The 3 Goals for #DIYcodecamp Defined; The 3 Challenges, 3 Solutions Method

‘Codecamps’ or code ‘bootcamps’ are all the rage right now, partly because, as NPR puts it, it’s only “12 Weeks to a 6 Figure Job” but they are not the answer for all us non-CS majors who want in on the action. I, for example, am tied to a small midwestern city at least 2-3 hours from any daily bootcamp, and due to current family constraints and the wonderfully wretched winter weather (just shoveled the driveway for an hour!) I cannot easily drive/move to attend one.

SO: I am starting my  own#DIYcodecamp, as I am calling it, teaching myself how to code using these:

3 Sources of Knowledge, Learning and Goals for #DIYbootcamp

  1. Resources: online and print,
  2. Networking and Community: in-person conferences and meetups, and *real-ish* online relationships, and
  3. Practice and Product: diy projects, examples and results.

Current Accountability:

  1. Resources: I had already started using codecademy, and I just recently opened a freecodecamp account, and have been finding tons of other sources, online and off, like Coursera, Udemy, and Skillshare;
  2. Networking: I went to my first in-person coding meetup -outta town though, I had to drive over 2 hours, but it was fascinating and worth it! – about security exploits, and they gave us free dinner! with several more scheduled before the end of the month, PLUS the free local world IAday conference this weekend is only a couple hours drive away, and I’ve found several other local-ish small conferences for next month, even as I was writing this post! Also, again, my freecodecamp account, which says “Let’s learn to code by building projects for nonprofits” and explicitly addresses all 3 goals of resources, community and practice. I also just recently found, which, so far seems to live up to its self-billing as “the most supportive community of programmers and people learning to code.”
  3. Practice and Product: My first projects are to actually populate one of the urls I own as a portfolio, along with making some personal biz cards. Those last 2 are today’s project, which I have meant to do, for a long time, (paying for empty domains=ridiculous!) but the pressure is on because I want to be able to network at worldIADay and have something tangible for my ‘personal brand’. I appreciate that worldIADay bills itself as ‘for professionals and enthusiasts’ – I’m somewhere in there!

3 Reasons Why I’m Doing #DIYcodecamp:

  1. Career – my skillset needs an upgrade to catch me up to where I should be; I need a ‘real job’ that allows me to earn a good salary;
  2. Cost – the DIY-ness of it makes it much more affordable than the $5-15K, I have seen advertised for group bootcamps; and
  3. Challenge – even with my long (since the ’80’s) ‘digitalist’ background, the pace of change in computer science and information technology has been relentless. I have kept abreast of most of it: I taught web design at a community college at the turn of the millennium, worked for a major software manufacturer in tech support, and taught new media, graphics software and html (old versions) at both a secondary and a couple of post-secondary institutions. I  *did* take some CS classes at the University where I was an adjunct, but that was almost 2 decades ago, and I am completely out of practice. I missed the boat on some things, like when WordPress became a CMS more than a blogging platform, and my training was limited to languages that aren’t used much any more, other than Java.

3 Challenges: (“The DIY” in #DIYcodecamp)

  1. Isolation* Challenge:  inaccessible, incommunicado, far away, remote, lonely, solitary  
  2. Inertia Challenge; inactivity, inaction, inertness, do nothing, stationary, stasis
  3. Inexperience Challenge- Knowing what I it is that I need to know, also lack of experience, knowledge, or skill

*synonyms via google

The 3 solutions to these challenges are built-into the method of #DIYcodecamp:

  1. Resources,
  2. Networking, and
  3. Practice.

BONUS: Product (skillset) – web and software development skills, ‘soft’ skills, completion, and a career.

-Wish me luck!


The Importance of Life-Long Learning

The Importance of Life-Long Learning

Love the idea of committing to reading 10 pages daily, by month’s end=a book

Career Services Blog

The more you read,

The more things you will know.

The more that you learn,

The more places you’ll go.

 -Dr. Seuss

Lifelong-learningIt was super hard for me to decide on a major back when I was in high school. I couldn’t decide between Criminal Justice, Exercise Science, History, Politics, Library Science, English, or Creative Writing. I had (and still do have) a wide variety of interests beyond my chosen academic path. I did eventually settle on Exercise Science, but I think I would have been content with my life if I had chosen a different path.

