibly bring a more positive outcome with it. I think I deserve this. I think I deserve not only a change, but also a chance. I need to give the nerd inside myself a chance, because I suddenly realized that I deserve something better -- it just happens, for a variety if reasons, that the time has come to fight for it.

Two weeks ago, I've started teaching myself Python. It's been the most difficult thing I've ever studied, but I will prevail. (It's a matter of honour as well!) I will write about my progress here, because I don't intend to give up. My first class towards the certification is set to start in a couple of weeks, but I know I will have a lot of work to do on my own to catch up, prepare, go further. I'll keep my job in the morning, study by myself in the afternoon, and attend classes at night. 

Yes, I've succeeded in many things, from school to work. But it has never been easy. It is not easy. Learning is one of the things that depend only on ourselves, our motivation and dedication. Let the game begin.

Thank you.