It’s time for my semiannual post. I have many things swimming through my head these days. I mean I always do, but the conceptual fish seem to congregate and multiply when their river is dammed, and right now the blockage is the need to get my finances up to date and to clear out some of the junk in my little apartment and get it organized so I have space to live. I’m procrastinating on these but also not working on anything else really, so my brain is getting a little antsy (fishy?) to get back to the fun stuff—all my many personal projects. Since this site is mostly about my projects, let me tell you about the ones that have been on my mind.
First, a side note. As an experiment, I am embedding the song from IMEEM that I am listening to while writing this so you can experience the same musical environment, if you wish. Just scroll to the bottom of the entry and click the start button. You might also want to click the loop icon in the upper right corner of the player. Isn’t it nice of me not to have it play automatically?
Second, a housekeeping note. I am planning to switch my site back to WordPress. Drupal is flexible, but WordPress seems better coordinated, and I don’t need all that flexibility for this site at the moment. Plus WordPress now does the things I switched to Drupal for (versioning, autosave, tags). Also we use WordPress for our website at work, and I suspect I’ll build other sites in the future, and I’d rather spend my time getting to know one tool well than to try to learn WordPress plus Drupal plus whatever else.
With that out of the way, my main project at the moment is giving myself a fake computer science degree. This project started about a year ago when I got frustrated with my inadequate and disorganized coding practices and set out to improve them. I began by learning about software development techniques and methodologies, and that, as usual, has expanded into something much more comprehensive.
The problem with programming is that everything you learn about has prerequisites you have to know about to really understand what you’re doing. My programming knowledge is pretty much all self-taught, and I’ve acquired it in a random fashion, so I often feel like I’m missing a lot. It’s certainly humbling to read programming blogs and realize how much I don’t know, but it also gives me something to reach for.
So to help myself feel like more of a real programmer, I’m collecting introductory books on the major topics I would study if I were getting an undergrad computer science degree, plus any other programming topics that are relevant to my areas of interest, and reading them. I’ll post a list of them soon.
I need to go to bed, so I will leave you with a list of some other things that have been pooling in my mind: graphic design, algorithmic music composition, The Shack, Theophostic prayer. I will try to go into more depth in the next few days.