That, I feel, is the beauty of being a life-long learner. It broadens your horizons and makes you consider alternative paths. It has helped me avoid stagnancy in my relationships, in my academic career, and in my personal life. Because of it, I have never had my heart set on a single career…

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That 1913 feeling

Fascinating read, and scary…we’ve had that feeling today, again

Hannibal and Me: life lessons from history

I spent the last four days at the Munich Security Conference, which is the global gathering for all those interested in international relations and matters of war and peace. It takes place in a historic Bavarian hotel whose hallways and coffee lounges are much too narrow for the throngs of diplomats, parlamentarians and statesmen, along with their security goons, and of course the hordes of think-tankers and journalists like me. Everyone jostles and bumps into everyone else. All of which is usually a good thing in world politics.

This year was different, as the old-timers told me. Nobody could remember any instance over the years when a speaker was jeered with derisive laughter. But that’s how the audience reacted to Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, as he spouted Putin’s propaganda from the stage. Lindsey Graham, an American senator who talked a gun-slinging Fox-Newsy tough talk, called the statements…

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Silent advances – Russian troops are closing in on Debaltseve

Conflict Report

During the last days, the international media sight concerning the war in Ukraine was widely focused on the political arena, reporting on the Merkel / Hollande “peace plan” visits in Kiev and Moscow and the clash of arguments by Ukrainian president Poroshenko and Russian foreign minister Lavrov at the Munich security conference. At the same time, the real battlefield around the Ukrainian-held key city of Debaltseve fell from view in what seems to be another orchestrated distraction by the invasion command in Moscow. However throwing the spotlight back on the battlefield reveals worrying  developments on the ground, indicating an approaching catastrophe for thousands of Ukrainian soldiers in and around Debaltseve. After the fall of Vuhehirsk and Nikishyne to Russian army forces, new key defense points and villages become the focus of the invasion army, trying to advance on Ukrainian-held Debaltseve. After having lost substantial amounts of tanks and apc in open…

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The Zen of Groundhog Day

Happy Maslenitsia | Imbolc | Candlemas | Groundhog Day

Weekends in Paradelle

I watch this film at least once a year. I’m sure there are people who think of this film – seen or unseen – as “just another Bill Murray/Harold Ramis comedy.” I really believe it is far more profound than you would think at a glance. I don’t know that the filmmakers’ intended all of that, but it’s there.

A. O. Scott in The NY Times did a re-review of this existential comedy this past week (watch his video review) and that was enough to send me to the shelf this weekend to watch Groundhog Day again.

I am not crazy in my belief that’s there’s more here than meets the viewing eye. Do a search on “Groundhog Day” and add something like philosophy, Buddhism, Zen, etc. and you’ll get plenty of hits of others who feel the same way.

Harold Ramis (director and co-writer) has said that…

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WordPress School: Site Master Plan

This looks like a great plan to follow. I will be live-blogging here as I go.

Lorelle on WordPress

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.
Tony Robbins

A website is an intangible, a virtual nothing in which we create something tangible to human perception. When it boils right down to it, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little created nothing with WordPress. WordPress isn’t a physical object you can put in your hands and say, “Mom, look what I made!” It isn’t a book you can carry around inscribed with your byline as author. WordPress is a placeholder, a virtual database with a pretty interface for storing and presenting content.

They knew that what made WordPress special. It was what you put into it.

Not sure what you will put into your site? Just testing the waters?

As we begin the WordPress School lessons, you will create a master plan for your site, featuring all the goals, ideas, and things you will put…

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Back again…paused to play

Back again, after a pause – a computer and inspiration failed pause…. to play!


I *DID* do several of the things I wanted for the digiwrimo month, just undocumented: got back to learning more web dev coding, had a fit of image making for awhile, then went into a lull of family holidaze making. Posts may be more randomly posted for awhile

SO…now it’s 2015, and I will tighten focus here, to chronicle the path of my web|android|java dev skills upgrade and output. Just press play!pause2play