003: What Is Coding / Where To Start!?
In this episode I’ll help you figure out where to start once you’ve decided to learn to code or be a programmer. Some of the resources I mentioned in the episode can be found at these links: The Complete Guide To Everything: What Is the Best Programming Language to Learn First? (YouTube, 19 mins) LearnCode.Academy: 2016/2017 MUST-KNOW WEB DEVELOPMENT TECH (YouTube, 23 mins) Or just click around the map via this link.
13 Mar 2017
065 - New Computer, New Dev Setup
There’s a lot involved to get up and running with a new dev environment—it can be pretty troublesome in fact! After working on one machine for a while, it’s easy to forget (or take for granted) all of the software and helper tools you’ve installed slowly over time. But as soon as you want to get coding on a new machine, those tools are quickly appreciated! Here are some of the steps I took to be able to keep coding while traveling with a temp laptop, and what I plan to do going forward to make it easier next time around: Store coding projects on Dropbox to sync project files across the machines. No need to push/pull commits using a remote repository. Keep a list of all of the tools I use (especially in the command line). I think even the simplest of lists would be a better place to start than trying to remember all of the software I’m used to using. Check search results for “dev environment new computer” to also check lists others have come up with. Keep a copy of my command line shortcuts (.bashrc file) in a GitHub gist for easy future reference. Document! Document! Document! Any time I do a new installation on my machine, I’ll take note of how I did it and any resources that helped with the installation. Thoughts on this episode? Leave a comment at startovercoder.com/065 or tweet me @startovercoder.
18 Apr 2018
005: Learn To Code Resources
Today's episode is an overview of the different types of learn-to-code resources I've found out there. From apps to use when you're bored to full-time study programs, there are a lot of options! Before deciding which option to go for it's important to think about your own personal learning style: are you self-motivated or do you need more structure? Is there something specific you want to build straight away? Do you already have some coding experience? Do you like learning on your own or in a group? Once you have an idea of how you learn best, it's time to look at the different tools. I'll go into these in much more depth in future episodes, but in the meantime here is the overview: Free online resources (YouTube, MOOCs, dedicated learning sites, etc.) Online games & coding challenges (example: Code Wars) Paid online resources (bootcamp prep courses, Udemy, Treehouse, etc.) Mobile apps (examples: Mimo, Lrn) Bootcamps Community programs (Meetup groups, Facebook, etc.) University / school courses Programming books Figuring it out from scratch (via Github, SourceForge, etc.) Bonus method! Kids apps (example: Tynker) Regardless of the method you choose, the one piece of advice I have is to code every day! There is a lot to learn and you want to make sure it sticks. What do you think about this list, is there anything I missed? Leave a comment below!
23 Mar 2017
060 - It Doesn’t Actually Have To Take This Long!
It’s been a year since I started this podcast! But I still haven’t become a full-time developer. Does it really have to take over a year to change careers and become a programmer? Short answer: no, I really don’t think so! But for me, a few things along the way have slowed down my progress. You can get the full story by listening to this episode, but to recap what I think I’d do differently to speed the transition up a bit: Set a firm date for when I’d quit my job and STICK TO IT! My “deadline” kept being pushed farther and farther away from me. Work on a single program or curriculum that will provide you with full projects to complete and add to your portfolio. This is massively necessary when it comes to actually looking and interviewing for jobs. Some good examples are the freeCodeCamp certificates and Udacity nanodegree programs. Coding bootcamps are another viable option, though they can be costly. Despite my (I think) slow timeline so far, I’m still excited by what’s still to come and look forward to sharing more updates soon! Thoughts on this episode? Leave a comment at startovercoder.com/060 or tweet me @startovercoder.
