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July 2017 Update

(Updated: )

This blog post was migrated from an older blog. This was the last post I’ve written on The Algorithmic Cookbook (later AGCKB).

Author’s Note: I have no idea why I keep providing updates if I only have 3 subscribers, but ¯\(ツ)/¯.

This month was a bit slow. I published three blog posts and a video. I also worked on a couple of scripts which kept me up to 3am for a week straight. I got a Pluralsight account, a Twitch account and I did some much needed reflection on the future of my blog.

June’s Content

The first post was on my visit to the Royal Observatory Greenwich, one of the museums I went to during my trip to the United Kingdom. I didn’t think I would like it, but I learnt a lot about what the astronomers worked on and it’s impact. The second blog post (along with the video) was about E.T., the worst game ever made. I never understood why it was so bad, until I got to play it at the Cambridge Centre for Computing in Cambridge. I was motivated to write the third post after I used Python to make my work easier. I don’t know if it was quicker than filtering content manually, but it got me thinking about the future of my blog (more on that later).

Late Code Nights

For some reason, I’ve been programming up until late. I wish I could say that it was spent coding back to back, but it was mostly figuring out why a think didn’t work only to find out that it was a simple fix which wouldn’t be there had I spent 5 more minutes reading the documentation. It reminds me of a quote by a Frank Westheimer, a former chemistry professor at Harvard, who said,

A couple of months in the lab can frequently save a couple of hours in the library.

– Frank Westheimer

This profound insight probably won’t stop me for spending hours tracking mundane bugs instead of just reading the… manual or reinventing the wheel only to find out that some people much smarter than I am have faced a similar problem to me and have created a solution for it- a solution which would probably account for things I hadn’t considered which I would fret over if I had rolled my own.

The scripts I made are diarylocker designed to encrypt webcam videos as soon as I’ve recorded them and change-links to update references to a link within a directory whenever a file name is changed. Both of them use the watchdog library for file monitoring which had pretty bad documentation. The change-links project was really spontaneous in response to a tweet I saw asking if such a think is possible. The twittererer in question didn’t reply to my efforts, but whatever. I learned a lot from it.

Actually Using Premium Online Education Platforms

Recently, I signed up for the Visual Studio Dev Essentials pack and picked up three months of free Pluralsight training. While I’ve only used it for a week, I’m getting so much value out of it. I could technically get as much knowledge from YouTube, but Pluralsight does a great job curating classes so you know that you’re getting really good instruction. I might do a big review of Pluralsight close to when my trial ends where I’ll go into more detail on my experiences with it.

Stepping Away from Social Media

In July, I’m going to be less active on social media until I figure out how to use social media effectively. Right now it’s really distracting and it’s wearing me down. Between being heavily invested in politics of a country that isn’t mine and seeing all the horrible people on the internet, I’m not getting much out of it. I want to use Twitter as a way to meet new people and have meaningful conversations about anything. I want to use Reddit as a way to discover interesting things, Hacker News to keep up with industry trends and Instagram to post cool pictures of my happenings. July will be a time for me to re-evaluate my interaction with social media.

A New Direction for the Blog?

When I wrote the post CodeIRL: Filtering Data for My College’s Library, I started thinking about what I want to achieve with my blog. Honestly, when I started this blog, I did it because people on the internet said it would be great for getting internships and job opportunities ɟᴉ sɐ. After writing that post, I want to point my blog in the direction of showing people how they can use code (or just technology in general) to solve their problems. They don’t necessarily have to aspire to work in tech. In fact, if typical ‘non-techies’ gain inspiration to hack, that would be awesome! It’s still a pretty sketch idea, but once it’s well refined, you’ll be the first to know.

Live On Twitch!

I just signed up for a Twitch account @fgandiya where I plan to host live streams of my programming sessions under the Twitch Creative initiative. Twitch Creative allows for a creator to post non-gaming content provided it’s about the process of creating something, even creative writing. Programming involves creating something, so I’ll do that to show you guys the process of programming, and you can also answer questions while I stream. For non programming streams like Q&A’s, that’ll go on YouTube

Gitting Good

I got some advice from @Yanas, a geeky South African content creator, on how I could better my blog with better consideration to aesthetics, better tagging and being less confused about everything in general. With that, I’m going to spend some time in July revamping my YouTube and my blog entirely. Also, I’m going to ditch a content schedule and focus on improving my writing process.

That’s a pretty dense update. I don’t know what content I’ll write in July but you’ll see it once it comes.