Warning: Mild to moderate nerdery ahead. Proceed with caution.
I am officially unemployed for six more days. What to do with my time? Some people might watch a lot of daytime TV. (I maxed out on Hulu last week.) Some might exercise excessively. (It's currently -6F outside, and I've already destroyed my legs.) Or, some might teach themselves to program in Python!
Here's the relevant backstory: Both of my parents are software engineers/computer scientists/humongous nerds. As a result, I shunned anything related to programming for the first 20-odd years of my life. I took two programming courses in college, but...
- back then I thought problem sets were lame and gross
- one of the classes was in Ada - a gross, unwieldy language
- the other was a class assumed I already knew Java when I didn't, which was kinda gross and unfortunate,
As it turns out, I really like programming. It's fun and stimulating and not boring at all! Really! Had I gotten over my familial aversion to programming earlier, I might have actually majored in EE/CS and maybe, just maybe, I would have liked it and I wouldn't have rejected a technical career.
Let's turn this into a silver lining, shall we? I truly think that looking at technology and science from a humanist perspective is where I am supposed to be. (Let's face it: I'm fascinated by programmers and technologists and their ilk.) Had I studied CS and liked it, it might have taken me a lot longer to come to that conclusion.
Or maybe I'm just equivocating.
Anyway, the point is, I feel like I really should learn how to program things in a way that is intuitive and natural. How else am I going to be a programmer-journalist? So I'm taking a class through MIT OpenCourseWare (basically the most amazing resource ever - if you haven't seen it yet go look at it right now...did you do it yet?): 6.00 - Introduction to Computer Science and Programming.
I'm a total noob and I love it.
I must be getting old because I want to do homework for fun. Also, I laugh at all the jokes in the lectures (especially the painfully cheesy ones) when the undergrads remain silent...how embarrassing!
|Here's the printout from one of the first programs I wrote. Cool, huh? It shows you that as n gets big, the product of the primes that are less than n approach e^n. The bigger n gets, the closer the product of the primes gets to e^n. Neat!|