This was supposed to be easier

A few weeks ago things were moving along in life. I've been thinking about many stuff I still wanted to do in life. Learning to program. Learning about DevOps methods, Agile methodology, Ansible, CHEF, CI/CD(continuous integration/continuous delivery), and all kinds of other new technologies.

I'd just come from a RedHat conference covering Ansible. My mind was racing with endless glee, about how I could harness this newfound knowledge. Not just to make my employer happier, but because I could wield this sword of truth for my own benefit and feel better about myself. Plus my self taught python was coming along bit by bit. Ahh, this was a glorious time to be alive.

But then, then fate laughed silently into the night (as fate often does in ones life) and a curve ball was thrown to me. Confident that I was in myself, I swung away. SWING..and a miss. Hey, things happen in personal life right? Work always has things being thrown at you. Holidays are always fun when you're trying to accomplish things. Family vacation. Yes, every one of these are excuses. I've used them all in the past few weeks.

Things aren't always the same

Almost all adults have life issues to deal with, more so than the youths you'll see in coding bootcamps or colleges earning CS degrees. We have to work because we have children to support (like those in college earning CS degrees), we have houses that require electricity, cars to drive to work, insurance payments, etc. The people you hear about just starting programming and picking it up like it's nothing, have only to sit back and soak it in with not a care or major responsibility. Generally you'll see the biggest stress they'll have is if they understand the homework or who said what on the Idiotbook (see facebook). Talking with other older beginners, our plates are pretty full as compared to younger beginners. But we all agree this is a speed bump, not a closed door.

I want to read this stuff. I want to, even at the worst, be familiar with the idea on what it is. And each day I look at the tabs in my browser calling me

I finished the RMOTR free class on Python that was live streamed once a week for 4 weeks. Of course, like all live streamed beginner classes this was a marketing thing to get people to purchase their mentoring programs. Its a good way to get new students. But I had found their old syllabus from prior classes online and figured that I'd go through this until my vacation started. I would hold off jumping back into the Udacity course until after then. Just use this to hold me over.

It's dangerous out there

But I'm just lying to myself. In fact, the last optional quiz on Udacity had me stumped so bad it made me gun shy. Afraid to pull the trigger and start back and fall deeper into the hole of despair. I'm confident in what I know, but this next step makes me feel so stupid. And if I don't understand any of it, I can't just move on. Because this all builds upon itself. So I'm afraid. And I find reasons to not move forward.

Knowing my cowardice, I still try to do things to poke the bear. Meaning I'm still listening to programming podcasts. My twitter is filled with other programmer tweets. My reddit goes as far as /r/programmerhumor. Every day this pushes my mentality. It naggingly pulls at me. Thoughts of what Sam and Brian would tell me to motivate me. Its all there. But I still have road blocks up, and I think I'm doing it subconsciously.
If you listen, or read, or watch, or almost anything about learning how to code/program/develop you will ALWAYS hear about they say to find a language that interests you and stick to it. Don't bounce around from the language of the day to the next. Learn one, learn it well. But at work I have intro's into Django and other little tutorials about loops, etc. But at home I have the Udacity course, MongoDB quickstart course from author Michael Kennedy, RMOTR courses, Flask tutorial, etc. I'm far too spread out. But these are things I want to read and learn.

Look both ways beforehand

See how I'm self-defeating. I have so much in front of me I can't decide which interests me more. I mean I want to read this stuff. I want to, even at the worst, be familiar with the idea on what it is. And each day I look at the tabs in my browser calling me, and each day I find an excuse not to.

Damn people/kids on these podcasts saying "Well I first started to learn how to program when I was about 6 months in the womb. But I'm still a beginner".

So my plan is this. I want to finish, or get further, in this Udacity course. Then I want to look into that Harvard CS50x course on EdX. I hear they go over many different languages trying to teach you the art of programming, how to think programmatically. I wont try to confuse myself with Java or C++, or C#, or R, or JavaScript, or Perl, or Haskell, or ... I at least want to follow along and see connections on how they work. The similarities.

Keep on keeping on

Yesterday I listened to one of the new podcasts from freeCodeCamp hosted by Quincy Larson. He went over some stats about which language is hottest, which is mostly used, which has the most questions, and other great information. He's pointing that javascript is the best and fastest upcoming language. How it works on any platform, etc. Mobile or static. He made some great points. And for what its worth, freeCodeCamp is a freaking awesome site. But I want to learn python because thats what interests me right now.

That's what I want. I'm tired of making the bosses richer whilst I toil in the muck. I want a cleaner version of muck, or the better paying version. Knowing you have to kick start yourself is one thing, doing it is another.

Bang Bang

I've found that each person has something, some trigger, to ignite the fire inside. Mine was that months ago I stopped going to the gym. It was crowed, I had to wait to do things, getting up earlier, etc. Just not having fun. But occasionally I'd see someone from the gym who would ask me where I've been. insert excuse here. Then I saw John. John isn't just one of the trainers at the gym, he's also a back up for the USA Olympic team. He caught me in the elevator and was concerned. Told him I just wasn't into it with all the reasons. He said "Listen, its OK to change your mind and do other things with your life. But in the end its how we take care of ourselves that matters. Mentally and physically. If you're happy with who you are, you've made it. Enjoy it. But if you're not you need to get back at it".

Test No Uppercase - RUN TEST
    def test_no_uppercase():
        assert neutralize_uppercase("snitch") == "snitch"
 Test Has Uppercase - RUN TEST
    def test_has_uppercase():
        assert neutralize_uppercase("eXpelliarMus") == ""

And it hit me. I'm not happy where I'm at with who I am. Yes, I'm older. No, I'm not dead. I can still learn and I can still grow. Be a programmer? Not anytime soon. But I can be closer tomorrow, no matter how much I fail. And today, today I've changed things up. Instead of having open 43 tabs in each browser I'm closing all but 1. The rest I'm taking the URL addresses and putting into a line in a text file. When I finish one, I'll look to see whats next. I have to eliminate my constraints. Everything else, improvements anywhere else, is a waste of time.

...shut up Sam. I hear you. ;)