14 Mar 2018
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034: How To Get Unstuck When You're Learning To Code
Getting stuck when you’re learning to code on your own can be FRUSTRATING!! Here are some tips on how to get help. TIP #1 - Google This one goes without saying, but it's worth starting here first. Start searching with specific terms, then get more broad if you can't find what you're looking for. TIP #2 - Rubber Duck It Walk through your code out loud to an inanimate object (like a rubber duck!) and pose your question. As you're asking the question, the answer might come to you. TIP #3 - Slack Communities Slack is a chat & collaboration platform used by a lot of people in tech. Some public groups include CodeNewbie, Code Buddies, and Career Change Coders. You can also search around for language-specific or local Slack communities. Once you're in, join the channels that are focused on the languages or tech stack you're learning. TIP #4 - FreeCodeCamp Message Boards FreeCodeCamp has a great, supportive community. If you're working on FCC projects there are scores of people out there who can help when you get stuck. If you're not working on FCC projects, chances are you'll still get some help. TIP #5 - StackOverflow, Reddit, etc. Join StackOverflow or Reddit to participate on their boards. Be sure to check their guidelines for advice on forming a good post to increase the odds you'll get a good answer. And of course, search first to make sure an answer to your question is not already out there! TIP #6 - Revisit What You've Already Learned Review whatever book, tutorial, docs, etc. that you learned your skills from. Doing so might jog your memory of other things to try, or you might find that you missed something important the first time around. If that doesn't work, try learning the same topic through another medium--if you originally learned by watching a video tutorial, try a book! Different sources and different media may help you find a solution to your problem. TIP #7 - Take a break! Work on a different project, go to sleep, go for a walk...do anything to clear your mind of the topic at hand. Come back refreshed and you may find discover the answer you've been looking for. TIP #8 - Join A Group This takes a bit of fore-planning, but join a group and build a crew of people you know you can go to with questions when you have them. Check out Start Over Coder episode 9 to hear more about this. TIP #9 - Pay For Help As an absolute last resort, you can pay for on-demand assistance at sites like Hack Hands and CodeMentor. Costs start at about $1/minute. But I'd use caution here--you may get things working but you may learn less! Getting stuck when you're learning programming and be very discouraging--honestly it's a reason many people give up! But sticking to it when things get difficult will help you learn a lot, and it's much easier to do if you get some help. Thoughts on this episode? Any other methods you have for getting unstuck? Leave a comment at startovercoder.com/034 or tweet me @startovercoder.
20 Sep 2017
025: Think Like A Programmer - Key Takeaways From A Helpful Book
Think Like A Programmer by V. Anton Spraul aims to teach the fundamentals of computer programming. It's not perfect, but it offers some great takeaways for anyone learning to code. In the book Spraul breaks down how to go about solving a problem step-by-step, covering fundamental topics like arrays, pointers, dynamic memory, classes, and recursion. Each topic comes with code snippets written in C++, and the chapters conclude with a list of exercises you can do on your own to make sure the information sticks. The key takeaways were: Take the time to form a plan when faced with a problem to solve. Random trial and error is not advised! Break big problems into smaller pieces and try to solve the small pieces. Then you might spark ideas about how to work on the parts you're less comfortable with. If a program will have multiple parts to solve, start with the one with the most constraints. Write separate programs to test small functions within a bigger project. If you can write a small piece on its own, you'll have an easier time fitting that function into the bigger project. Start with what you know and find analogies with code you've already written. Be careful with using other people's code...doing so can hinder your own learning, even if your program works. Don't get frustrated! Work on something different or just go take a walk when things get tough. Episode Links: Where to find the book: Goodreads, Amazon, No Starch Press Start Over Coder ep 18 - free stuff from your local library V. Anton Spraul's YouTube Channel Did you read this book? Let me know what you thought! Leave a comment at startovercoder.com/025 or tweet me @startovercoder.
26 Jul 2017
031: How To Host A Website (Part 1)
1 Sep 2017
038: Programmer 101 - What is front end vs back end vs full stack development?
The Programmer 101 series answers the questions all new coders might ask themselves. Today: differentiating between different types of web developers. Thoughts on this episode? Leave a comment at startovercoder.com/038 or tweet me @startovercoder.
18 Oct 2017
011: How I Learned to Call My First API
27 Apr 2017
049: Lessons From A Year In Coding
A whole year of learning to code, whew! In this episode I reflect on some of the bigger lessons that will carry into the new year: Code. With Others. And set goals! These are the keys to success. Episode Links: Episode 019: There's No One Right Answer Episode 028: Endings: Workshop, Bootcamp & Debt Thoughts on this episode? Leave a comment at startovercoder.com/049 or tweet me @startovercoder.
27 Dec 2017
017: Break It Down - Accomplishing Goals With an Algorithmic Mindset
Breaking down a problem into smaller steps is a great start, but it’s not enough! This week I’m talking about what more can be done to accomplish a goal, whether that goal is some tricky algorithm scripting or changing careers. Show Links: Harvard's CS50 on EdX Visual of the Mario exercise
1 Jun 2017
029: The Web Developer Bootcamp [Online Course Review]
15 Aug 2017
004: What Is Financial Independence / Where To Start!?
In this episode I’ll explain how you can achieve financial independence, and why I’ve chosen to do it. It’s not just about sitting on the beach! Here are some places you can read more about FI: The Mad FIentist: The Perfect Life Mr. Money Mustache: The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement Mr. Money Mustache: How To Go From Middle-Class To Kickass And here's Dave Ramsay's article about me and my friend Einstein (well, you know what I mean!): How Teen's Can Become Millionaires
16 Mar 2017
7 Apr 2017
010: Stumbling Block #1 On My Learn To Code Journey
I hit my first major stumbling block when it comes to learning to code. I say ‘first’ because I’m sure there will be more! In this episode I share what I think happened, and what I’m going to do differently to make sure this this speed bump doesn’t become a dead end.
21 Apr 2017
048: Coding School Rejection! 😣
This week I got rejected from a coding program that would have been great for jumpstarting my new career. Bah humbug : ( While I put a lot of effort into researching and then applying for the program, turns out it's just not in the cards for the near future. So now it's about resetting, making some plans, and figuring out where to go from here. Have you ever been rejected from something you had your mind set on? How did you reset your path? Leave a comment at startovercoder.com/048 or tweet me @startovercoder.
22 Dec 2017
014: Git & GitHub Basics
If you’re new to programming you will undoubtedly come across GitHub & Git pretty early on. This episode describes the difference between the two, and explains how you’ll use both as you learn to code. If you're ready to get started, here are some of the beginner tutorials I found helpful when I first started using Git & GitHub: Install Git Create a GitHub account Tutorial to put a project from your local computer onto GitHub How To Do The GitHub (YouTube) Dev Tips 'GitHub For Noobs' video playlist (YouTube) And once you're more comfortable, some additional resources to check out: How To Write a Git Commit Message Learn Enough Command Line To Be Dangerous What was it like when you started learning Git? Leave a comment at startovercoder.com/014 or tweet me @startovercoder.
11 May 2017
022: Should I Learn More Than 1 Language At Once?
With an endless list of programming languages and topics to try & master, it can be tempting to try to learn more than one language at a time. In this episode I explain why I think that’s a bad idea! Mentions in this episode: My learning plan - Start Over Coder episode 13 Harvard CS50 on EdX The Web Developer Bootcamp on Udemy My intro to Node.js - Start Over Coder episode 19 Super easy (!!!) Jekyll blog on GitHub pages If you're going to give it a go I highly recommend Jonathan McGlone's Step-By-Step Guide Do you think it's a good/bad idea to learn more than one language at once? I'd love to hear what you think! Leave a comment at startovercoder.com or tweet me @startovercoder.
6 Jul 2017
052: Relational Databases Intro
Working with data is one of the most important aspects of development. This week I got an intro to relational databases, and here’s what I learned. As we all know, a database is where we store data...what makes it relational is the method we use to store it: information is stored in tables, and then we relate those tables to each other by referencing unique id numbers from one table to the next. To interact with the data, we use a relational database management system (RDBMS) like MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, etc. Another option for storing data is to use a non-relational database like MongoDB or Neo4j which takes a less rigid approach to how and where data can be stored. These are also sometimes called NoSQL (not only SQL) databases and they provide flexibility when the data you're working with vary a lot in structure and content. However when the information is uniform, relational databases can be very efficient because there is not a lot of repetition, and you can easily access exactly the information you need with SQL, when you need it. With an RDBMS like MySQL, you can write queries to do everything from basic CRUD commands (create - read - update - delete/destroy) to refining searches and aggregating information. Using these queries and commands not only allows you to determine what information is displayed in your application, but it can also help with marketing decision, business development, advertising and much more. One correction—when I gave the Instagram example, I said that you would have a table for users, and then a table for "that user's photos" and so on. I meant to say you would have a table for ALL photos—it would not be a table for each user. You then link a user id to the photos table to show which user that photo belongs to. Sorry I misspoke! Links from this episode: Most popular baby names by US state The Ultimate MySQL Bootcamp W3 MySQL Exercises SQLZoo US Government Data UK Government Data Cloud9 web environment to practice If you have some tips on how to practice working with a database, leave a comment at startovercoder.com/052 or tweet me @startovercoder.
17 Jan 2018
050: Learning Plan 2.0!
3 Jan 2018